My 9-year-old son is becoming his own advocate

Jaden was diagnosed at 4. Last year at age 8, I finally broke it to him that the reason he made these noises, etc., was because he has Tourette Syndrome. After the natural reaction of crying and self-loathing, he immediately began to research it. He read all about it. Still, he was NOT comfortable talking about it and definetely refused for his classmates to know.

This year, it’s different. I have worried myself sick thinking he will be so stressed and come home and tell me he hates school. Not the case. This year, I called a meeting with his teachers, counselor and principal. At the meeting, I made sure to bring along pamphlets about TS, etc. Most importantly, I brought Jaden with me.

He sat at the head of the table. He was very excited and eager to share his symptoms, which shocked me. They were impressed with his terminology, knowledge of the syndrome and his coy way of explaining himself. He is pretty much telling a new classmate daily about TS. He is allowed to go to his bus early to avoid large crowds during dismissal (504 accommodation). He has a “bus buddy.” He has 7 children to pick from. He “randomly” alternates turns of who he can take with him to the bus.

Today, he told Jenna after she asked, “Why do you get to go to your bus early and I get to come with you?” He says, “It’s a long story, we don’t have time.” Jenna says, “We have nothin’ but time.” He answers, “Well, I will give you the long story short, I have TS!” She of course answered, “What’s that?” He answered, “When I was 3, I got this thing called TS. It makes me tic and make noises. It makes me have OCD and makes me anxious, and I have to take frequent breaks. And that’s why I get to go to the bus early, to avoid large crowds cause it makes me worse.” Jenna answered, “That’s cool, thanks for picking me today.”

All in all, I’m very pleased with his explanation of TS and his way of explaining it in a nonchalant way. Genius actually. :) Mood: Grateful and Optimistic!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jaden is a blogger for TSParentsOnline’s sister blog, Teens4TS. Check out what Jaden’s been writing about and encourage him with a little interaction!


  1. You should be very proud. What a wonderful kid he seems like. I hope all of his dreams come true. Cheers from Australia!

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