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ADHD and Tourette Syndrome

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Please help. I am dealing with my grandson who is living with me this year. He is in 6th grade. I have been trying to educate the teachers and/or special ed teachers about Tourette Syndrome and the co-occurring ADHD and anxiety. From what I have read this is very common. The Tourette forum seems to be more focused on tics and right now I seriously am more concerned about the ADHD part of his disorder.

His teacher is beginning to get somewhat demanding with how he expects my grandson to act and partipate in his class. He is saying that 'by now he is expected to do more'. The teacher doesn't seem to accept the fact that my grandson cannot sit still for 75 minutes during math and continually keep eye contact and focus. But then I question myself and wonder if I am wrong in thinking that my grandson is incapable of doing this.

Does anyone have any help for me?

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What kind of support does your grandson have with his condition both inside and outside school? Your topic subtitle mentions an IEP; does that mean your grandson has one? If so, does it strictly address the tics that come with Tourettes, without noting any behaviors and related accommodations for some of the comorbid behaviors (anxiety and/or ADHD-type issues)? Does your GS have a local doctor and/or therapist who can help assess his needs to modify the IEP?


Unfortunately, some teachers are either uninformed or inflexible, or both. So it usually serves the child best to "overbuild" the IEP to help circumvent teachers who are more about following the letter of the accommodations rather than the spirit of the accommodations, i.e., serving the child's best interests so that he can function at his highest level in the school environment.


Assuming your grandson has an IEP, I would review it closely to see exactly what's provided there. Should you find it lacking, I would request a meeting as soon as possible to review and potentially modify it. You may want to consult with your GS's doctor and/or therapist and see if they would provide some documentation (a letter) and/or recommendations for some of the issues and related accommodations that should appear in the IEP.


Good luck!

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My son was also diagnosed with TS and the comorbid condition of ADHD. Last year was a really rough year in school - spent much of it sitting in isolation because he was very impulsive and continuously bothering other students in the classroom. We tried Tinex, Clonidine, and Risperdal. What really helped was an antibiotic because his behaviors were being caused by an underlying infection. He now takes daily antibiotic and Strattera. He does have a 504 for his ADHD behaviors in case they become overwhelming for a classroom setting like they were last year. As a side note some TS children actually are misdiagnosed and have an infection which causes the TS like symptoms. My son is so much less ADHD and his TS symptoms have decreased by 80% since starting the antibiotics.

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