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jennmomofthree

School Accommodations

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Hello!

 

I have a wonderful 6 year old with tourettes. (I just got back from the Dallas conference over the weekend and it was wonderful! Hello to all the moms who attended!).

 

I had the opportunity to observe my son in his kindergarten class today. His teacher has been wonderful all year working with me but has mentioned that first grade will be challenging due to the long periods of sitting still. Watching him today it struck how much he struggles in class to keep his body still and to stay focused.

 

I wondered if anyone could share any ideas, lessons learned or accomodations that their public schools have made for their children in this situation. I want to be proactive going into this next school year and am hoping to sit down and discuss some strategies with his new teacher over the summer. Thanks!

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http://www.schoolbehavior.com/Files/tips_tourette.pdf

 

Here is a site I found a long time ago. My son qualified for Special Education Services under "other health impared" due to his tics. ESE support can be WONDERFUL. The school is required by law to give your child whatever accommodations are laid out in the IEP. It is a great protection for children in the learning environment.

 

As an educator, the first thing I do with my class rolls is look to see who is ESE and what their "needs/requirements" are!!! I make sure that I know this as soon as I meet the child.

 

Good luck.....whatever you do, don't let the SLOW process get you down...it took over a year for my son to be tested and get services!!! I was so angry because he missed out on a year of services....and when they staffed him I wanted him staffed b/c he can not read, but has a normal IQ they said he didn't qualify under those guidelines (but he had tics so he qualified for services???)....well, here I am with news that he will not be promoted to the next grade b/c he can not read!!!! I requested the tests be done again in February (18 months after the first tests that said he does not know his ABC's, but can read fine!) and STILL no results! Now they say it will have to be the start of the school year when they give me the results........and at the start of the school year they use the excuse that they are all backed up. BE the squeeky wheel!!!!

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Welcome jennmomofthree,

 

My son has had the accomodations for about a month now and I really believe it is a great help. We also had trouble getting one for 2 years because he was getting good grades. This past fall he had a really wonderful team of teachers who did not give up and pushed hard to get him accom. My son has very bad vocals and I knew he was having a hard time hearing over his own noises. He also is really good in any math and last year passed the SOL with advanced scores, but this year when he was with a teacher who really was going to fast, he was left behind. He had a C first quarter and an F the second quarter, he has never had anything lower then an A in math. This was the turning point for me and the school finally jumped on board. He was put in another math class with a different teacher and was team taught, he is back to an A third quarter. This is Algerbra and one can not get behind or one will get lost. I get e-mails on work to be done and upcoming tests.

 

I really do believe in high school this is a must for our TS kids. I'm sure this has help him with stress too.

 

Good luck and don't let them tell you he does not need the accom.

 

CP

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Hi Jen and welcome :)

 

my son is now finished with school, but we had him on accommodations even before we had the official TS diagnosis. In elementary he was on an IEP, primarily to help with his attention/focus probs as well as the auditory processing. simple things like a desk near the teacher and her making eye contact when giving him instructions and helping him stay organized were a great help.He also used an AlphaSmart in 4th & 5th grade and being able to type assignments as his tics and OCD affect his handwriting(OCD= "has to" go over letters till they are "just right")

 

Middle and highschool we had him on a 504 plan which I feel is the best way to go with our kids. We had regular meetings where all the teachers had to be present and where he and I were able to articulate his needs and they were most helpful in accommodating them. Each child learns so differently and has specific and unique needs, and the 504 plan is so good for that

Our highschool even allowed him to discreetly keep a small piece of (healthy!) candy in his mouth during class as he has found this helps him keep the vocals down in social situations. teachers allowed him to leave the room via a hand signal if he needed a quick step outside to release more noticeable tics. He was an A student thruout school but did need some accommodations re learning because of the writing mentioned above as well as his ADD/CAPD etc

 

 

as Tourette is now legally classified as "other health impaired" under the Americans with Disabilities act, schools are obliged to provide accomodations within reason

 

here is more on it at the TSA website

http://www.tsa-usa.org/educ_advoc/education_main.htm

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Definitely meet with the teachers before school starts. Please don't assume that the teachers understand ts. I would explain to the teachers the specific tics so that they know. Unfortunately, I don't think that all teachers understand what a tic is and that is uncontrollable. I frequently touch base with my ds's teachers to see how things are going in class and socially. Unfortunately, it does take too long to get the ball rolling with a 504 or IEP. In my school system, they seem to push the limits in terms of time holding meetings at the 30th, 45th or 60th day. Good luck and welcome!

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