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I have a lot of concerns at the moment. My son was diagnosed at age 6 with TS. His symptoms were mild facial and vocal tics. The school tested him for learning disabilities and found none. The school psycologist said Travis could be a do anything he wanted to do, he had no limitations. Since his tics were mild and there were no other problems found he was not put on any medication. Great as far as I'm concerned.

 

All seemed to be going well for several years. At the beginning of every year of grade school I would go to meet his teachers and explain that he had TS and give them some printouts on the information that I had so that if his tics appeared again they would be aware of what was going on. I stopped doing this at his request when he was in Junior High.

 

He's always had trouble with writing and math, which goes along with the TS. I would like to have more clarification on exactly what this entails. I have not been able to get details on this, it seems too vague for me.

 

To the point now. Travis is 17 and has had many problems over the last 3+ yrs with completing school work. I didn't associate this with TS until about a year ago. We took him to a reputable learning center to have him tested and schooled to see if this would give him the help that he needed. He improved as long as he was still going.

 

He's barely passing 1/2 way through his senior year. He's disorganised, passively defiant, and totally unconcerned, disinterested, and apathetic toward school. There is no amount of reward or punishment that will cause him to change his attitude.

 

Can there be other things such as ADD/ADHD, OCD, Executive Dysfunction (a new one I just read about) going on that we had never picked up on? I read the symptons of these and they sound so much like Travis. Should he be re-evaluated?

 

He also wants to go into the service in the fall. Should his TS be brought up or not? How will this effect any opportunity to go into the service?

 

I'm considering a vitamin/supplement regimen if he would cooperate (he quite often doesn't).

 

I know this is long and doesn't even begin to touch the surface of my questions but is a start for now. Anxiously waiting your response.

 

Jackie

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Hi,

When my son was 17 , we looked into OCS while in college. The recruters were interested until they heard he has TS and on heavy medication.

That was 5 years ago, so things may have changed.

 

He is now off all meds after 10 years and going for his Masters Degree in Business at age 23......he is a smart cookie........We are so proud of him and us !

 

I do not know of a specific test for TS, but a complete work up by a neuropsychologist for ADD, etc may help you. We had my second son tested just recently for ADD. He has PDDNOS, TS, OCD and some ADD thrown in.too.

 

Good Luck,,,,,,,they do get better as they mature.......hope this helps.

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Guest Guest_Debbie

My dh is in the military and this is what we've been able to figure out about TS (I have TS). Dh had *TWO* classmates in technical school with noticable tics. He & I discussed this as I found it odd that they were allowed in the military. We came to a couple conclusions, just based on our observations. First, they had to have been able to supress the tics enough during basic training that they didn't come up as a "discipline" issue. How they did this I cannot fathom because both men had very persistent, frequent, obvious tics when I met them. The second factor is that neither had ever been diagnosed with a tic disorder. When my dh tentatively brought up the subject, neither had even heard of Tourette Syndrome except as a swearing condition and had no idea it probably related to them.

 

In the military, it's all about what's official. If you've never been diagnosed with a problem and it's not effecting your job performance, as far as they are concerned it doesn't exist. But that works the other way, too. If you already have a diagnosis, it doesn't matter to them that they may have 50 other guys doing the exact same job with even worse tics.

 

As far as bringing it up, he will be required to sign documents about his health history, including neurological conditions. If he lies about them and it is later discovered, he could be court-martialed.

 

As far as the school issue, perhaps he needs an alternative solution? Could he finish the year homeschooling? Take his GED? Have you looked into charter schools in your area, or possibly even a private school? I remember having the exact same problem my last semester at school and it wasn't at all related to my TS; I was just extremely bored and frustrated with the whole thing! I had interests and activities completely unrelated to school. I was just passing time, waiting for that magic number "18" to roll around so I could finally start LIVING my life!

 

Anyway, my point is, does he have trouble finishing things, staying on task, etc when it's something he's actually interested in?

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Thanks Carole & Debbie for your input. It's alot to think about. My son has not had a problem with tics since he was about 8 or 9. He was diagnosed at 6 with very mild tics, he's never been medicated for them. I took him to the neurologist for an annual visit 2 or 3 times after that and he has not been back since. As far as he's concerned it has never been an issue.

 

My concern is that when he gets to basic training will his tics resurface under the extreme pressure that he will be undergoing and seen as a discipline issue? The 'discipline' issue is what first came to mind, because in all fairness my husband nor I even thought of the tics until recently. They just aren't there or at least not obvious. I don't want to bring up the topic with his recruiter - since it's not an 'everyday' issue - and cause a problem with him enlisting. On the other hand I don't want him to be courtmarshalled either. Still thinking on this one.

 

As far as school is concerned, I agree with you. It simply doesn't interest him. He sees absolutely no future use for what he is learning in school. He does stick with the things that interest him - usually physical activities. And he tells me he puts the effort into his job. Which is great!

 

Thanks again,

Jackie

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Guest Guest_Debbie

If his tics have been "dormant" for that long, you could just cover your bases and have his neurologist note in his medical records that it was a childhood thing that he outgrew. That way he can honestly tell them about the "old" diagnosis but that it won't effect his enlistment.

 

If the stress of basic training triggers his tics again, he can either try to suppress them, or if that's completely impossible, he can go to the doctor, explain the situation, and be medically discharged with no other consequences. A court martial would only be if he deliberately lied about it; if he's got medical statements that he outgrew it, then they can't fault him for that.

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