Best Practice

Tic disorders in school: Supporting students

Tourette Syndrome or other tic disorders can affect the learning and wellbeing of young people. Dr Pooky Knightsmith looks at how they manifest and how schools can support students
Image: Adobe Stock

Tics are involuntary, sudden movements or sounds that individuals with Tourette Syndrome or other tic disorders experience. While tics vary widely in form and intensity, they can present unique challenges for children and young people.

Tourettes Action UK estimates that Tourette Syndrome in particular affects one school child in 100 and that more than 300,000 children and adults in the UK live with the condition.

Tourette Syndrome is more prevalent in boys and it is thought that approximately half of children with a diagnosis will see a significant reduction in their symptoms as they approach adulthood.

In this article, let’s explore what tics are, how they impact students, and practical ways educators can provide support.

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