Stand Up for Tourette Syndrome
Teacher’s Guide for Elementary and Middle School Students
The purpose of this video is twofold. First, it is to promote education and understanding about Tourette Syndrome (TS), an extremely complex and often misunderstood neurodevelopmental condition. Second, it is to teach and encourage leadership skills necessary to overcome bullying, both for the child being teased or bullied and observer(s). Students with TS are easy targets for bullying, given that symptoms often cause unusual movements, vocalizations (i.e. tics) and/ or behaviors. It is not sufficient to teach the student with TS to self- advocate, as taking a stand alone can be a daunting task. For the student with TS, communicating in stressful situations can often escalate tics and other symptoms which in turn, cause the bullying students to tease and taunt even more. This can become a vicious cycle, leaving the student with TS overwhelmed by his or her tics and symptoms and feeling helpless, isolated, and vulnerable. Therefore, empowering peers with leadership skills to support the student with TS and unite as a group when bullying occurs is a much more positive and proactive solution. Many schools are taking this proactive “natural leadership” approach and the Tourette Association of America also wanted to feature this important concept in this brief video.