Understanding Tourette Syndrome
A Handbook For Educators
Published by the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of
Available from the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of
The Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada (TSFC) has recently published Understanding Tourette Syndrome: A Handbook for Educators. Over three years in the making, this book is a comprehensive guide written for teachers, parents and all others who play an integral role in the education of students with TS.
A particularly enjoyable feature of the book is the quotes interspersed throughout the text such as the following: "The TS child, I think, feels trapped in his own mind and by his own body." They bring a sensitivity to the handbook that allows the reader to focus on the individual with TS.
The handbook is divided into three sections, the first of which, "Tourette Syndrome: An Overview" provides the most current and comprehensive review of TS and its associated disorders available to date. The section is written in clear, concise language that makes it very interesting to read. Specific examples of tics and behaviours are listed and summary tables are provided for easy reference. The overview is followed by a section detailing strategies that educators can use in the classroom. Potential problem areas, such as difficulties with transition from one activity to another, organization, handwriting, the school bus and homework are all covered. Finally, the potential participants in and the role of the interdisciplinary support team is discussed in the last section. The student is always the centre of the team which may be composed of only the teacher, the student and the parents for a child with mild TS. In the child with TS+, the team may also include a teaching assistant, a speech language pathologist, a psychologist, a case manager, the resource teacher, a guidance counsellor and other professionals.
Including appendices, the handbook is almost 100 pages in length. An excellent five page "Quick Reference" guide, which may be photocopied for use at home or in the school, is provided at the end of the book. In addition to the quick reference, the appendices provide useful checklists to use in identifying TS, OCD and ADHD behaviours observed in the classroom or at home. Understanding Tourette Syndrome: A Handbook for Educators is an extremely interesting and highly readable book that will undoubtedly gain quick acceptance in the education community as the reference handbook of choice for all educators.