Bullying Related to Tourette Syndrome

Published: March 3rd, 2015

By: Heather Simpson

Category: Tourette Updates, treatment

As in any diagnosis that would set a child apart from their classmate, having Tourette Syndrome can unfortunately make your child a target for bullying. Bullying can happen to children of all sizes and personalities. Bullying can be physical, verbal, emotional or even electronically. All types of bullying are unacceptable and can be harmful to your child.

Be aware of signs and symptoms of bullying (1):

  • “Self-destructive behaviors”
  • “Feelings of Helplessness or decreased self-esteem”
  • “Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations”
  • Not wanting to go to school, or sudden onset of failing grades
  • “Difficulty with sleeping or frequent nightmares”
  • “Unexplainable injuries”
  • “Lost or destryoed clothing, books, electronics or jewelry”

In order to increase participation and engagement with peers, explore options such as:

  • Joining a Tourette Syndrome Association sponsored support group to encourage children of similar difficulties to engage and form healthy relationships
  • Explore sports of leisure activities that promote success and that are child driven or desired
  • Explore Occupational or Speech Therapy for training of age appropriate social skills and interactions
  • Explore counseling services that encourage your child to explore their feelings and manage those feelings associated with bullying appropriately

For more bullying prevention education, visit the Tourette Syndrome Association. Also, check out this FREE publication from the TSA website regarding bullying and prevention.

Learn about the Southeast Regional Tourette Centers of Excellence or the UF Tourette Center of Excellence

Resources:
1) US Department of Health & Human Services (Date of publication). Warning Signs. Retrieved from http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/warning-signs/

About the Author

Heather Simpson, OTR/L

Heather Simpson

Heather Simpson graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Early Education from the University of Florida in 2007. Following her Bachelor’s degree, Heather received a Master’s…

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