Children with Tourette Syndrome can demonstrate a number of limitations in school secondary to executive functioning deficits, attention deficits or the tics themselves. As a result of these challenges, children can demonstrate aggravation, poor school grades and increased stress/anxiety. One of the most common school limitations related to Tourette Syndrome is poor organizational skills. This can be demonstrated in school by frequent losing of homework assignments, forgetting to turn in papers, difficulty remembering important dates and/or difficulty with keeping track of school supplies.
There are numerous research articles and helpful books that aide in achieving maximal organization skills for your resource. However, some basic organizational strategies based on those materials include:
- Have clearly defined areas for assignments and school supplies
- Example: have a clear space for backpack, or a clearly defined box for homework when students walk into the classroom
- Keep organizational strategies and placements of materials in the classroom consistent, do not change frequently
- Explore options of having a specific spot for student to place his/her materials in only
- Separate all school items into color defined categories
- Use similar colored folders, notebooks, book covers and pens for each individual subject (example: math=blue, science=green, etc.)
- Most beneficial when you let your student actively pick the colors that they associate with each class subject
- Explore use of checklists on a student’s desk of items to complete each day and check off each item
- Example: turn in homework, write in planner, place pen on desk, etc.
- Minimize extraneous folders and school supplies. Keep it simple
- Keep student’s anxiety at a minimum when it comes to turning in tasks
- Utilize a planner and have teacher and parent check throughout the day
Repetition and student’s involvement is necessary for success with implementation of organizational management. If you would like further assistance or training, follow up with your Occupational Therapist or Speech Therapist .