Special Education/Services follow up

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Question
My son has tourettes. I think all tics are either tourettes or a milder tic disorder or
Rheumatic or Parkinson's. I think if autism is with tics it's comorbid
We know what causes tics it's a nt imbalance in all cases but cause may be infection
Or genetic. But in any case my son has tourettes and typically it worsens first
Then gets better w age in most cases.  My son tics on and off. Sometimes
In class.  Sometimes it's so bad I worry he'll get sore. This is why I asked about
Pt or ot and also am looking into it privately.  All the movements are upper body which
Is typical

Answer
Hello, HJ,

Thank you for clarifying in a follow up that your son does have Tourette's Disorder. I feel that a functional behavior assessment, occupational therapy assessment with sensory components, and a thorough psychological evaluation may be warranted.  I am not sure you will get very far with asking for Physical Therapy in the school systems, but certainly private PT may be warranted.  All interventions should start with a good evaluation.  The functional behavior assessment is a group data collection activity, which can show under what conditions, if any, the tics are worse.  This is to develop a behavior intervention plan that may include breaks, exercises, etc.  Many of the families I work with also look into neurofeedback, and other alternate types of interventions but these are rarely able to be done by school staff.  The occupational therapy is a related service, which means your son NEEDS it IN ORDER TO BENEFIT from his special education program and receive a free appropriate public education.  Again, evaluations must lead the way so that we can track progress and be sure the interventions have evidence behind them to work successfully for your son.  

I hope this has helped you and I wish you the best as you advocate for him.  Stay in touch and let me know how he's doing.  

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Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.

Expertise

I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.

Experience

10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Education/Credentials
Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); B.S.in Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

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