Tourette Syndrome: Josh Won Services While Acting as His Own Attorney!
Josh won services while acting as his own attorney![Source: Wrightslaw ]
17 year old Josh has Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and learning disabilities. When the school refused to provide an IEP or a 504 plan, Josh acted as his own attorney during due process and prevailed!
Here is the beginning of Josh’s impressive opening Opening Statement for the Due Process Hearing.
Disability, its not an easy thing. If any of the parents in the room have children with a disability, they can see the pain and anguish their children must go through everyday. No child should have to live through that.
Over one-hundred years ago three famous doctors emerged: Charcot, Freud and Tourette (who was a student of Charcotʼs). Charcot worked with people who had movement disorders. Tourette was interested in a particular group of these people who were different from the others. But when Charcot and Tourette couldnʼt figure out how to treat these people, they directed them to Freud (who had been having success with these weird types of disorders). Freud diagnosed TS to be a psychological disorder. Thus, for over half a century Tourette Syndrome was misclassified as a psychological disorder. In 1975 congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. For the next 30 years Tourette Syndrome was again misclassified and misunderstood by schools and congress alike. As a result these students did not receive the services they needed and were misunderstood. On August 3, 2006 Secretary Spellings recognized the need to list Tourette Syndrome under OHI because students were not getting the services they were entitled to. How much longer are we going to misclassify students with Tourette Syndrome?
The text book definition of Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by tics.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by tics; involuntary, rapid, sudden movements or vocalizations that occur repeatedly in the same way. The term, involuntary, used to describe TS tics is sometimes confusing since it is known that most people with TS do have some control over their symptoms. What is not recognized is that the control, which can be exercised anywhere from seconds to hours at a time, may merely postpone more severe outbursts of symptoms. Tics are experienced as irresistible and (as with the urge to sneeze) eventually must be expressed. People with TS often seek a secluded spot to release their symptoms after delaying them in school or at work. Typically, tics increase as a result of tension or stress, and decrease with relaxation or when focusing on an absorbing task.
But as we know now TS isnʼt just the tics. TS is often accompanied by many co-morbid disorders (especially OCD & ADHD) and students tend to have visual-motor integration problems, dysgraphia, non-verbal learning disabilities, as well as a tendency to process things at a slower level.
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