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Before & After Jason & Andrew

Jason Before: In February 2020, before the pandemic, Jason was anxious and angry. His Tourette syndrome was flaring, he was getting bullied, and he was failing a class. People with Tourette can sometimes hold in their tics for short periods, but the longer they try to suppress them the more likely they are to eventually boil over into a tic attack. Jason was getting overwhelmed by tic attacks nearly every day, usually sometime around 6th period. Not surprisingly he was failing his 6th period class - English.

After: Now, during virtual school, Jason is healthy and happy. He has learned to let his tics out in small increments steadily throughout the day. He does this by taking walks outside between classes where he can alleviate the tics privately, something that would be impossible to do during in-person school. Jason is no longer overcome by large tic attacks. He’s able to focus more consistently in his classes and has been able to reduce both his medication and his doctor visits. He has an A in English this year. Jason is thriving in virtual school.

Andrew Before: In February 2020, Andrew had already racked up 47 tardies for the school year. He had lost credit for his first period class because he had missed it too often. School began at 7:35am, and because of traffic he had to leave his house by 7:00, which meant waking up by 6:15am. He was so tired that he often fell asleep in class.

After: This year school still begins at 7:35am but because Andrew is virtual, he doesn’t need to wake up until almost 7:00am. With only a month left of school, he has had only 3 tardies all year. He no longer falls asleep during class. His teachers have noted how much more attentive he is and how much more he participates. Andrew is thriving in virtual school.

Before: In-person school wasn’t working for Jason or for Andrew. After: Both boys are thriving virtually. Governor Murphy wants to force them to “return to normal” but neither Jason nor Andrew want to return to a format that set them up to fail. Virtual school has been a blessing for them.

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