Tourette Syndrome


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jul 5, 2007
Does Tourette Syndrome automatically disqualify one? Is it possible to get a waiver if one has "grown out" of it? Is there anything a neurologist can write that will qualify someone for Army ROTC? Thanks.
Tourette's would be a disqualification. The standards do not mention "history of". My concern is that Tourette's is a chronic medical condition that one does not "grow out of". It can go into remission, and the person can, to a certain extent, overcome the symptoms of a mild form of the disease.

I would still have this applicant apply for whatever program he/she is interested in, be honest on the medical, and let DoDMERB and possibly the waiver authorities take a look at ALL the medical records available. If the applicant is disqualified, and especially if the applicant still has some symptoms of the disease, it will be an uphill battle for a waiver, but its not impossible.
Thanks. I think my son was about to give up. He has his medical exam this week and we're also going to visit his neurologist and see if he's ever had a patient go through this before. I think he's already given up, and is very hesitant to schedule his interview. We'll see what happens. Thanks again for your feedback.
By not applying, he definately will not get into the academy. By applying, and going through the process of DoDMERB and waiver authorities, if he does get a waiver it will make the academy years seems so much more worth it. And if he does not make it in, he will know that he gave it the best try possible. You never know unless you try, and I would never tell an applicant not to apply. If he is interested, he needs to apply. its just that simple, and I'm sure everyone else on this forum would agree with me.

So once he gets the DoDMERB physical done, and if there are any questions I'll be here to answer what I can!
Just saw the neurologist

We just saw the pediatric neurologist and he is appalled that this may prevent Derek from entering the military. He looked back through his chart and noted that the worst display of any symptoms was in elementary school when he used to hum in class, and the humming is the worst tic he's ever displayed. He says he has absolutely grown out of it and there have been no symptoms for years (and the symptoms he had were humming and whistling). He also read us some of his notes from a few years ago where he mentions that Derek has displayed no symptoms of any sort of any disorder.

He is considered an expert in the field of neuorological disorders and has brought the case of Derek/ROTC up with his colleagues and is willing to do whatever he can to help him obtain an ROTC scholarship. His question is, what exactly does he need to write?

I would have the neurologist write up a summary of your son's history concerning the Tourette's. I would also get copies of all medical records form the neurologist (and the family physician if there are mentions of the Tourette's there as well).

Have all this information on hand and ready for when DoDMERB either requests the additional information or issues a disqualification based on the physical exam.

Derek had his physical and we were expecting an instant disqualification. We received a letter that said Remedial Requested. We had already obtained his complete medical records and had his neurologist write a letter about his condition. He basically noted that he doesn't require meds, was diagnosed as having mild Tourette's as a child, and hasn't displayed symptoms in years. He also cited some research and so on.

We sent all that off and are now waiting and checking the Dodmerb site regularly. My next question is this: Before an applicant is disqualified, do they normally list the current medical status as Remedial Requested and then disqualify them after reading the medical records, or could it have automatically been disqualified from the physical questionnaire? I think we're looking for a glimmer of hope since we expected an automatic disqualification and didn't get it right away.

Thanks RetNavy. You have no idea how much your advice has kept him (and me) optimistic.
If DoDMERB is uncertain about the severity of an issue, or the information provided on the physical exam is not clear, DoDMERB will request additional information before possibly adding a disqualification. Also, if DoDMERB does issue a disqualification after reviewing the medical records, it will assist the waiver authorities in making their decision.

The medical status of "Remedial Requested" is just that they are waiting on the additional information they requested. Once its been received and reviewed then the status will change, unless DoDMERB needs even more information, then the applicant will stay in a remedial status.
The saga continutes...

Ok here's where he is~

Derek sent in his complete history form and a letter written from his neurologist including his research and how he hasn't exhibited any symptoms in a few years, etc. etc.

As of Monday, Dodmerb listed disqualified D231.90 - Academic skills defects. Naturally, he freaked out as he is top of his class, all Honors/AP, awesome SAT scores, st. council pres, yearbook ed., boys state and boys nation, and doesn't feel he has any academic defects (I'm actually kind of amused by it - for once he gets a dose of reality. His whole life he's always been involved in everything and he's never been 'inadequate' for anything before. Well, this is a great lesson for him - his history of Tourette's is a reality and he must deal with it).

He was prepared to be disqualified, but for a neurologicial reason. He wrote a letter and attached his transcript and activity resume and respectfully asked for a waiver review. Today it's listed as pending waiver submission/review.

Can you explain what exactly 'Academic skills defects' means? Obviously it is an umbrella code that could include a plethora of things. He thinks Dodmerb classified him as having a learning disability and I'd like to clear that up with him so he can relax and let the waiver review board make thier decision.

As always, thank you!
To be honest I have no clue why they added that particular disqualification to the file. It doesn't make sense to me, thats for sure. So I would advise you (or your son with mom helping with the script!) to call DoDMERB and find out exactly why that disqualification was placed. It could possibly be that the physician reviewing the case checked the wrong box, or there could be a mention of some sort of learning disability in his medical records that is in error. Give a call tomorrow and find out.
He got a waiver!!!!

Unbelievable! He honestly didn't expect it. Thanks for all the support everyone, especially RetNavy. As I'm sure everyone knows, this means so much not only to my son, but to the entire family.

Thanks again :smile:

Derek's mom