So what’s the deal with Tourette’s?

As a tireless advocate for Tourette syndrome, I have taken the time to copy and paste this from the REAL TSA (Tourette syndrome association) website. Just for you!

“Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (Tourette Syndrome or TS) is a neurological disorder which becomes evident in early childhood or adolescence. The first symptoms usually are involuntary movements (tics) of the face, arms, limbs or trunk. These tics are frequent, repetitive and rapid. The most common first symptom is a facial tic (eye blink, nose twitch, grimace), and is replaced or added to by other tics of the neck, trunk, and limbs.

These involuntary (outside the patient’s control) tics may also be complicated, involving the entire body, such as kicking and stamping. Many persons report what are described as premonitory urges — the urge to perform a motor activity. Other symptoms such as touching, repetitive thoughts and movements and compulsions can occur.

Vocal tics may occur with the movements, and can include grunting, throat clearing, shouting and barking. Vocal tics may also be expressed as coprolalia (the involuntary use of obscene words or socially inappropriate words and phrases) or copropraxia (obscene gestures). Despite widespread publicity, coprolalia/copropraxia is uncommon with tic disorders.

Echo phenomena (echo speech or echolalia) are also reported, although less frequently. These may include repeating word of others (echolalia), repeating ones own words (palilalia), and repeating movements of others. Neither coprolalia/copropraxia or echolalia is necessary for the diagnosis of Tourette syndrome. However, for a confirmed diagnosis of TS both involuntary movements and vocalizations must be present.

Although the symptoms of TS vary from person to person and range from very mild to severe, the majority of cases fall into the mild category. Co-occurring conditions can include ADHD/ADD, impulsivity, and obsessive compulsive behavior. There is usually a family history of tics, Tourette Syndrome, and/or ADHD, and/or OCD. Tourette Syndrome and other tic disorders occur in all ethnic groups. Males are affected 3 to 4 times more often than females.

Most people with TS and other tic disorders will lead productive lives. There are no barriers to achievement in their personal and professional lives. Persons with TS can be found in all professions. ”

MY WORDS:

Tourette’s makes me:

1) move my body uncontrollably
2) make uncontrollable sounds
3) make Tourette’s jokes in a socially acceptable manner (kidding)
4) sensitive to other people with disabilities
5) AWESOME

Tourette’s does NOT make me

1) say curse words- UPDATE- yes it does
2) weird
3) a freak
4) “disabled”
5) unemployed

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Musings of a proud nerd, showtunes junkie and future special educator who just happens to have Tourette syndrome

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