Recently I came into contact with a mother whose son suffers from Tourettes and when I read one of her posts concerning it, I was moved to do a blog myself on this syndrome. I’m going to give a brief explanation first of all.
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. The disorder is named for Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, the pioneering French neurologist who in 1885 first described the condition in an 86-year-old French noblewoman.
Simple tics: Simple motor tics are sudden, brief, repetitive movements that involve a limited number of muscle groups. Some of the more common simple tics include eye blinking and other vision irregularities, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Simple vocalizations might include repetitive throat-clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds.
There is more to this syndrome in the way of symptoms; some of which are more severe or complex…. If you want more detail I’ll give a link here
The reason for writing about it, however is not just to list a lot of detail but to say that I was touched by a glimpse into the life of a little boy who has it. A little boy who goes to school and is teased and bullied incessantly and who doesn’t know what to do about it.
Children can be cruel when they see someone who isn’t the same, and who don’t know the reason that their schoolmate does what he does; like jerking his head or blinking his eyes a lot. Each person has the syndrome at different levels. Usually it starts when the child is young, and sometimes it will disappear as they get older. Sometimes the tics can be controlled somewhat but often times not.
Of course I have seen those with this condition on occasion while shopping or on other occasions. And if there is a sound emitted I do look of course, because I don’t know where the sound is coming from. But when I see, I then continue with what I’m doing and do not continue to stare, anymore than I would stare at someone with a disfigurement or disability of some kind. This was taught to me growing up from my mother. It’s called ‘sensitivity’ but unfortunately there are many who do stare and make comments under their breath. They are just plain rude and ignorant.
Anyway, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to talk about and maybe we can help in doing so. I’m giving you a link to the blogger I mentioned if you want to read her and her son’s story from their perspective.
Note: I found it interesting that there is no spell-check for Tourettes. That I think in itself says something.