Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month

Tourette Syndrome Association

I saw someone wearing a blue ribbon today and asked them why. They told me that it was because of National Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month and that their 9 year old son had Tourettes. He told me how his son was sort of an ambassador for Tourettes and spoke to classrooms about it. He also mentioned how they were raising money for families with children who have Tourettes to go to a camp where the parents would learn about the disease while the kids just played. I told him about my experience with it. I hadn't talked about it in maybe 30 years.

Aside from having Aspergers, growing up I also had a mild case of Tourettes (limited to mostly facial tics), stuttered and was slightly OCD. After decades of working on it I managed to mostly control the tics and stuttering; but, it made it tough growing up. I never talk about it to anyone as it was very embarrassing to me. Hearing about how this young man talking about it to classes really impressed me. He also writes about it online. The funny thing was after discussing my own experience with it I started thinking about it again and it made me nervous that it might trigger an episode. I really only deal with it if I am really anxious.

Growing up my mother would tell me to stop doing it or that it would become a habit. She didn't understand it and truthfully neither did I. When you tell someone with Tourettes to stop it, they just get more anxious and it gets worse. Even after all these years of controlling it, I don't like to think or talk about it and here is this little kid talking about it to strangers.

The really funny thing is that I can talk about Aspergers, being molested once as a kid, having Herpes and just about anything else; but, I couldn't even allow myself to think about having facial tics as a kid. It was embarrassing to me because I didn't have control over my own body and it frustrated me. I decided to write about it in case my readers know someone with it and hopefully some of you will check out the link and become more familiar with it. Hearing this young man's story inspired me. I think there a lot of young people that even old coots like me can learn from and the following link is to another inspiring young lady who recently died from cancer.

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