Saturday, December 10, 2011

TSA Teen Pizza Night

Just got back from the TSA teen pizza night! I'm really glad I went. In total 6 teens showed up. A 12 year old boy who came from an hour and a half away just to come to the meeting, three freshman boys, a freshman from a local college, and me!

Even though it was all boys, I was excited to be with a group of people who not only wouldn't even give me a second look if I started twitching and making noises but also twitch and make noises themselves. Everyone at the table was ticcing in some manner throughout the night and I felt right at home. I find it so fascinating that everyone with TS different and there are no two people with TS who are the same.

There were quite a variety of tics throughout the night from the teens: tongue thrusting and sticking out, shoulder rotating, head jerks, snorts, blinking, arm jerking, stomping, and facial grimacing to name a few. At one point we were all talking about Marc Elliot (Click here to see my previous experiance with Marc), and then Brad Cohen (Click here to see a video about Brad Cohen!), and then our diagnosis experiences.

One boy said he was diagnosed when he was young because he had to make shapes out of his hands and rotate his shoulders to make invisible X's in the air. Quite the creative tics! And another boy said he was diagnosed after his parents noticed he was hitting himself in the ear, hitting himself in the chest, and snapping a lot.

Anyway, we all had fun sharing stories and being around others who tic too. Its nice meeting people where the conversation doesn't have to start with explaining Tourette's. I was kind of disappointed because no one commented on my James Durbin wing necklace which came in the mail yesterday and which I wore specially for the night! I asked if any of them knew James Durbin, but they said they didn't. Oh well! I guess they weren't big American Idol fans.

The good thing is that since it turned out so well the head of the chapter told me that we should do the pizza night gatherings regularly! She said that every month that the chapter doesn't do an event like golf or bowling, they'll do a teen pizza night. The chapter really didn't have teen oriented events before and I'm so glad that they'll have one now. The whole thing was my suggestion and I feel really good about it because I know that even when I'm off in college there will be an opportunity for teens with TS in my state to meet others with TS. There will be a time (even if only for a few nights a year) where they don't have to worry about having to explain Tourette's, where they can be with other teens who understand what its like completely, and where they can just be themselves :) .

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