What are some of your tics?
I drum on everything. I also punch my jaw, crack my jaw, flip my hair in front of my eyes, touch everything, sometimes I punch my legs. I repeat my thoughts and if I am told to stop, I have to do it one more time. I make noises like clearing my throat. I also have this throat tic that makes me swallow before I eat. I also rub my eyes.
What's the hardest part of having Tourette's?
Idon't like not being able to stop my tics. I don't like when other people tell me to stop my tics because I can't stop them and then I am treated like I am bad or something.
Do you think they're a positive side to having Tourette's?I have my sister who has TS and we get along and understand each other. My mom and dad understand too. I have not met anyone my age yet but my mom is looking.
What do you want others to know about TS?
I can not control my tics. Being asked to stop or told to stop only makes my tics worse. I am not a bad kid.
Do you have associated conditions?
I have OCD and anxiety. I also have sensory tics. I have to touch everything and I have to finish things and I don't like when my mom leaves during the day or night.
Do you take medication? Has it helped?
I have not tried any medicine yet. I know it did not help my sister and I saw her tics get worse. I don't want that. I do yoga with my mom and sister. Oh we both take melatonin to help us sleep.
Have you ever been bullied or teased because of your TS?I have not been picked on by kids. My teacher did not understand TS and she was punishing me at school even though my mom tried many times. I was just taken out of school until we move. My teacher made my tics worse.
When do you tic the most? the least?
I tic when I am nervous. My teacher always made me aware of my tics and always told me to stop. She even moved me from my seat because I could not stop but that just made me worse. I tic at bed time and in public places.
What would you say to someone who was just diagnosed?
To make sure your school understands what you have or you will not have a good time in school.
To hear more of Andrew's story and the stories of others like him, keep an eye out for the upcoming documentary, Out of Our Control. The documentary features 18 people just like Andrew who live with TS every day and their opinion on what it's like to have it.