"My name is Elizabeth Klein; I am 19 years old, and go to college at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County.
I was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome in 2004 but have had tics since I was a little sprout.
My tics like to cycle, and over the years I have had blinking, muscle clenching, shoulder shrugging, head bobbing, exhaling, breath holding, chirping, and other various tics.
The hardest part is when I’m in stressful classes and my tics spike – it’s loud, people sneak glances at me, and I get headaches from a few of my more troublesome tics.
Despite being in almost constant motion I am very good at crafting jewelry and figures out of paper, clay, wire, almost anything – most of my jewelry and holiday gifts are handmade. I’m also a very avid reader. I love to read and craft, and when I get really absorbed my tics tend to lessen in intensity.
One thing I would love for others to know about TS is that it is a part of me, like a large, very visible mole. I’ve had it since I was small and have learned to live with it. It bugs others more than it bugs me, and I’m usually not aware of it unless people bring it to my attention or I’ve had a particularly stressful day. Another thing others should know is that people with TS are all different – not one of us has exactly the same symptoms and tics and not all of us are affected the same way."