Monday, December 16, 2013

10 Ways to Respect Children and Adults With Tourette's Syndrome

1.  "Seeing the Tourette's an integral part, but only one part, of a human being."

2. "Treating them the same as you would anyone else." 

3. "Caring enough to educate yourself about what Tourette's Syndrome is."

From Jocelyn, a mother of a child living with Tourette's Syndrome: 

"This is my 12 year old son. He was diagnosed when he was in 3rd grade. We live in a small town in Texas. Hunter at that time had some very violent neck jerk tics. He was in a lot of pain. The drs had him on some heavy duty meds that made him so very tired. He slept during PE, recess, And free periods at school. They allowed him to sleep in the nurses office. Hunter maintained his A honor roll status throughout all of this. Our school administrators, sought out help to understand Hunter and his new needs. They found speakers to come to our school and explain to Hunters classmates what Tourette Syndrome was and how it effected Hunter. They fully embraced Hunter. I am forever grateful to our school for this. Our church raised money during VBS and gave it to the TSA. All VBS shirts had a teal ribbon printed on them. Our community brought awareness about TS and awareness brings education and education helps eliminate judgement. For this, I am grateful. It has made life so much easier for Hunter.  We have had teachers attended workshops to understand kids with TS, ADHD, OCD and other co-morbids. They wanted to do this. They sought out these workshops." 

4. "Teaching others (your friend's, family, peers, co-workers) that different is OK." 

From Heather, a mother of a child living with Tourette's Syndrome: 

"I am always a bit apprehensive before parent/teacher conferences.Gavin is turning 10 on Wednesday, 12/18. and was diagnosed at age 7. Last year, I met with Gavin's 3rd teacher and of course, his TS came up. She said sometimes Gavin will jump to his feet in class. The first couple times it surprised her until she realized that it was a tic so now when Gavin will jump to his feet, she tells the whole class to get up, jump around, turn around, and sit down. For me, that was so wonderful to hear. She turned it into a teachable encourage his comfort and self esteem. She didn't alienate him. She sort of made him to gauge to register "break time". And that made Gavin a hero!"

5. "Asking questions instead of staring" 

From Jenn, a mother of two children living with Tourette's Syndrome: 

"I can understand when someone glances over at my children when they tic - A quick glance to acknowledge your surroundings and be sure nothing wrong is occurring is acceptable.. however when you stare too long it makes things worse. Not too long ago my daughter was outside of our pediatricians office on the ground with full blown tics. Two people were near by.. one leaving the office and one entering. The one leaving had a child with them. The child said hello. Sam didn't answer and the parent made a rude comment about how disrespectful she was for not saying hello in return.. the other parent came towards me and had a look of anger and terror and asked me what one earth I was doing to my child. I turned to her and said she has Tourette Syndrome and was ticking. She apologized and walked inside where shortly after she came out to see if we needed anything. The bottom line is that I was left sad and angry. I wasn't hurting my child, she wasn't on display for people to watch as though in a circus nor was she rude.. she was however in physical and we both were in emotional pain. So to sum it up - people can respect us by not bringing any attention to the fact she has TS." 

6. "Not pitying them." 

7. "Not limiting them to a diagnosis—instead, giving them the tools and support to reach their highest potential."

8. "Not making any assumptions."

From a mother of a child living with Tourette's: 

"While my 9 yr old was "squeeking" in a grocery store, we had one person (out of 50) ask if I and if she were ok...out of genuine concern. Still the first and last time this happened to us. We were both so grateful. Her name is Charle - 9 yrs old and in 4th grade - TS, OCD, SPD (Sensory processing disorder) and Anxiety."

9. "Accepting, not just tolerating."

10.  "Understanding that it is our differences that make us individuals and make life interesting!"

From Jennifer, a mother of a child living with Tourette's: 

"My 9 yr old with ts had a friend in class write her a card that said how special she thought she was and how she wished she could twirl like she does - that is her "big tic" right now.Her name is Charle - 9 yrs old and in 4th grade - TS, OCD, SPD (Sensory processing disorder) and Anxiety."

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