- Tourette's syndrome is an uncommon inherited neurological condition characterized by symptoms like tics, involuntary movements and sounds that are often misunderstood.
- Tourette's Awareness Day hopes to raise awareness and to offer support and understanding to persons suffering from this disorder.
The Importance of Tourette's Awareness Day
The symptoms of Tourette's syndrome
can range from simple to complex but are almost always characterized by motor as well as vocal tics that occur repetitively.
A common misconception is that persons with Tourette's syndrome are given to uncontrollable swearing. In fact only about 10 percent of TS patients have a swearing tic
referred to clinically as coprolalia.
The involuntary vocal and motor tics and other associated symptoms often make these individuals misunderstood and consequently could lead to social ostracizm; this impacts them psychologically as well as economically as they may find it difficult to obtain sustained employment. Performance at school may also be affected with far-reaching consequences.
‘Tourette’s syndrome (TS) patients need support and understanding, not pity.’
It is therefore important that the general population including parents, teachers, employers and people like you and me are made aware of and educated on this condition.
It is time we learn to look at and treat affected persons with kindness and understanding,
and help to make their life better by not discriminating against them.
What is Tourette's Syndrome?
As stated earlier, TS is an inherited neurological disorder
characterized by involuntary movements and sounds. Other associated conditions include anxiety, depression, anger, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and sleep issues.
Symptoms begin early in childhood and are more common in boys. The exact cause of Tourette's Syndrome is still unknown.
Once a diagnosis is made, treatment involves medications to reduce tics, psychological
counseling and cognitive behavioral therapies to control symptoms. Occasionally, surgery
may be required to address severe Tourette's syndrome.
How We Can Help Persons With Tourette's Syndrome?
is a charity organization based in the UK that hopes to drive home the message about TS. Here is how we can help by raising awareness and educating people about TS.
- In 2017, the Tourette's Awareness campaign urges people to download the Tourette's Awareness twibbon and make it their profile image. Or take a winking selfie (a common tic in TS) and make it their profile picture to spread Tourette's awareness.
- Use the social media constructively to create and spread awareness about this condition.
- Help children and persons who are not yet diagnosed to seek medical advice.
- Make teachers and fellow students at school show support and encouragement to children with TS.
- Research has shown that adolescents with TS had more negative experiences when the teachers or fellow students were unaware of the condition, thereby underscoring the need for creating awareness.
- Improve employment opportunities for persons with TS according to their disability.
- Prevent them from being discriminated against due to their disability.
- We can donate, raise funds or even volunteer for the Tourette's Syndrome Awareness campaign.
- In fact, persons with TS can participate in ongoing and future Tourette's syndrome research programs to gain more insight and understanding into this condition.
- Families with children suffering from TS can post their experiences on social media and support others who are going through similar struggles. In fact, they can make videos and share their experiences of living with TS.
The ultimate goal of Tourette's Action and similar awareness campaigns is to enable persons with TS to be accepted socially, shown the support and understanding they deserve and to be allowed to lead a life of dignity.
- About TA - (https://www.tourettes-action.org.uk/61-about-ta.html)