Top 5 Myths About Tourette Syndrome (TS)

Myth #1 All people with TS curse like a sailor especially when at church.

Fact: Only a small percentage of people who have TS have this symptom which is called coprolalia and most of those people try to suppress this tic by saying a different word that starts with the word they want to say. Perhaps Ralphie from A Christmas Story had TS. Ohhhhhhh, Fuuuuuuuuuuudddge.

Myth #2 TS is a mental illness.

Fact: (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by tics: involuntary, rapid, sudden movements or vocalizations that occur repeatedly in the same way. The cause has not been established and as yet there is no cure.

Myth #3 People with TS could control their symptoms if they wanted to.

Fact: TS symptoms such as physical and vocal tics are completely involuntary, and can only be controlled for very short periods of time and then they must be released. Stress and fatigue can make the tics even more difficult to suppress. Imagine having fire ants set up shop in your boxer briefs and then try not to react. Then imagine how you would feel when someone says you really should be able to control yourself.

Myth #4 People with TS can’t do jobs that require fine motor skills or become skilled athletes.

Fact: Dr. Matt Doran, a Canadian surgeon, and Jim Eisenriech, a major league baseball player who took the fledgling Florida Marlins to win the World Series, would beg to differ.

Myth #5 TS is extremely rare.

Fact: It is estimated that 1 in 100 children have TS which is a higher prevalence rate than Autism.

So why don’t you know about it? I guess it’s just not getting the attention it deserves and unfortunately that means that kids dealing with TS have to endure misdiagnosis, trials of potent pharmaceuticals that were never intended to treat TS and the world around them who either think they are intentionally trying to be annoying or just weird. So that is where I come in. My son has TS and I plan to spread the word to as many people as I can. TS has no cure and that’s not ok.

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