Well, our journey began just after my daughter Ally’s 9th birthday in February 2009. It came in the form of an e-mail from her 3rd-grade teacher, who was writing to inform me that over the last few weeks my daughter had been making noises during class. Among them were animal sounds and adding sound effects to stories she had been reading to the class.
The “AH-HA” moment came though at the end of the e-mail when the teacher wrote, “It does not look like she realizes that she is even making the sounds.” It was that sentence that connected all the dots for me:
- Things I had been seeing over the past year.
- All of the sudden movements I would see her do while sitting on my lap that I kept asking her if she was cold.
- The funny movements I observed her doing with her arms while playing in the backyard.
With that simple sentence, the word “Tourette” flashed in my head. I had been raised by a father who was a drug company rep and a mother who was a nurse, so my knowledge of medicine was more than your average parent. That day, I called and made an appointment with her pediatrician.
We were lucky the day we went for the visit because Dr. Patel, who is head of pediatrics at our local hospital, was in and was the doctor who examined her. He turned to me after the exam and said, “You probably already know what I’m going to tell you as to what I think it is?” I just shook my head acknowledging that I, too, suspected Tourette. Continue reading