The story that has been streaming out of LeRoy, N.Y., over the past couple of months has caught the attention of the entire nation: More than a dozen female students suddenly developed Tourette Syndrome-like symptoms, and no one has been able to fully explain it.
Many explanations have been offered – from mass hysteria created by news reports and social media, to “Conversion Disorder” to the possible lingering effects of an oil spill in the area more than 40 years ago – but as each day comes to close, there are more questions than answers.
Parents all over the country have expressed their opinion – anywhere from indifference to outrage – and those inside the tightly knit Tourette community are no different. Parents who frequent the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders’ (NJCTS) TSParentsOnline blog have been asked to weigh in with their thoughts on this case, and they have responded. Here is what a few of them have said:
“My 12-year-old Son has TS, and I know it is largely affected by stress. I don’t really agree with the whole ‘Conversion Disorder’ theory. I think it is quite possible that the group of students could be stressed out by a certain teacher, perhaps, and that could definitely cause it. I know it has for my son.” – Patrina D.
“It is very mysterious. Honestly, I think that it has to have a neurobiological component such as a propensity towards TS. Maybe they all have distant family members with TS or common co-morbid conditions such as OCD, anxiety, ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder?” – Holly M.
“I am a mental health professional and was furious that these girls were given a psychiatric diagnosis (i.e. mass hysteria). A doctor who was not able to come up with some sort of medical answer just came up with some Freud-like diagnosis. Too many people given air time who know not about what they speak!” – Gayle F.
Read more from these and other parents, plus participate in the discussion, at TSParentsOnline.