What are some things you shouldn’t say to a person when they tell you they have Tourette’s? For starters don’t say “Man! That’s so awesome! You can swear all the time and get away with it! I wish I had that!” What are other things you think people shouldn’t say?
This blog is going to start a top-10 countdown of the things you just shouldn’t say to someone who has TS. So what would you say in response to this comment from another person who you have told that you or your child had Tourette’s?
At long last, here’s No. 1:
You just need to exercise more, then you won’t be so hyperactive.
If that were true, then why do so many professional athletes still have TS? Although exercise helps, it will not cure TS. Same with removing nitrates and other processed food triggers — it will help, but will not cure the underlying disease.
From Kerri, a mother of a 13-year-old son with Tourette’s:
He (son, 13) is a runner & a swimmer. I’m sure he exercises more than you. It helps but does not make it go away.
From Jo, an adult living with Tourette’s:
I do two aerobics sessions a week, plus a busy, on-my-feet job. And I do voluntary work two mornings a week, am a single parent to two teenage boys — one with ADHD. I’d say I do my fair share of exercise… strangely I still have Tourette’s. Go figure.
Look for another top 10 list — ways to respect children and adults with Tourette Syndrome — next week. But for now, I will leave you with the other nine things in this list: