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?
Counting down toward No. 1, here’s No. 5:
I wish I had Tourette’s, too! Then I could go around swearing and saying anything I want to and I would never get in trouble!
From Jenn, a mother of two children living with TS:
This made me cry — just moved into our neighborhood… the lady over at the church whose husband is the pastor said she wished she had Tourette Syndrome to my son and I and then said because then she could take the Lord’s name in vain. In that moment I was shocked. I smiled at her as if to say I cant believe you said that… then I said I had to get going — thanks for the chat… and we left. My son was so upset and wanted to know why I didn’t say anything to her, especially since I always say something, but I looked at him and said there are some people that are not worth explaining to…
From Lauren, an adult living with TS:
I have actually had that comment made to me by a man who had his doctoral degree in social work, very educated. I explained to him that I was very hurt by what he said and I educated him about what it is like to have Tourette’s and that it is not just a cussing disorder. It was a good learning opportunity for him.
Look for No. 4 tomorrow. And in case you missed the ones that came before, here’s a list: