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10 Ways to Respect Children & Adults with Tourette Syndrome: No. 6

Hey everyone! I have decided to make a blog called “10 Ways to Respect Children and Adults With Tourette’s Syndrome”.

I feel like it’s not just important to tell others what shouldn’t be said, but that it’s also very important to follow this up with things that should be said and things that are helpful and supportive. This is important so that others without Tourette’s don’t shy away from talking about it all together, but instead know ways they can acknowledge Tourette’s by being helpful, supportive and accepting without being offensive.

So counting down toward No. 1, here is No. 6:

Asking questions instead of staring.

From Jenn, the mother of two children living with Tourette’s Syndrome:

I can understand when someone glances over at my children when they tic. A quick glance to acknowledge your surroundings and be sure nothing wrong is occurring is acceptable. However, when you stare too long, it makes things worse.

Not too long ago my daughter was outside of our pediatrician’s office on the ground with full-blown tics. Two people were nearby, one leaving the office and one entering. The one leaving had a child with them. The child said hello. Sam didn’t answer, and the parent made a rude comment about how disrespectful she was for not saying hello in return.

The other parent came toward me and had a look of anger and terror, and asked me what one earth I was doing to my child. I turned to her and said she has Tourette Syndrome and was ticcing. She apologized and walked inside where shortly after she came out to see if we needed anything.

The bottom line is that I was left sad and angry. I wasn’t hurting my child, she wasn’t on display for people to watch as though in a circus nor was she rude. She was, however, in physical and we both were in emotional pain. So to sum it up: People can respect us by not bringing any attention to the fact she has TS.

Look for No. 5 tomorrow. And in case you missed the ones that came before, here’s a list:

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RuthieP

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