This is the essay I submitted to the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome for their 2012 Children’s Scholarship Award contest. I hope you enjoy it! And here is my profile on the NJCTS website.
I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when I was 5 years old. This disorder plays a huge part in my life, but it helps me create my own identity. Tourette Syndrome is a challenge that I am still learning to cope with because it affects every day of my life. It makes my life harder in many ways, but I learn to cope with it.
I struggle day to day with my tics, both in and out of school. Luckily, I take medicine that helps with my Tourette. I think the medicines I am taking help subdue my tics to an extent in whcih I don’t have to suffer.
On occasion, my tics make it difficult for me to concentrate in school; however, I try my best and I am an honor roll student. I am starting to tell some of my good friends that I have Tourette, and they respect me for who I am. I was actually surprised at how accepting and understanding they were!
Just recently, I made a blog for myself regarding Tourette Syndrome, and I think it has made me aware that I could have had it much worse than what I have. The blog helps me express my thoughts about the disorder, and it also gives me important dates that are coming up within the Tourette Syndrome community.
Sometimes, when I come home from school and my tics are overwhelming, I just let them all out. In addition, it makes it difficult to complete homework or activities around the house.
Throughout school, I used a 504 plan. This plan gives me accommodations that help me in school. It gives me the opportunity to leave class when needed, an extra day to complete projects and major assignments, and an isolated room to take my midterms and finals with a proctor.
Although I generally only use the testing accommodations, I feel less pressure when large assignments are due, which helps me get them done on time without having to implement the 504 plan. I feel like this plan really helps me succeed in school, and I am very satisfied with it.
I am not ashamed that I have Tourette Syndrome. In fact, it makes me stronger as a person. My mother and I attend Tourette Syndrome meetings occasionally to express our thoughts and to learn more about the disorder. I give my family a lot of credit because they have to listen to my tics every day.
I feel like having Tourette Syndrome made me special and unique from everyone else. I am a happy person, and I don’t let Tourette Syndrome stop me from doing anything. I am excited to be starting college and looking forward to the life I will build for myself. Even though I struggle with Tourette, I am proud because it has helped shape me into a person I’m proud to be, but it doesn’t define who I am.