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Talking about Tourette, school by school

Hey guys! If you have been following my posts, you know that I was diagnosed with tics when I was 7. Ever since then, I have been talking to my classes about it, even in college! I think it is so important to spread awareness of Tourette Syndrome.

Now, I know some of you might think that it is better to keep it in, or are afraid to tell others for being bullied or harassed, but you have to realize that you are only hurting yourself. I used to get so sick and tired of telling people about my tics person by person. It was humiliating and annoying, having people come up to me and say, why are you doing that? And having to explain it to every… single… person.

So my dad and I thought of telling my classmates about it the next year. It went fantastic. At first, he would only speak, because I was shy about it, but over time I began talking more and more about it. And now, in college, I do it all on my own!

Now, some of you might be wondering what we would do. Well, we would choose one day to go around to all of my classes and talk to the students. In grades 3-5, we would wait for each period and then go to the class. But in middle school we went around to my classes in my team (that was how we split up so many kids per grade — we were either in 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d, or 6e). And in high school my dad would just wait in the guidance office with one of the guidance counselors who we were close with.

When going into the classroom, I would introduce myself and then tell them that I had Tourette and say what it was. My dad would then go on to talk about what it is like and some famous people such as Mozart and Tim Howard who had/have Tourette. The kids all found it very interesting. At the end, we would take questions. In college, I just go up to my classes and tell them about what it is.

The best way, I have found out, is to be open about it. You want people to learn about it and enlighten them on this disability.

It was actually pretty cool because recently, a friend of mine who is still in high school had a young man go to his school and talk about Tourette, and when asked how many people knew what Tourette was, he was able to raise his hand because of me. The man that had spoken was Marc Elliot. He had brought me home a book that Marc Elliot had written on his journey living with Tourette.

So you can do it, too! Do you have any questions for me?

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KatieD

One Comment

  1. It sounds like you live in New Jersey, too. You should go speak at or be a part of that thing that’s on here going on at Ramapo. Seems like a great opportunity for you.

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