Getting labeled actually leads to help for once

The Christmas season begins far to early in retail, but us ordinary folk keep doing what we normally do day in and day out. Sometimes thrown in to the mix is a trip to the hospital.

My 14-year-old has lived with his tics since he was about 5. It started with him poking chips into his neck before he ate them, then came facial tics and then verbal tics. I wasn’t upset by it but thought maybe it was a problem which occurred because he had had cancer the year before and had gone through months of chemotherapy.

I was assured by his oncologist that this was not the case and that she would refer him to a neurologist. She did, and we met this lovely doctor. This doctor told us that he probably had Tourette, but she didn’t want to give a firm diagnosis yet.

We saw her for a few years on and off, with the same probable diagnosis. She discharged him but said if at any time we needed to see her again in the future we must get straight in touch. Roll on 5 years. My son’s tics are mild, mostly, but still frustrating for him to the point he will hit himself (this worries me) to try and make them go away.

He has never had a day without them. He used to call them Tough Shit (TS); now he calls them nothing. He will be starting to prepare for his exams in just over 2 years soon.This means exams in big rooms full of people he would rather not be around. Hence, we are seeing his doctor again.

She has now confirmed that he has Tourette Syndrome, and suddenly instead of a little help from school and others, the label has opened up a whole deal of help. He is exactly the same person (no second head, third eye or a tail) doing the same things.

But I am thankful that an already supportive school can now do their job properly. He can now have a laptop in class because boy is his handwriting totally illegible. He will also, more importantly, do his exams in a private room — this was his main concern.

So taking time out from the normal has proved useful, but like his teacher said, just because it now has a confirmed label does not mean you have to be that label.


  1. You have your hands full and have been through a lot. But you’re so right- labels can help get us treatment we need. Keep writing! Andrea

  2. This is wonderful news. Congradulations on achieving this. It must feel like you’ve scaled a mountain. Cheers!

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