Sometimes ignorance has nothing to do with bliss

My husband recently shared with me a conversation that he had with a person who posted a comment on our first Tourette’s interview. More often than not, the comments are positive and supportive. However, there will always be ignorant people who just don’t get it despite our best efforts to educate others and encourage an attitude of acceptance.

This particular viewer questioned our decision to call Jacob “normal” and proved to us that some people just aren’t worth engaging.

*Ignoramus: Why call him normal if he has a disorder?

warner13: I call my son Jacob normal because he IS normal. Yes, he has Tourette’s, but that does not define him. A lot of us have problems. Tourette’s is his. What is yours? I think it’s important to recognize and appreciate that we are all different, and it’s these differences that make us who we are as a society and culture. Hate and intolerance are things we learn as adults so we have a lot to learn from our children.

Ignoramus: My problems are unimportant. I find it strange that you would consider him normal when his disorder keeps him from being just that. We’re all a little different in our own ways, and I don’t think that anyone is normal. I have nothing against your son and I find it extremely offensive that you would associate my comment with hate and intolerance.

warner13: I find your comment about Jacob not being normal equally as offensive as you find my comment about those that hate or are intolerant. You are right about one thing. We are all different in our own ways, so why make the comment in the first place if you feel like no one is “normal”?

Ignoramus: My point is this: If you keep telling your son that his behavior is “normal” he’ll find himself in multiple situations where people aren’t so accepting, and when he ends up having one of his tics people will see him differently. By telling him he is normal you are telling him he can act like everyone else, which is false. Your son needs to understand that.

warner13: We don’t tell Jacob that his tics are normal. He knows they aren’t. What we DO tell him is that everyone has challenges. His are more obvious than others because he has tics. You’re not qualified to talk on the subject of what my son needs. Maybe when you become a parent of a special needs child you’ll understand…or maybe not. Until then I encourage you to build kids up rather than attempt to tear them down. We teach Jacob to accept others how they are. Why can’t you?

Ignoramus: I accept him as much as any other person. You, on the other hand, are an idiot. Why can’t you understand what I’m trying to get across? The doctors must have fed you all this P.C. lingo, huh?

warner13: Disappointing. I was hoping you wouldn’t take the low road by name calling but I guess I should have expected it. Too bad you feel the way you do. I understand what you’ve been saying. I just don’t agree and think it’s easy to talk about things you know nothing about. Our goal for posting the video and for being active in the TS community is to educate and teach tolerance to people. Sometimes it works and sometimes not.

Ignoramus’ comments confuse me. Why can’t Jacob act normal? Should he go around acting as if he doesn’t fit in anywhere, therefore making him stand out even more? Clearly this viewer has issues of his own.

Why in the world would I choose to focus on those things that make Jacob different in a potentially uncomfortable way, rather than encourage him to live his life like every other 14-year-old?

Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but sometimes it’s nothing more than self-inflicted stupidity.

*Name has been changed to protect the ignorant.


  1. This person sounds a lot like someone I know. I hope they didn’t find your post via my links for TS awareness! From his comments to me, it seems like he thinks all these disorders are all in people’s heads. If we would just not put up with them as parents and teachers, TSers would learn to behave normally. My son has mild tics, so i understand sorta why he might think that, but he really just has no clue. My hope was that he would learn something, but it seems that some people like to simply form fast and strong opinions on something and defend them doggedly. Very frustrating.

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