The Tourette Syndrome (UK) Association was set up to support people with Tourette Syndrome (TS) and their families. TS usually starts in childhood, and consists of tics, involuntary movements or noises. Put like that, it doesn't sound too troublesome, but as the following stories show, TS can have a devastating impact on a child's self esteem and ability to benefit from education. The following stories have been told to us by our members. They - and their children - have given us their permission to tell you to help you understand how much TS children and families need help. We start with how hard it is to get a diagnosis and proper treatment.
Up to one in every hundred children is now thought to have a diagnosable form of TS. In many cases, the TS will be mild and cause no problems. More severe TS is another matter, and needs informed and professional support from teachers and others if a child is to realise his or her full potential.
Joe has had to develop his own coping methods at school, and has done very well. His SATS score was 3, even though he has ADHD and OCD in addition to his TS. But as his mother Alison says, if he had proper help, what might he really achieve?
Kyle's Mum Zoe visits or rings the school every week for Kyle. She kept him off school 3 times before she realised that the school preferred that to solving the bullying problem. Whether he stays at home or goes to school, Kyle's education is suffering at the hands of others.