None of Jim’s kids have Tourette syndrome.
The early symptoms of TS are almost always noticed first in childhood, with the average onset between the ages of 7 and 10 years. TS occurs in people from all ethnic groups; males are affected about three to four times more often than females. It is estimated that 200,000 Americans have the most severe form of TS, and as many as one in 100 exhibit milder and less complex symptoms such as chronic motor or vocal tics or transient tics of childhood. Although TS can be a chronic condition with symptoms lasting a lifetime, most people with the condition experience their worst symptoms in their early teens, with improvement occurring in the late teens and continuing into adulthood.
My tics got worse when I was in a setting (like school or a movie or church) that was more quiet or controlled. I didn’t want to be a distraction in these times so I tried to hold my tics in, but the more I tried, the worse they got.
I never had a problem with hitting because I could hold the tics in for the few seconds it takes a pitcher to throw a pitch.
I didn’t react very much because I didn’t know why I did these things. I would usually just walk away or ignore them, and try to avoid those situations the best I could.
I was teased as a kid. They called me names like ‘snorky’ and ‘spaz’. Other kids would also mimmic my tics.
Some of my tics were eye blinking, facial grimaces, jerking head to one side or the other, sniffling, coughing, clearing throat, shoulder shruggs, and rolling my stomach.