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.
I was teased as a kid. They called me names like 'snorky' and 'spaz'. Other kids would also mimmic my tics.
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.
My child is getting bullied. How can I help?
Bullying is a serious problem that we hear about all too frequently from parents and children. We believe that bullying has long-term and lasting effects on everyone involved, including parents. Nothing is more painful than to know that your child is being bullied and to feel helpless to know how best to respond.
As a young boy, Jim was bullied. I think he may have felt much the same as your child - hoping that it would get better and not wanting to draw any more attention. Unfortunately, the messages Jim and all of the other children who are bullied often say to themselves is negative. "I must not be ok. Other kids don't like me. I must be bad."
Please know that bullying is not ok. It is not acceptable behavior at any stage of a child's development. While it is important that schools get involved to support children that are being bullied, it is often depended on the parents to provide their child with the specific tools necessary to combat bullying.
We have found several resources that are effective, authentic and helpful. SuEllen Fried of Prairie Village, Kansas has studied the topic of bullying for many years. We find her advice very sound. She has co-author a book on bullying with Blanche Sosland "Banishing Bullying Behavior" (Rowman & Littlefield Education), and she gives anti-bullying seminars in schools around the country. www.bullysafeusa.com
You can also visit www.stopbullying.gov and download our resource guides for educators and administrators to learn about tools for coping with Tourette Syndrome.
I hope you find these resources helpful.
Board Member, Jim Eisenriech Foundation for Children with Tourette Syndrome
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.
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.
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.