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‘We might not be able to cure Tourettes but we can cure ignorance.’ Anonymous.

‘We might not be able to cure Tourettes but we can cure ignorance.’ Anonymous.

Posted Mon 19th Apr 2021 at 13:25
by Erin Byrne

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12 year old Erin talks about her experience of moving from primary to secondary school

Hi, my name is Erin and I am 12 years old. I have had undiagnosed Tourette Syndrome since I was 4.

Since then I have gone through a range of tics including sniffing, humming, coughing, neck twitching, eye rolling and squinting. At primary school, all of the teachers were very understanding because there was only a small number of them who taught me. Most of my class members were accepting but a couple of them used to say things like ‘Why are you doing that?’ and ‘Stop rolling your eyes at me!’ because at the time, eye rolling was one of my tics.

Last September, I moved up to secondary school. During the break, my mum spoke with the head of year and SENCO team to explain about it and they have helped tell my subject teachers about it. To help explain, I also made some cards to give out that said ‘Hi, my name is Erin. I have Tourette Syndrome. Tourette Syndrome is a neurological condition causing involuntary and uncontrollable motor and vocal tics.’ On the back I put what my main tics were and the Tourettes Action website. I have used them to explain to teachers and other students why I do these things and that I can’t control them.

When I gave my drama teacher a card, she stopped me and told me that she had it too and that hers are a lot more noticeable than mine. At school, I don’t really notice my tics because I am too busy focusing on work and teachers, however, I am sure that people around me probably notice them. I asked the girl next to me once if she noticed them and she said that she had started blocking them out and didn’t notice them anymore. I thought it was good that people around me had stopped noticing them and it made me feel less self-conscious about them. I would definitely recommend making cards or something similar to help you explain to people about it and just embrace your difference.

‘We might not be able to cure Tourettes but we can cure ignorance.’ Anonymous.


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