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Amy Smith

Posted Tue 2nd Nov 2021 at 15:28
by Amy Smith

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16 year old Amy shares her story

Hi, my name is Amy and I'm 16 years old.

I have Tourette syndrome, high anxiety, depression, non-epileptic seizures and I'm also autistic.

I got diagnosed with Tourettes last year, it was quite a shock to me and I felt very overwhelmed. Ever since I was little, I've always had very minor tics but I didn't really think anything of it at the time. As I got older, they started getting more and more frequent and I went from head twitches to leg and arm jerks, dropping things and saying things I didn't mean to say.

I didn't know what tics were until a couple of years ago and I remember watching other people who had tics/Tourettes and I couldn't ever imagine what it was like for them to go through that. Although I didn't realise at the time, I was having tics, whenever I used to watch these videos my neck would always twitch, now that I look back on it I realise that watching other people’s tics made me tic.

As an autistic person I struggle a lot with change and the thing I found the hardest about having tics is that tics can change all the time and there's no consistency. I'm slowly getting used to it now but it's hard for me to not be in control anymore.

I've had to adjust in so many different ways because of my tics and no two days are the same, so one day they could be as calm as anything but then the next day they could be really bad. I struggle to do daily tasks especially when I'm ticcing, sometimes I need someone with me to make sure I'm safe or other people must do stuff for me.

It's very hard not being able to do stuff for yourself or you have to limit what you can do because of your tics.

Going out can be quite a struggle and it sets my anxiety off because I'm always worried about people staring at me or saying horrible things to me about my tics. We can't help what we say or do, and we don't mean what we tic, it's completely involuntary.

One thing I wish people knew about tics and Tourettes is that we have no control over anything that happens to us, we don't mean to swear at you or say mean things to you, sometimes we try so hard not to let our tics out, but it makes them worse when we do.

So, if you see someone ticcing in public please be kind, don't make fun of them or make them feel bad just be kind and patient and try to understand that we really can't help it.


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