Friday, May 22, 2009

Tourette Syndrome - know this one?

ABC-TV showed a re-run tonight of its special on Tourette Syndrome, a neurological disorder affecting 1 in 1,000 children and affecting boys about three times as often as girls.

This was a powerful program that should be seen by every parent, school teacher, staff and administrator, family, because you will encounter a child or an adult with Tourette Syndrome.

The children in the program have extreme cases; many are not so severe.

Tourette Syndrome is marked by motor tics (twitching, involuntary movements of body, face, eyes, arms, head) and vocal tics, such as barking, squealing and shrieking. One of the tics is swearing, over which the child (or adult) has no control. He or she will just blurt out the words.

Several years ago a consultant told me she had encountered an executive in a major company whose employees complained to her about his swearing. At that time I was able to help her with basic information about Tourette Syndrome and steer her to the national association for this disorder, so that she could further educate herself and help her clients.

It is critical that teachers and other students understand this disorder, as well as other emotional and mental disorders, so that they accept and include these children.

For more information, go to the Tourette Syndrome Association website at

You might check and see whether this program can be viewed online. And the Tourette Syndrome Association may offer copies of this program for sale online or by telephone. Every school should own a copy of this program!

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