May 15-June 15th is Tourette Syndrome Awareness month. A diagnosis of Tourettes is made usually before the age of 18, when a child exhibits at least one motor tic and one verbal tic, for a period of at least one year. There are many comorbidities that are often present with TS, most commonly ADD/ADHD or OCD.
Our diagnosis was made at the age of 5, but in retrospect our son’s tics started as early as age 3. Like many tics and new onset TS, G-man’s first tics were mistaken for respiratory symptoms that mimicked asthma or even a cardiac defect. Many children are first misdiagnosed with either asthma or vision disturbances. The behavioral component (ours is OCD with strong anxiety), has been ever-present; I’ve said since he was born that he was “wired differently” or, unfortunately, “difficult” (I’m being frankly honest). Certainly after the twins came along and I had a “neurotypical” reference point, it was CLEAR that something was, in fact, different.
Different, difficult, “wired differently”…. Whatever. My son is PRECIOUS, and now I have the education and resources I need to parent him in the best manner possible. All the puzzle pieces fit nicely, and it all makes sense!
Please visit the Tourette Syndrome Association website for more information about this wildly misunderstood diagnosis.