My scholarship essay: “A Significant Experience Dealing with Tourette Syndrome”

This is the essay I submitted to the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome for their 2012 Children’s Scholarship Award contest. I hope you enjoy it! And here is my profile on the NJCTS website.

I sat in my second-grade classroom during quiet reading time when an overwhelming urge took over my mind to release tension in the only way I knew how. I involuntarily forced myself to complete several body movements to satisfy myself for just a small amount of time, until the next compulsion returned.

I was born with Tourette Syndrome, a neurological disorder that is characterized by expressions of unwanted noises and body movements. this was my most significant experience because it changed the way I live my life.

Although I do not display the loud vocal tics that are normally associated with this disorder, I had had more than a dozen tics throughout my lifetime. Several of the motor tics include neck jerking, jaw stretching and cracking, and abdominal tensing. Throat clearing was one of the vocal tics I have displayed.

My Tourette was significantly worse when I was younger, and my teachers and peers noticed and frequently commented. Realizing that I was different from my peers was frustrating, and it made me wish I was “normal.” Continue reading