Props to my mom, plus another Tourette Syndrome question

My mom did an OUTSTANDING job on her presentation the other night about IEPs, 504s, and the IMPORTANCE of having an advocate come with you to your meetings. Mom, you are my INSPIRATION and I would not be the person I am today without you! Feel free to view her site at http://www.StarrAdvocacy.com/.

On another note, here is another question from a mother named Kim who posted on my Help Spread The Word About Tourette Syndrome Facebook page:

Hello, my son Aiden has TS. I have a question for you. Do or did you have a subject in school that would make make you tic? If so, how did you get through it? He’s in 5th grade, and they are introducing biology in his science class. He said talking about the body and the nervous system is too much. I totally understand why.

What do you think everyone? Can you help out Kim with some answers from your own lives? Both she and I would really appreciate it!

Vlogs: Everything related to Tourette Syndrome but the kitchen sink

  • One of the lesser known learning disabilities that can be associated with Tourette Syndrome is dysgraphia.
  • IEPs and 504s are powerful learning tools that people with TS and associated disorders can use to help make the education process easier.
  • Ignorant, truly uneducated “bad” teachers can make life very rough on a student who has TS.
  • But there are also some “good” teachers who truly get what it’s like to have TS and are all about helping students through that process.
  • Anxiety is a terrible thing to have, but it’s even worse when you have TS or OCD.
  • Panic attacks are an extension of anxiety. Learn how they can develop and the effect they can have on you.
  • Many, many people with Tourette Syndrome also suffer from OCD. See how it has affected me in this video.
  • Being bi-polar isn’t fun. In fact, it can turn into a manic condition.
  • Another aspect of being bi-polar is that it can turn into depression.

My scholarship essay: “Who Needs 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 was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when I was 5 years old. This disorder plays a huge part in my life, but it helps me create my own identity. Tourette Syndrome is a challenge that I am still learning to cope with because it affects every day of my life. It makes my life harder in many ways, but I learn to cope with it.

I struggle day to day with my tics, both in and out of school. Luckily, I take medicine that helps with my Tourette. I think the medicines I am taking help subdue my tics to an extent in whcih I don’t have to suffer.

On occasion, my tics make it difficult for me to concentrate in school; however, I try my best and I am an honor roll student. I am starting to tell some of my good friends that I have Tourette, and they respect me for who I am. I was actually surprised at how accepting and understanding they were!

Just recently, I made a blog for myself regarding Tourette Syndrome, and I think it has made me aware that I could have had it much worse than what I have. The blog helps me express my thoughts about the disorder, and it also gives me important dates that are coming up within the Tourette Syndrome community. Continue reading

A rough day and an unacceptedly mean teacher

I had a rough day of tics yesterday, and I was yelping loudly and jerking my body pretty violently in a good majority of my classes. It was a long, long day and not a very fun one. I only have three more days left of official classes as a senior at my high school, and I have SOOOO much work — tests, projects, essays, exams and much more.

It is a very stressful time, so no wonder my tics are bad right now. To make matters worse, I had an incident with one of my teachers (Ms. P) that made me feel very self-conscious and frustrated.

Ms. P is very, very strict and gets mad when people try to leave to go to the bathroom during class. In my specialized learning plan, though, it specifies that if I need to leave the room when I am having a lot of tics that I can – no questions asked.

Sometimes my tics just get really bad in class and I need to walk around, get a drink of water and/or go somewhere to really let my tics out. The problem is that Ms. P is just so used to me yelping and jerking in class that I think she must have forgotten about this accommodation. Continue reading

Leveling the playing field

Up until the seventh grade, I had been the perfect “A” student for my entire life. I always had the top test grades, best class participation and the teachers loved me.  However, once I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, I found that all of these qualities were slowly slipping away.

As the “accelerated level” and “honors” courses became available to me, there was a drastic change of pace and level of difficulty.  The rigorous work, combined with me coping with my Tourette Syndrome in class, became a struggle.  My grades dropped, I lacked attention in class and the teachers began to notice it.

I missed important things that the teachers were saying, which before I had no problem with.  I felt that there was no way out, and that Tourette’s had taken over. I was ready to raise the white flag.

After getting the first “C” in my life on a report card, panic began to set in for my mom, who was about to become my biggest advocate.  Being still young at the time and unsure of my situation, she went into school and met with my teachers to talk to them about what was going on.

Being mostly unaware at the time of the several accommodations that the state makes available to us in school, she mainly sought a middle ground and understanding with my teachers. Continue reading