Ken Shyminsky, a former vice president of the Greater Toronto Chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada, draws upon his personal experiences as an teacher and student with Tourette Syndrome to help children with TS and related disorders. He also has Tourette himself and is the founder of the website Neurologically Gifted.
In case you missed them, part 1 of this series discussed the nature of coprolalia. Part 2 talked about coping with coprolalia. And part 3, mentioned some action steps you can take when dealing with coprolalia.
Myth: Children with coprolalia come from homes where they are exposed to obscene language and/or inappropriate material.
Children who have neurological differences with the symptom of coprolalia have brains that work atypically. Despite often being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, children with ADD or ADHD are not lacking in attention ability, but their attention works differently than a typical child.
A typical child’s attention manages their environment by attending to what is important, (or what they are directed to), in the particular immediate situation. A child with ADD/ADHD has attention but it most often easily drawn outside the immediate situation and the child is said to be highly distracted.
It is not an attention deficit at all but rather the inability to focus that attention where it should be. Often attention is drawn to and captured by what is brightest, what is loudest and what is most inappropriate. There attention flickers through all the available stimuli and if it settles it will do so on language, actions and social situations that are most different, most exciting and socially taboo or inappropriate.
Actually the diagnosis Attention Deficit Disorder is misleading. Ask any parent who’s ADHD child can play video games or watch TV for hours but can’t attend long enough to brush their teeth properly. This phenomena is called hyper focusing and very common in ADHD children. To further add to this, it is easy to focus on things that are interesting, exciting or unusual to us. It takes mental maturity, skill and focussed attention to attend to things that we find boring.
So, the stage is set. Continue reading