Tourette Syndrome is often characterized in society by an inability to control one’s language, which relates to consistent and uncontrollable swearing. The truth couldn’t be further from this perception. Only 1% of kids have some form of Tourettes and less than 10% of those kids with a confirmed diagnosis have coprolalia, or uncontrolled swearing. Here are some more interesting facts about this syndrome to think about as well.
1. Tourettes causes tics in every case.
People who have this syndrome have uncontrollable tics that make them have sudden movements. It may also cause sudden sounds to be emitted or have twitches that fire off randomly. These tics are not something that can be controlled, including the sounds that are sometimes made by them. It is true that some people have the ability to suppress their tics for a prolonged period of time, but eventually they have to release them because of the energy build-up that occurs.
2. No case of Tourettes is exactly the same.
Every person with this syndrome is going to have their own unique tics. It’s often compared to snowflakes. Two snowflakes will look the same, but they won’t have the same structure. That’s how Tourettes is on the human body. Many people may seem to have similar tics, but they are completely different.
3. It’s common for other conditions to be present.
About 80% of the population that has Tourettes will have some other condition that affects their behavior. Forms of ADD/ADHD, panic disorders, SPD, and even OCD are known to be present and co-existing. This can make it extremely difficult for the disorder to be effectively treated. All components that are present must be treated and some symptoms are shared by multiple disorders.
4. A person’s tics might be simple or they may be complex.
It is very possible for Tourettes tics to involve multiple body parts at the same time. When this occurs, it almost looks like a seizure is happening. Others may experience simple ticks that may involve just one body part and could be as simple as a solitary muscle twitch. Some medications, like baclofen, can help to control muscle stiffness that occurs during the tics, but a person’s tics can also evolve over time and resist treatment.
5. Tourettes isn’t a developmental disability.
The population that has this syndrome actually has a higher than normal intelligence quotient when compared to the general population. Kids struggle because they try to suppress their ticks while trying to learn and this causes them to focus less on the lessons being taught. Tic suppression is also physically exhausting, which further hampers a child’s ability to learn.
Tourettes isn’t a condition that someone would choose. Since there are no treatments or cure available, it is a disorder that can sometimes make hope difficult to find. With increased knowledge about Tourettes and awareness of what people who have this syndrome need, we can all provide a better environment where learning can be achieved.