Please Clear Your Schedules At 10pm Eastern Tonight

I consider this blog a humor blog.  So there are lots of things, not so humorous, that go on in our family, and don’t make it here onto the Topsy-Techie annals.  One of the things that, up to now, has been mysteriously absent from my posts, is the mention of Tourette Syndrome.  Tourette Syndrome is used as a humor mechanism in the media almost weekly.  Anytime someone has a profanity-laced episode, or tirade, the media will laughingly yuck it up as somehow related to TS.  Tourette’s is used in daily life as a “funny” way to refer to any outbursts that people can’t control.  This has been going on for decades.  The problem is, that for those who are actually living day-to-day with Tourette’s Syndrome, it’s really not that funny at all.

Our 14 year old has been living with Tourette’s for the last nine years.  There have been days of agonizing pain from ongoing tics, nights of lost sleep from a body that just wouldn’t get still enough to rest, tears of hurt because of someone’s stares or outright bullying, and years of hope that someday someone would find a cure.  But not a whole lot of humor – – at least not the kind the media finds so appealing.  We have found ways to laugh at ourselves and our interesting ways of dealing with this condition that so interjects itself into almost every aspect of our son’s life.  We have laughed at people’s helplessly pathetic reactions to something they know so little about.  And we have laughed at the idea that TS will ever limit our son from doing anything he wants to do in life. 

But we will never find Tourette Syndrome itself as something to joke about.  I am interrupting my normal humor blog posting, because I am desperately hoping you never will either.  Tonight, on ABC’s Primetime Live at 10:00 pm Eastern, you will encounter four girls who will make you understand why TS is no laughing matter.  I plead with every one of you who reads this blog to watch tonight’s program, and educate yourself on the true facts about living with Tourette Syndrome.  The ups…the downs…the ins…and the outs of life with TS.  You will come away educated, and then, by God’s grace, you will be able to educate someone else.  And, with all that is in me, I pray that the cycle will continue.  Because the more people who understand Tourette Syndrome, the less likely they will be to use it as a punch line at their next BBQ.  And the closer we will be to having empathy with one other, to accepting each others differences, and to creating a better world.  I beg you to watch tonight, and to think of my son as your eyes are opened.  Yes, he has Tourette Syndrome, but it does not have him. 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Topsy-Techie blog….thanks for your patience during this interruption!


4 Responses

  1. Thank you for posting this! I’m going to be watching tonight. The oldest daughter of one of our best friends has tourettes. We know how frustrating it can be for the child and the parents. Our oldest is a stutterer, something many people poke fun at as well. That just burns my butter :^[

    Kathy D.

  2. {{{{HUGS}}}} to you and your family for having to deal with other people’s ignorance. We’ll definitely be watching tonight. I remember Cody and I watched an episode of Oprah a few years back that had kids of varying ages talking about what life was like with Tourette’s. I remember being shocked at how they were often treated by strangers.

  3. As the mom of a child with Down syndrome, I have similar concerns about the common use of the word “retard” as a put-down. We all need to think who we may be hurting with our careless words. Thanks for a great post.

  4. Barrelful — We are all so unique, so diverse, I can’t understand why we don’t embrace our differences, instead of turning them into fodder for teasing.

    FM — TS can appear unusual to someone who isn’t used to it, that’s why shows like this are so great…because they educate!

    GG–you know what is interesting? When I was young, and first heard the term “retard”, it bugged me even before I knew what it meant! Somehow my instincts told me it was a word that shouldn’t be in my vocabulary…

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