I've been meaning to write something about Tourette's for the longest time. With the annual Charity Walk coming up in June, I was reminded to get writing. Unfortunately, society as a whole has put a negative spin on a very devastating neurological disorder. There is no cure, and for those living with the condition, it can be a daily challenge. It is especially difficult when societal ignorance creates a stigma for those afflicted.
My husband of almost twenty years (August 29th) and my sweet little eleven year old son both have Tourette's Syndrome. Luckily, our oldest son and three daughters do not have the disorder. It's hard when your child comes up to you and asks, "Will they come up with a cure soon? I can't stand it any more, mom."
Julian in Cuba (Feb.2012)
Tourette's is rarely what is portrayed in movies. Most suffer from uncontrollable tics such as throat clearing, repetitive actions, and repetitive sounds. These are involuntary, which means the person realizes they've done something at the same time as anyone else in the vicinity. It does NOT affect intelligence. Julian stills surprises me with his skills in math and science.
My son has come home crying because it is so frustrating for him, and even teachers don't understand what he is going through. I've had to go to the school on numerous occasions to raise a little hell and enlighten the staff with medical literature. My husband has lived with this his whole life and hates to see his son go through the same battle—one that is life long.
There are numerous jokes going around, all make me cringe, but I don't blame individuals because most are unaware of what Tourette's Syndrome is. You can just imagine how this could affect a person on a job interview (it increases with anxiety), trying to 'fit in' during the school years, or court a girl. Imagine being the brunt of cruel jokes on a daily basis. It filters into every aspect of a sufferer's life, and there's nothing they can do about it.
Me and Marden (Feb.2012)
Love this pic!
Anyway, I have two more contracted books to complete, but starting in May I will be writing a western menage romance with a hero suffering from Tourette's Syndrome. I hope this will help spread some positive light to an audience that may not be informed otherwise. I'm very excited about the project, and I hope I do it justice. I plan to donate part of my royalties to the Canadian Tourette's Foundation.