Some days in our lives we have to wake up and smell the coffee. We have to pull our heads out of our asses and face reality. This can be extremely tough to do, but wouldn’t you rather smell coffee than your colon?
My precious and brilliant son was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome a week and half ago. I’ve always felt deep down inside that he’s had it. We’ve gone through countless tests and doctors and received so many different answers. This is partially due to the fact that Tourette’s symptoms don’t usually appear until around the age of seven or eight. He’s had involuntary movements, otherwise known as “tics” since he was only eight months old. I don’t know why I feel so relieved. Shouldn’t I be devastated? No, the answer is no. Maybe now I can face the reality and recognize the fact that this sweet, funny, remarkably smart kid has a neurological disorder and now I know what it is. The unfortunate part is that it has a…stigma. In other words, people don’t understand it and many people tend to be afraid of what they don’t understand. No, he does not yell out cuss words. That’s something that television and movies have used to sensationalize Tourette’s in order to make money. The whole cussing thing is very rare with Tourette’s. It’s me, his mother who yells out the cuss words, remember?
Yes, he shakes his hands. Yes, he sometimes has to touch things with his chin or two fingers. Yes, he occasionally blinks and gets caught in a stare. Yes, he skips when he walks. Yes, he is wonderful. Yes, he is amazing. Yes, he is always two steps ahead of me and gets through life in a different way. I am so lucky to be his mother. His family is so lucky to be his family. His friends are so lucky to be his friends. This is because we all have the privilege of getting to know someone who can experience the world in a way we never will be able to. He has wonderful friends who see him as their buddy, not a kid who has Tourette’s. He is perfect. I would not change him if I could. He’s just an awesome little boy who loves Skylanders, loves his friends, and loves The Miami Heat. His spirit is bigger than any diagnosis he could ever have.
I would like to add that I think people should learn about kids (and people in general) who are different. It’s time that the world starts trying to adapt to people who are different, instead of expecting them to always adapt to “our” world. Besides, was it ever really “ours” to begin with?
Disclaimer: If anyone out there (who is old enough to know better) stares, laughs, or points at my child or any other child who has something different about them in anyway and I happen to catch it…I will break every fucking bone in every fucking limb of their stupid fucking body. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, everybody is somebody’s somebody. He is a lot of people’s somebody, especially mine…
~Love to all
Kristen (aka luckiest mom ever)
I know I have said that I don’t like to write about things are too personal. However, after a lot of soul-searching and talks with my family, we have decided that advocating for kids with Tourette’s Syndrome is part of our responsibility and we are honored to do so.