FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TOURETTE SYNDROME IN PENNSYLVANIA, CONTACT THE PENNSYLVANIA TOURETTE SYNDROME ALLIANCE (PATSA).
PATSA is a first rate organization that helps parents and children work through the first steps of TS diagnosis through advocacy in the school system. It is also a good resource for finding appropriate doctors and therapists.
Visit their website at: http://www.patsainc.org
What is Tourette Syndrome
Tourette Syndrome is a tic disorder that occurs in approximately 0.5% of children and is characterized by motor (e.g. facial movements, shoulder jerking) and vocal tics (grunts, throat clearing) that occur repeatedly. Tourette’s often co-occurs with ADHD and OCD and despite widespread publicity, coprolalia (involuntary use of socially inappropriate words) only occurs in rare instances (~ 10%).
Despite varying levels of success with drug and behavioral treatments, there is no known cure for Tourette’s. Tics never disappear completely but the condition does often improve in the late teens and early 20s and most individuals go on to live successful and productive lives.
The greatest help for kids and young adults with Tourette's is to provide them with a tolerant and compassionate setting that encourages them to work to their full potential and is flexible enough to accommodate their special needs. Some famous people with Tourette’s include actor Dan Aykroyd, US soccer goalie Tim Howard, baseball legend Jim Eisenreich, novelist André Malraux, writer Samuel Johnson and singer-songwriter Jamie Grace Harper.
In medical textbooks in the mid-80s, TS was still considered a 1 in 10,000 disorder. Recent studies suggest that it is now closer to 1 in 200 (between 0.6 and 1 %)