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What is Tourette syndrome (TS)? To people who do not have it, it isprobably not what they think. To fully understand this baffling disorderyou must be afflicted with it. There is no other way. Even then, thereare no guarantees. The everyday feelings and urges to perform thetics that are symptoms of TS are unlike any that a person without TScould imagine. There are as many cases of TS as there are people whohave it. No two cases are exactly alike. This book was put together inorder to raise awareness for TS. After reading the stories you will nottotally understand TS. That is a given. It is my hope that the readers willunderstand it just a little bit better. Even if just one person learns moreabout TS or gains a greater understanding of TS as a result of readingthis book, it will be well worth the time and effort it took to write it.Tourette syndrome is an often, misunderstood neurological disorder.The main symptoms are what are called “tics”. A tic is defined as aninvoluntary, sudden, rapid, repetitive, unbalanced, motor movement orvocalization. The tics occur many times a day, nearly every day.The most common motor tics are rapid eye blinking, shoulder shrugging,squinting, and facial grimacing. Some of the less common ticsinclude grinding teeth, neck jerking, flailing arms, biting nails, and toecurling.The most common vocal tics are throat clearing, sniffing, grunting,coughing, and stuttering or stammering.There are a few important facts about TS that are important know.Up to one in 100 schoolboys have some form of TS. Three to four maleshave it for every female. The diagnosis is often missed. TS symptomsusually decrease with age, but not always. TS is an inherited disorder.viiLearning disorders, panic attacks, school phobias, speech problems, andsleeping problems are common too.People with TS usually also have either ADHD (Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder), or OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Manypeople with Tourette’s have both of these accompanying disorders.When most people think of TS they think of the disorder wherepeople with it swear uncontrollably and profusely. This symptom of TS(coprolalia) is the easiest symptom to recognize, but it is also the rarest.It is important to remember that coprolalia is present in less than twentypercent of TS patients.Most people with TS, when describing a tic, say that they feel asudden tension building up that must be relieved by performing the tic.Tics are suppressible for varying lengths of time. The longer the tics aresuppressed the more the tension builds up and the more there is a needto release them.Another major characteristic of TS is a waxing and waning of thesymptoms. This includes both a change from one tic to another, to thecomplete disappearance of symptoms for varying periods of time.The tics usually begin during the ages of five through nine, butsymptoms can start at any time. There have even been some cases wherethey started late into adulthood.While motor and vocal tics are the main symptoms used to makea diagnosis, and they are what are most identified with TS, there aremany other problems that can be associated with it, the main of whichare behavior related.The people with TS who suffer from these behaviors are often angry,argumentative, and confrontational. Everything has to be their way oris someone else’s fault. One minute they’ll be fine and the next minutethey’ll be in a rage. They tease their siblings relentlessly. They havea short temper, smart mouth, talk back, throw temper tantrums overnothing, and won’t take “no” for an answer. Many of them lie and stealviiitoo. Of course, it is difficult to tell if a person’s TS is causing thesebehaviors or something else is, but many studies of TS patients haveshown that these behaviors are much more common in them than inpeople without it.