“CLICK, CLICK, CLICK!” The noise pierced the invisible bubble that surrounded the small child jerking her from the depths of a dream snapping her back into the reality in which she existed.
She looked down only to see the pen poised at the end of her teacher’s extended hand, bobbing up and down as it tapped against the old wooden desk. The fragile girl’s body seemed to be consumed by the massive desk in which she had resided for hours on end each and every day. She felt trapped, and her only relief was to escape the confines of the desk, the classroom, and the school by retreating into her bubble, a world in which she was free of the disability that sought to wreak havoc each and every day. She was but seven years old weighing forty-one pounds. Her deep, set eyes peeked out from beneath the light brown hair that gently fell against her cheeks. She wondered how long she had drifted away. She sat on the front row beneath the shadow of her teacher. She was a 504 student, code for students who were unable to learn in a traditional setting. One of the accommodations of her 504 plan entailed proximity to the teacher. The tap of the pen was a reminder that she had drifted off. Along with the tap came the stress that consequentially triggered the involuntary jerk of the head and shoulder, the blinking of the eyes, and the “Hmmm” sound that slipped from her mouth. Third grade was not supposed to be this way.
My name is Molly Traylor, and I am that small girl. Living with TS has been challenging, and whether I was sniffing, blinking, jerking, nodding, or humming repeatedly, it was extremely tiring and difficult to focus and make friends. In addition to Tourette’s, I was also diagnosed with ADD and OCD both of which are disorders commonly associated with Tourette’s syndrome. This makes treatment extremely tricky as one medicine can counteract another causing one of the three disorders to escalate to a whole new level. So, my childhood was consumed with varied specialists, medicinal concoctions, and strategic interventions. Consequentially, my parents decided to walk away from that life that was not serving me well and enrolled me in an online public school where I was not restricted to a desk all day and could devote time to studies at a pace that suited my learning style.
I am now nineteen years old. I graduated from high school with honors, and I am presently pursuing a degree in accounting. My future is bright, and I hope to make a difference in the lives of other students who have similar struggles. Through community service and tutoring others, I hope to continue to “pay it forward” to my community and world just as those who have graciously helped me to be the person I am today.