Grace Radovich

Throughout my whole life, I have battled with Tourette syndrome, and it has impacted my life in several ways. Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that is characterized by involuntary movements called tics, and patients have other neurological disorders that can be associated. This disorder has affected my whole life, and we didn’t know that until I was ten years old. I have verbal and motor tics, I have sensory integration disorder, I didn’t say any words until I was over three years old, and I used to be considered learning disabled when I was little. I had to have a speech therapist and an occupational therapist to help me at that time. In elementary school, I was about to be kept back in kindergarten because I was not able to learn as well as other kids, but in 1st grade, I suddenly started understanding what was being taught. Eventually I stopped speech classes and kept improving, but I still struggled.

In middle school, things became very difficult because of the fast paces of the classroom, the testing, and the bullying. My grades were not good in 6th and 7th grade, but in 8th grade after I switched schools, I was able to push all distractions like my tics aside and get good grades even though the new school was like the old one. When I got to high school, everything changed for me because I was able to push everything to the side, continue with my life, and find happiness. I am taking five AP classes, all my grades in the past four years have been very good, I’m in the top 10% of my class, I have a 3.8 GPA, I’m actively involved at school, I have a job, and I have many doors opening for me. I am so grateful for all the opportunities I have been able to receive, and be supported by my mom and friends throughout this very long journey in my life. At the end of the day, I have Tourette’s, Tourette’s does not have me, and Tourette’s does not define me.