Can you imagine having no control over what your body does? (BLINK) When I was 9, I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. (SNORT) Tourettes Syndrome is a neurological disorder where your brain sends messages to your body to do something that you cannot control. (OPEN MOUTH WIDE) I would often snort my nose, blink my eyes and open my mouth very wide, just to name a few. I had absolutely no control over my ticks, similar to how you are reading these words, BLINK, SNORT, and OPEN MOUTH WIDE. Tourettes Syndrome is a unique condition but it does not define who I am or limit what I can do.
In the fourth grade my tics were constant. My days in class were long and difficult. My friends would often ask me to stop making my noises or put tissues on my desk. When they looked at me, I could see the annoyed look in their eyes. This made me feel sad and discouraged. After my diagnosis my mom came into my classroom and presents a lesson on Tourette’s. She read a book and we all talked about our differences. She explained that my tics were as controllable as a sneeze. My friends asked many questions and were curious about the disorder.
This event in my life changed how I felt about myself and how my friends looked at me. I no longer was ashamed of my tics. While they are always a part of me, they cannot define me. My classmates never again asked me to stop my tics, they even stood up for me when others in school made me feel small. Educating my classmates did not stop there. I now continue to educate others that cross my path. This allows me to be who I am and also teaches others to open to everyone’s differences.