Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: Tourette
Sun, 25 Oct 1998 20:44:04 -0500
I've been following this thread with some interest, but when I started
seeing reference to "violent incidents", I thought I'd pitch in.
Tourette's Syndrome suffererers do NOT have "violent incidents". We
have uncontrollable muscle tics. Some of them involve small muscles,
and others involve large muscles, but they're just muscle movements.
Yes, it's true that if someone is very close to me when such a tic
occurs, I might bump into them, but the idea of "swinging a pioneering
pole around at the other youth in the troop" does not sound like a
It could, however, be a desperate response to the teasing and torment
most teenaged Tourette's sufferers endure from the uninformed - and from
the sound of it, there are plenty of uninformed people around this
Tourette's Syndrome is mechanical, not emotional or mental. There is no
"behavioral" aspect of Tourette's Syndrome other than the frustration we
feel at our inability to control our movements, and the embarrassment we
endure at the hands of others. As an adult, I've found fellow adults to
be quite tolerant and polite about my symptoms (which, luckily for me,
are only moderately severe). However, my childhood was filled with
torment at the hands of other kids. If this Scout's experience is like
mine, I would explore the way the other Scouts (and maybe the leaders)
are treating him before I assume that his behavior is the problem.
Cub Scout Training Chairman
Rip Van Winkle Council, NY