They just can't help it
Sara Alsaraf and Mary Robertson explain Tourette's syndrome and look at the disease behind a highly stigmatised illness
- By: Mary Robertson, Sara Alsaraf
Imagine you are expecting your first child. Nine months on, the miracle of having a child still overwhelms you. Your baby boy is tiny, beautiful, and full of energy.
Back at home, aged six months, his energy is unrelenting. You can't understand how something so small can make so much noise--crying, screaming all day and night, and, on top of that, making erratic and strange spontaneous movements. All babies do this, you think, it'll stop when he gets a bit older.
But it doesn't. As he grows up, the crying turns into non-stop loud and sometimes abusive talking and shouting. His boundless energy has got him in trouble at school; his teachers tell you he is violent and disruptive. And then, aged seven, you notice he has developed strange habits. He blinks constantly, sometimes rolling his eyes. He keeps sniffing and sometimes grunts. He keeps repeating the same words and