More threads by Retired


Sensitive look at kids who have Tourette's
In a perfect world, every child would be perfect. Childhood can be brutal. Kids can be as cruel as it gets when one of them suffers from an easily ridiculed trait or malady. Few malaises are as susceptible to this as Tourette's syndrome. TV is at least partially responsible, for often presenting it as an affliction that causes a victim to suddenly blurt out four-letter profanities.

This might strike some as funny but there is nothing humorous about the disease, especially when the person suffering from it is too young to even know any four-letter words. Moreover, far more common manifestations are tics, twitches or coughing. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is said to be a form of Tourette's.

I Have Tourette's But Tourette's Doesn't Have Me is a poignant exploration of the vicious effect the affliction has on youngsters, who, in their own words, would give anything to be just like everyone else. On average, at least one child in every school suffers from Tourette's syndrome, which is hereditary but not contagious, according to the HBO special.

The success of the program is that it manages to avoid devolving into the maudlin despite heart-rending accounts of what it is like to be very young and have to learn to live with it.

A girl about 11 recounts how, "Everyone at school is making fun of me. They call me retard or monster."

A boy of roughly the same age laments, "The hardest thing is you can't make friends as easily as someone else."

Something as mundane as having a substitute teacher, unfamiliar with each student's idiosyncrasies, can be torturous to a child with Tourette's.

As downcast as this might sound, I Have Tourette's But Tourette's Doesn't Have Me is a watchable half-hour, thanks to the upbeat, "I can overcome this" attitude of the young people profiled.

It also avoids the trap of giving screen time to a procession of deadly dull medical and psychological experts. The challenge of coping with Tourette's is told through the words of youngsters suffering from it but determined to forge a normal life.

In another time, this would have been dramatized into a disease-of-the-week TV movie. HBO is to be commended for taking a higher road and for tackling a subject that obviously won't drive subscriptions but might open some minds.

Source: Sun Sentinel

DVD available from TSA-USA A sample clip of the program can be viewed on the TSA-USA site!


For people in the U.K.

A GREENOCK boy's battle with Tourette's syndrome is to be shown on national television.

Twelve-year-old David MacPherson and his family invited BBC cameras into their home to film their daily struggle living with the distressing illness.

The documentary ? 24/7 The Trouble With David ? shows David's repeated outbursts of swearing and the family's heartbreaking efforts to live with the condition.

Mum Chrisleen and dad Stewart open their hearts about the uncertain future the family face.

Speaking before the programme is screened next Tueday, dad Stewart, 37, of Devon Road, Larkfield, said: "The programme is a touching story about David's suffering, and we hope it will break down barriers and prejudices surrounding the illness and bring it all out into the open.

"David is a lovely, lovely boy. We want the programme to reach deep down to the David without the illness."

David and his family have faced a lifetime of dealing with peoples' ignorance towards Tourette's syndrome and his related symptoms, including obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit and hyperactive disorder (ADHD), dyslexia and depression.

David's behaviour has led to him getting into trouble in and out of school.

He was moved from one school and excluded from another, despite his parents' insistence he had an illness.

Often Stewart and Christleen have been accused of bad parenting.

On film, David's little sister Lauren, 11, says: ?Tourette?s syndrome just covers him up. He tries to get out but he just can?t get out and show the kind and the loving person that he is."

David suffers from swearing outbursts and involuntary rapid movements or vocalisation known as tics.

On camera, Chrisleen and dad Stewart demonstrate how difficult it is to manage David's condition. They battled for years to get him the help he needed, and last year Stewart set up a support group in Inverclyde to help other parents with children suffering from the condition.

In the end, they had to go to Coupar Angus in Perthshire to see a specialist.

The half-hour programme 24/7 The Trouble With David is screened on Tuesday on the BBC at 10.35pm.

This story appeared in the Greenock Telegraph on Fri, 10 Mar, 2006


My son has Tourette Syndrome.

Even though TS presents challenges to my son's life, and what he has to face each day I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

I wouldn't trade my precious son for all the "normal" kids in the world.

That quote is still true " what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger".


Unfortunately we did not have advance notice of the ABC program "The Miracle Workers" which presented a segment on Monday March 13, 2006 about a girl with Tourette.? We'll watch for a re run.

Here's a summary of the program segment:

Emily Bresler is a bright and outgoing 19-year-old in Poway, CA. She suffers from a severe form of Tourette Syndrome. Her symptoms are severe physical and verbal tics, which make everyday activities such as eating, putting on makeup or reading almost impossible.

Tourette Syndrome has left Emily extremely dependent on her mother and father for support. She dreams of being able to drive a car, going to college and gaining independence. A new procedure for Tourette Syndrome patients, Deep Brain Stimulation, may be her only chance at achieving her dreams. A medical device that delivers electrical stimulation is inserted into her brain and connected to microcomputers that are placed in the back. This surgery, if successful, could be Emily's only chance at living a normal and fulfilling life.

DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) is a neurological procedure where electrodes deliver an electrical pulse to brain cells.

More information on Deep Brain Stimulation can be found in this Psychlinks posting


A friend of mine was telling me about this program today. She said it was quite fascinating, the procedure of electrode implants and this young woman being quite well as a result.




Thanks for your interest.

We have been reading about a few cases where the procedure has been tried in the last year with mixed results. The popular press regularly reports on DBS as it appears to be spectacular. ? Both the TSA and TSFC have issued cautious statements of optimism, while the procedure is still experimental.


Did anyone see the program "The Trouble with David"??

I searched on BBC and BBC Canada and I could not find the program. Steph
i have a vague memory of it. I searched the BBC site too, with no results, but I *may* recall that it was an 'article' stroy in ONElife/Real Story (could be memory playing tricks though), or one of those types of programmes?? Neither of those have episode archives that I can find though.


That's ok, I could not find the episode either!

My son has TS and I find it fasinating watching other people with the disorder.

They move the same way as my son!

Hopefully TSOW will keep us posted about any other TV shows.? Steph


Jack Klugman: Tourette on TV

Remember Jack Klugman, the actor who starred Quincy as well as co starring in The Odd Couple wih Tony Randall?

Mr. Klugman is 84 years old now and performs mostly in theater.

His brother, Maurice Klugman, spent decades going from one business failure to another in Philadelphia. When Jack was starring in and producing the TV drama ?Quincy, M.E.,? he invited his brother to move to California. His brother came up with an idea for a story line for ?Quincy? about Tourette syndrome and drugs that pharmaceutical companies did not find profitable enough to manufacture.

That led to Mr. Klugman?s testifying on Capitol Hill about ?orphan drugs? and helping to push through the Orphan Drug Act, which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

Thought you might like to know
Replying is not possible. This forum is only available as an archive.