What is Tourette Syndrome?
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an inherited neurological condition. It affects one school child in every hundred and over 300,000 children and adults are living with TS in the UK. The key features are tics – involuntary sounds and movements. Over 85% of people with TS will also experience co-occurring conditions and features which might include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Anxiety. TS is often misunderstood as a condition which makes people swear, or say socially inappropriate things. However, 90% of people with TS do not have this ‘swearing’ tic. TS is a genetic condition that often runs in families. Brain scanning has revealed that there are some areas of the brain that appear to be different in individuals with TS, there also seems to be an imbalance in the function of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). Tics usually start in childhood around the age of 6–7 years. TS is a fluctuating condition which means that tics can come and go and they can be exacerbated by environmental triggers such as stress or excitement. There is no known cure for TS. Treatment includes both drug and non-drug approaches; and with continued support and understanding from others, it is possible to live a fulfilling life.
Why is it a problem?
TS is still a misunderstood condition by many, and there is a lot of work to be done on changing the current perception that it is all about offensive language. Often people with TS can feel socially isolated because they receive negative responses from others (mockery, disbelief, disapproval). The more we educate people about TS, the greater chance we have at de-stigmatising the condition. One of the main aims of Tourettes Action is to help improve quality of life for people living with TS. A great example of just one of the many things they provide for people with TS is the Tourettes Action’s Identity Card.
What is Tourettes Action?
Tourettes Action works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is the leading support and research charity for people with Tourette Syndrome and their families. We want people with TS to receive the practical support and social acceptance they need to help them live their lives to the full.
What is a Tourettes Action’s Identity Card?
This card is produced by Tourettes Action and can aid other people’s understanding of Tourette Syndrome by acknowledging someone’s diagnosis and providing a short explanation of the condition. Often the symptoms of TS can be difficult to explain, and in situations like busy airports, pubs, restaurants or on public transport, someone may not want to get into a discussion about their TS.
The TA ID card is a credit card-size plastic card that will easily fit into someone’s wallet or purse. It contains a passport size picture of the person and states that they have been diagnosed with TS. The ID card also comes with a pack of information cards that can be handed out to people.
Tourettes Action have launched a new campaign for the holidays! In order to help people with TS live as normal a life as possible Today Translations have helped to produce a translation print-out of the TA ID card. This is available in a range of translated languages which can be taken with them abroad on holiday! This will provide reassurance of having the ID card with them with the extra security of having a translation in the language of the country they are visiting. The additional reassurance comes from having had all translations verified by Today Translations as being accurate.
People with TS can’t leave their condition at home when they travel, but they can have their TA ID card and translation with them giving them some peace of mind.