For Immediate Release: Harrisburg, PA: “Tourette Syndrome is a unique disorder and it needs a unique awareness month” stated Sherrie Sponseller, the Administrator of the PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance. That is why each year Pennsylvania Legislators pass a resolution recognizing TS Awareness Month as May 15th – June 15th.
Tourette Syndrome is a life-long neurological disorder affecting up to 1 in every 100 school-aged children. The chief symptoms--involuntary movements and vocalizations--are called “tics”. Tics change frequently and wax and wane in frequency, making some days worse than others. “Often a person with TS is not aware of their tics” stated Sponseller. “Just like blinking, which we all do without thinking.”
Common media portrayals of Tourette Syndrome (TS) often show one of the rarest symptoms or “coprolalia” where a person with TS swears or makes inappropriate comments. According to Sponseller, this symptom affects only 5-15% of all those diagnosed with TS. “Showing only this extreme symptom does not promote a full understanding of this complex disorder” stated Sponseller.
Many individuals diagnosed with TS are also affected by associated disorders. The most common of these are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) , Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD), and Learning Disabilities.
If you are concerned that your child may have symptoms of Tourette Syndrome or if your child is already diagnosed, you can reach out to the PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance (PA-TSA) for information and assistance.
PA-TSA is a state-wide nonprofit organization that provides information, education and disability advocacy for individuals with TS, their families, schools and communities in any area of Pennsylvania. “It is our goal to promote awareness and understanding so that children with TS are able to succeed in school and in life” stated Sponseller.
For more information about Tourette Syndrome or PA-TSA, check out our website at www.patsainc.org
Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month is May 15 - June 15, 2014.