The Tourette Association of America (TAA), the premier national nonprofit organization serving the Tourette Syndrome (TS) and Tic Disorder community, will host a series of virtual events and activities in honor of Tourette Awareness Month, May 15 – June 15. Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, impacting an estimated 1 million Americans, characterized by sudden, involuntary movements and/or sounds called tics. 50% of individuals impacted are going undiagnosed due to the lack of awareness, lack of general understanding about the condition and stigma. The misunderstandings often lead to misdiagnosis, alienation and bullying.
In response to these uncertain times, the TAA has launched feel-good initiatives and comprehensive virtual events to keep the community engaged. Those impacted by the condition have been experiencing heightened symptoms like coughing, sniffling, and throat clearing tics, as well as extreme anxiety, OCD, depression and other co-occurring conditions. These symptoms may be crippling, hindering the ability to fulfill basic needs. In addition, social distancing has heightened mental illness, tics, and co-occurring conditions for the community. These virtual events bring our community to the forefront during the COVID-19 era, helping to create a more universal understanding of the challenges faced each day, as well as to share successes:
The TAA has designed a virtual quilt to showcase the Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorder community, entwined with stories of inspiration, hope and community. This virtual quilt is a narrative of the unique experiences and stories to embrace and comfort one another. TS may impact everyone differently, but we are all woven together in community. It symbolizes their resilience, resourcefulness, and optimism.
TAA is asking people to take a pledge to not use Tourette Syndrome as a punchline, descriptor or slur. This effort serves to raise understanding and acceptance for TS and Tic Disorders, as well as highlights the progress we have made as a community.
Miles for Tourette May 15-June 15: Participants can virtually walk, run and cycle to raise funds and awareness for TS. Tourette Awareness Month that supports the TAA’s mission to make life better for all people affected by Tourette syndrome and Tic Disorders. Each week will feature fun and exciting initiatives. Funds raised will benefit research, support necessary programs, and foster social acceptance of Tourette.
Teal Tuesdays: May 26, June 2, June 9 – Wear teal on Tuesdays to support Tourette! Ideas include: teal clothing, ties, bracelets, buttons, hair accessories, nail polish and more! Participants are asked to get creative and post pictures on Social Media!
“We are committed to raising awareness and fostering social acceptance of Tourette, which affects 1 in every 100 school-aged children,” said Amanda Talty, President & CEO of the Tourette Association. “We want people to see the Tourette community beyond their tics. They are diverse and talented and bring incredible gifts as students, leaders, parents, teachers, actors, musicians, athletes and so much more.”
About Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders
- Tourette Syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by sudden, involuntary movements and/or sounds called tics. They can include eye blinking, head jerking and facial movements — throat clearing, sniffing and tongue clicking.
- The involuntary utterance of obscene words is called coprolalia, and it’s much rarer than people think: Only 10 percent of people diagnosed with Tourette experience these symptoms.
- There is no cure for Tourette. The cause also remains unknown, but it is thought to involve genetic, neurological and environmental factors that can be treated.
- Tourette is underdiagnosed. Many children, parents, teachers and even physicians don’t fully understand TS, which can lead to bullying, a lack of community support, an improper diagnosis and a host of other issues that impair the quality of life for someone with TS.
The Tourette Association of America (TAA)
Founded in 1972, the Tourette Association of America (TAA) is dedicated to making life better for all individuals affected by Tourette and Tic Disorders. As the only national organization serving this community, the TAA works to raise awareness, advance research, and provide ongoing support to patients and families. To this end, the TAA directs a network of 31 Chapters, 83 support groups and recognizes 20 Centers of Excellence across the country. For more information on Tourette and Tic Disorders, call 1-888-4-TOURET and visit us at tourette.org, and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.