Like many people with Tourette syndrome, Troye Evers’ symptoms began early in his childhood, but he was not officially diagnosed till he was eighteen years old. He remained in the closet about his diagnosis until his thirties, falsely attempting to pass off his symptoms as the result of bad sleep or a dry throat. After deciding he had enough, he penned a screenplay about his experiences that went on to win third place in the All Access Screen Writing competition. Two years later, he found himself voted on to the board of the Tourette Syndrome Association of New York City.
Now using his influence and writing skills, he has collected the stories of seventeen other people, from all walks of life, living with Tourette syndrome. This breakthrough book will dispel several pernicious myths about the disorder. Contrary to media stereotypes about the disease, the vast majority of those with Tourette syndrome do not yell out profanities and other inappropriate remarks. Only ten percent of sufferers are prone to episodes of coprolalia, the yelling of obscenities. Instead, the neuropsychiatric disorder is marked by a combination of motor tics, such as uncontrollable arm waving, neck twitching, shoulder rolling, and speech tics.
In these stories, each person reveals how the disorder has transformed their life for both good and bad. “From talking about daily bullying, teasing, mocking, and their fight for acceptance, they open up to the reader, explain how they conquered the fear of honesty, and became strong, confident members of society with a beautiful message,” writes Evers.
Tourette syndrome is on the rise. Now, it occurs in as many as one in every one hundred people. Each year, more than 1,000 new diagnoses are made, according to the author. Like Evers, many will be diagnosed far too late in early adulthood, when the disease has already crippled the emotional and social life of the young sufferer. Still, many others are never properly diagnosed and receive inappropriate medications and therapies for their condition.
“I know children are still getting lost in the system, pushed aside, or parents are just flat out pulling them out of school and home schooling them,” says Evers. “Nothing against home schooling, but if a child has social anxiety disorder, pulling them out of school then trying to integrate them back into social setting later in life, say college, is going to be hard on them.”
Along with their disorder, many of those with Tourette syndrome may also experience co-morbid conditions, such as anxiety disorders or ADHD, that need to be treated in conjunction. Too often, children with Tourette syndrome are placed in learning disability classes, despite having nothing deficient in their education skills, which happened to Evers, who was placed in a learning disability English program even though he went on to write a successful screenplay.
A Day in the Life of Tourette Syndrome is not intended to be a medical reference but rather an educational tool that allows readers to glimpse the lives of others affected by Tourette syndrome. As few others understand the reality of their condition, many spend their whole lives suppressing their symptoms and their personalities in the process. Incisive and eye-opening, Evers’ book makes their reality come alive.
About Troye Evers
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Published October 10, 2012
by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Health, Fitness & Dieting.