Hey, guys, it is my first week back at school and it has been pretty good, but over the weekend I encountered some teasing and laughing because of my tics.
Because I board at school, my best friend from school and I met up with some of our friends from the boys boarding house to play a few games. It’s the start of a new year at school and there were a couple of new boys with them, so I was a little bit worried about my Tourette’s (tics).
It all started well and was fine in the beginning, but as the day went on I started to get a lot more tics, especially my vocal tics!
To start with there were just a few little comments about my tics, which was fine, but when we were playing the card game Uno one boy started to make some comments that weren’t very nice. I explained to him about my Tourette’s and I showed him my blog (TicTastic) but he just kept carrying on.
The boy then started to call me retarded! That was a horrible feeling!!
I am not “foolish, stupid or less advanced in mental development”. The word has become more commonly used to stereotype people with mental health conditions, such as mine, and it is not acceptable to use such words or labels. It really hurt me.
I also have a tic that is like a really big cough, a sharp outward breath that actually hurts quite a lot. This coughing tic decided to join the party, which didn’t help. The group followed on from the previous comments by now calling me a dragon, which everyone thought was quite funny apart from me. Even my best friend laughed a little bit because she didn’t know what to do and was in a difficult situation with her peers. It was all very difficult and I was very upset, embarrassed and cross. It makes me want to hide away when I am treated like this.
All of this has reinforced the fact that everyone around me, peers, pupils, teachers, cleaners, cooks etc need to know all about my Tourette’s Syndrome and my OCD to make all of our lives better and to make sure people who have chronic health conditions and disabilities receive the understanding and respect that everyone deserves in life.
Minorities often get picked on and history shows us that. It starts by isolating an individual and grows from there.
Stephen Corry, the CEO of Survival International, the charity that campaigns to protect the rights of tribal people across the world, knows all about protecting minorities and sent me a lovely supportive tweet today about my video which raises awareness about Tourettes’s Syndrome. He wrote, “People don’t get this (Tourette’s Syndrome) John Dyer is
@Survival supporter & his daughter has made a great little film about her ‘disability’. Racists don’t get racism, Nazis don’t get Nazism either. In one way, the problem’s as simple as that. Well done Wilamena!”
My school has quickly arranged to show my video ‘This is me!!’ in a whole assembly hopefully today or tomorrow.
I have a specific ‘Back to school’ presentation I have prepared for my year group too that they will also be watching. I will do a Q&A afterwards with them so that hopefully everyone will be a bit more understanding and informed.
Things don’t always go how you want them to but as long as you stay positive you will be fine! 🙂 Xx