Talking Tourette’s

Published: 15 May 2018

Cameron

Cameron and Rose have Tourette Syndrome, and they’re ready to break the stigma

Cameron sharing his story
Image 2018 © The Project

In recent years, the number of cases of Tourette Syndrome has been steadily increasing as awareness of the condition grows. And it’s no longer considered a rare illness.

Cameron was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when he was just nine-years-old.

In speaking with The Project, Cameron said, “We have a condition where we can’t help the things that we say or do…”

According to Cameron’s dad, Bruce, his son started developing vocal tics, sounds, and little chirpy noises. Cameron’s parents would try to make him stop, but he couldn’t.

Tourette Syndrome, or TS, is a neurological disorder that affects up to 1 in 100 children and adolescents worldwide. It’s 3-4 times more common in boys than girls, with tics usually surfacing from four years of age. In many cases, the severity lessens in adulthood.

48-year-old Rose Strazzeri also has Tourette Syndrome, and she said her doctor told her she didn’t have it because she was not swearing.

However, repetitive swearing only presents in 10-20 percent of cases. So, it’s definitely a stigma that needs to be broken.

Rose said she would like “to be treated like other people… don’t make judgements, don’t be cruel, don’t spit at us, don’t shove us into things…” These are all things that have happened to her.

Professor of Neuropsychiatry at the University of NSW, Perminder Sachdev, recommends “better education, better training of medical students, nurses, other health professionals… to make [Tourette Syndrome] more readily diagnosable and more acceptable in society.”

Cameron’s parents said schools need to be more informed about Tourette Syndrome and their son is determined to help that cause.

To find out more about Tourette Syndrome, please click the link http://www.tourette.org.au/

We’ll be sharing Cameron and Rose’s stories tonight on The Project. Tune in at 6:30.