Seven-Year-Old With Tourette’s Posts Heartfelt Video To Stop School Bullies
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Most people reckon that Tourette's syndrome is that thing that makes people swear loudly. Interestingly, that type of tic is only prevalent in about 10 percent of people with the neurological condition, with the rest having tics range from sudden jerk movements to random noises.
While adults are able to identify those behaviours, kids don't often understand what's going on and that can lead to people with the condition to be a target for bullies. First grader Gavin Clampett knows that all too well and wants to send a message to those who pick on him.
Gavin's mum Rebecca Clampett helped him put together a video to explain Tourette's syndrome so that his critics could understand what he's going through.
The seven-year-old's sister Brynn tells the camera: "What is Tourette Syndrome? It is a neurological disorder which means it affects the brain in which a person makes unwanted sounds or movements. These unwanted and uncomfortable sounds and moves are called tics, but not like a tic that is found outside.
"These tics can be very noticeable or not very noticeable, quiet or loud."
Gavin adds: "They are like a hiccup and it just does it and I can't stop. My jaw goes up and down... I have noises where the spit swishes around my mouth and I have noises that sound like I'm sniffling."
He was diagnosed with the condition two years ago and even a doctor treating him for something unrelated couldn't work out why he kept sniffing - which ended up being one of his tics.
Brynn says: "School can be hard for all kids. Everybody knows you can have a tough day sometimes. Imagine having Tourette's and tics too, that can be even harder because you have to face people who make fun of them every single day.
"I feel like my brother and every other kid who has Tourette's Syndrome are brave. So be kind to them and don't treat them different because they are just like you."
She sounds like a pretty awesome sister.
Mum Rebecca hopes the video touches people of all ages and lets them know that Tourette's isn't a laughing matter.
"You see Tourette Syndrome in the media or you watch a movie and 99 percent of the time I guarantee you, it is used as a joke," she says. "When I tell people that my son has Tourette's that's the first thing they ask, 'Ooh, does he swear a lot?'
"Nope. He doesn't have typical body jerking movements. He does have some motor tics that are pretty obvious, but not in the stereotypical sense."
Take note everyone: be nice to people around you, you don't know what they're dealing with at any one time.