As the mother of a 7-year-old son with Tourette's Syndrome, I am saddened at the ignorance of the Chicago judge who believes, "Within limits, Tourette's disease is more or less controllable" [Nation in Brief, July 20]. I am also disappointed with the news service story The Post ran giving the false sense that people afflicted with this disease simply need to take medication.
My son takes drugs every day to deal with Tourette's Syndrome as well as other neurological disorders. Unfortunately, not all people have success suppressing their tics through either drug therapy or sheer will. The Fairfax County School System has made every effort to help our son have a quiet place to tic without being seen by his classmates. We know we have a long road ahead of us, but we also know that the more people are educated about this disorder, the easier life will be for our son and others.
Tourette's Syndrome is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is characterized by repeated and involuntary body movements and uncontrollable vocal sounds. Symptoms vary tremendously. But tics can be controlled only for a short period and then must be released. While many people see their symptoms diminish in adolescence, there is no cure for Tourette's. Most important, people afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome lead successful and productive lives.