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Man with Tourette syndrome describes his life in new book

For many years, the behaviors of a man who is now 58 were either not understood or misunderstood by others around him. Since he was a young boy he has moved and made a variety of sounds uncontrollably. However, at the time, doctors reportedly told his parents that he could control the movements and sounds. Throughout his childhood, he was teased for his behavior and others thought he had some kind of psychiatric problem.

This man now understands well why he moves and speaks the way he does. When he was a young man, he was finally diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. He was among the first Americans to receive the diagnosis, so his doctors were not even very familiar with the syndrome.

He has undergone many forms of treatment and taken a variety of medications to help improve his condition. As he was one of the first patients treated for Tourette syndrome in the United States, his treatment was sometimes quite experimental. He reports that he endured abuse during his treatments.

Now, this man has published a book about his experiences with Tourette syndrome. A friend of his late mother helped him write it by transforming his words into his written story. He explains that he hopes the book helps people learn about Tourette syndrome, so society may have a better understanding of Tourette syndrome.

In addition, he hopes that the book will help him attain financial independence. Though he works part-time, he receives disability benefits and Medicaid. Though he receives these benefits now, he struggled to attain Social Security disability benefits initially, as Tourette syndrome was not included in medical journals at the time.

This man's story demonstrates the challenges that a person may encounter as a result of having a disability. However, he also shows an adversity that has allowed him to achieve many things in life. While he hopes that his book will help him become financially independent, he likely would not be where he is today without the disability benefits that he has received.

Source: Yahoo News, "Bullied, institutionalized for Tourettes," Susan Donaldson James, Nov. 22, 2012

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