What my Tourettes was like as a kid

I just stumbled upon this video which reminds me a lot of myself when I was between 8-12 years old, and I thought I'd share it in case people were wondering how Tourettes affected me as a kid.

I used to have the head movement, the arm and the squeak, among other tics. The video here shows more-or-less how I remember an average day being.

It's constant head movements like that which caused me to 'give up' reading, and be very slow at writing. I *can* read, and reading magazines, webpages, etc. isn't a problem, but reading a page of a book from start to finish can be a real chore, and it something I don't do for fun. How did I get through school/university? I learnt to do homework from when I was at junior school, where no-one else would have it, which I guess also prepared me for secondary school where the real homework starts getting dished out. In secondary school we would always roleplay any English Literature books ('Romeo & Juliet', 'Macbeth' and 'Of Mice And Men'), and following along in the book was easier then, and I picked up the skill of skimming, so in tests I could find the right part of a section of text/book without needing to read/reread a chapter or page. At university I was lucky enough to be able to pick everything I didn't already know up without the need for heavy reference books.

Nowadays my Tourettes syndrome is pretty much unnoticeable (never having had any form of medication, in case you're wondering), but occasionally I have a bad day where at least I notice I'm doing something.

Unlike some though, I wouldn't want a cure for my Tourettes, it's just who I am, and I attribute some great decisions in my life to having had it, one of which being my parents sending me to learn to touch-type when I was 8 pretty much as soon as I was diagnosed, which started me on my path to programming.

Ok, now for the video:

Comments

Thanks so much for your comments and the video. Although the thorn in my side is not Tourettes, both speak directly to me.
Saturday 23 June 2012 23:05 | user icon Leigh Martin
When I was a child I had to have special lessons to teach me that e.g. buy as in shopping had a shopping basket b-U-y in it. I've battled with being dyslexic and won, now people ask me to check their documents. And yes, I still have it and it is part of me and it makes my thinking different I guess; I solve problems differently, sometimes better. Having worked with Duncan I would not know he had any problems, other than an affinity for a good dinner and a walking round Berlin in Winter in a T-shirt. Remember this if you have a problem. You can win, honest.
Catch you soon bud, Stephen
Wednesday 28 August 2013 22:56 | user icon Stephen Goodwin

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On weekdays I'm a Senior Software Engineer at Comparethemarket.com, having previously been a Solution Architect at Nokia & Nokia Siemens Networks, creating creative software solutions for mobile operators around the world.

In my spare time I'm an avid new technology fan, and constantly strive to find innovative uses for the new gadgets I manage to get my hands on. Most recently I've been investigating Mobile Codes, RFID and Home automation (mainly Z-Wave). With a keen eye for usability I'm attempting to create some cost-effective, DIY technology solutions which would rival even high-end retail products. The software I develop is usually released as Open Source.

I have a Finnish geek partner, so have begun the difficult task of learning Finnish.


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