Unique and eccentric = good

Daniel is better this week. The tics are still there but less pronounced and with longer periods of relaxation between them. I told him late last week that it was absolutely fine for him to have his tics and that he could do them as often as he wanted at home and I think this has helped.  My GP also phoned a specialist for a chat and relayed some of the conversation back to me. The specialist said that if the school has a problem with Daniel’s tics, then that is the school’s problem, not Daniel’s. I think this made me more relaxed about it and so I conveyed this to Daniel who is also more relaxed. His teacher is very accommodating so I don’t have any complaints about the school.

There’s an interesting series of videos on YouTube with Oliver Sacks and a Tourette’s patient called Shane. It’s in three parts, first part here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljX1rsMNA34
In it he touches on the idea that how well a person with Tourette’s survives in our society is largely determined by how well that society accepts them. He gave two extreme examples with Amsterdam at one end where people with Tourette’s are fully accepted as important members of society, then at the other is Japan, where he tells of the mother of a four-year-old with Tourette’s, murdering her child then attempting suicide. Japan is not a nice place to live if you have Tourette’s Syndrome!

Daniel has previously had a working diagnosis of autism, so it may just be related to this as they do sometimes present with tics. I don’t believe that autism is a disease that should be cured. At the extreme end of the spectrum, I can see it’s a severely disabling condition that does need a cure. But at the highly function end where Daniel is, I don’t see autism as a problem at all. It’s just a different way of thinking and the world needs people who think like this. Temple Grandin is an American autistic woman who is an expert in animal behaviour and one of her talks is on TED: The world needs all kinds of minds.  It’s well worth watching.

4 Replies to “Unique and eccentric = good”

  1. Yes Temple Grandin is a wonderul woman and you have a great attitude to all this Rach. Difference is a good thing regardless of what form it takes.Nicxx

  2. Well my husband is most likely on the spectrum too and I wouldn't want to change him. Sometimes I think I'm mildly autistic too.

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