Education is aim of Tourette talks

A common thought is that people with Tourette syndrome swear uncontrollably, but a group of Victoria parents wants people to know the reality is more complex and difficult.

According to Andrea Hasey, secretary of the Victoria chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada, the swearing tic appears in only a small number of people with Tourette.

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Far more likely are behavioural/learning difficulties affecting impulse control, obsessive compulsive disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.

Knowing how to cope can be invaluable for teachers, parents and those with Tourette.

“We need to educate as many people are we can,” said Hasey, whose 13-year-old son has been diagnosed with Tourette.

To help with that education, the group is playing host to B. Duncan McKinlay, a psychologist at the universities of Western Ontario and Guelph, who works with Tourette youth. McKinlay has also been diagnosed with Tourette.

McKinlay will be giving three workshops — one for parents and caregivers, one for doctors and psychologists and one for educators.

The workshop for parents and caregivers is Wednesday at Spectrum School Theatre, 957 Burnside Rd. W., from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is by donation (suggested $10).

The workshop for practitioners is Thursday in the Mary Pujol Room of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $75.

The workshop for educators is full.

— Richard Watts

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