Tourette’s Syndrome: Mother reveals what every Aussie needs to know

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A mother has shared the difficult reality of living with three children with Tourette’s Syndrome, telling how she has learned to cope with getting hit by her kids every day and dealing with stares from the public.

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Mandy Maysey kept a smile on her face as her son Tryxx, 11, involuntarily slapped her as the pair were conducting a live cross to Studio 10 from their Gold Coast home on Monday.

Hosts Sarah Harris and Tristan MacManus asked Ms Maysey to describe her day-to-day life in dealing with the condition – a neurological disorder that causes sufferers to have involuntary tics and outbursts.

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She has two other children – Conor, 27 and Void, 15 – who are also living with Tourette’s Syndrome.

Ms Maysey said some members of the public made ‘snap judgments’ about the condition and said her children often had no control over their gestures, which her son, Tryxx, demonstrated by involuntarily slapping her in the face. 

A mother was slapped and verbally abused by her son as she revealed the difficult reality of caring for her children with Tourette's Syndrome during an interview on TV

A mother was slapped and verbally abused by her son as she revealed the difficult reality of caring for her children with Tourette’s Syndrome during an interview on TV

Mandy Maysey kept a brave smile on her face as she was repeatedly hit by her son Tryxx while doing a live cross from her Gold Coast home on Monday

Mandy Maysey kept a brave smile on her face as she was repeatedly hit by her son Tryxx while doing a live cross from her Gold Coast home on Monday

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‘You mean like this?’ he said. ‘Snap judgement. Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap.’

An embarrassed Ms Maysey apologised for her son’s behaviour before Harris told her not to worry. 

Ms Maysey went on to say her Tryxx’s tics intensify when he is excited before she copped more verbal abuse from her son.

‘I am not overexcited,’ Tryxx yelled. ‘You f***er.’ 

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Ms Maysey was then bitten on her arm and hands, labelled a ‘b***h’ and spat in the face throughout the remainder of the interview.

The mother-of-three admitted she was concerned by the number of teachers who had a difficult time managing her son.

Tryxx is in Year Six and has ‘mixed emotions’ about attending high school next year. He said he feared he would be kicked out of the classroom like some of his primary school teachers had done in the past.

Ms Maysey admitted some members of the public made 'snap judgements' about her children before Tryxx turned in his seat and slapped her across the face

Ms Maysey admitted some members of the public made ‘snap judgements’ about her children before Tryxx turned in his seat and slapped her across the face

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An embarrassed Ms Maysey apologised for her son's behaviour before a reassuring Harris swooped in and told her not to worry

An embarrassed Ms Maysey apologised for her son’s behaviour before a reassuring Harris swooped in and told her not to worry

What is Tourette’s Syndrome? 

Tourette’s Syndrome is a neurological condition that causes involuntary tics.

The condition affects about 1 in 100 kids, yet the cause remains a mystery.

Research indicates those under 21 are more commonly affected – as are boys generally more likely than girls to develop the condition.

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The symptoms are thought to lessen with age, however, those with the condition must learn to manage it for a lifetime.

 

Ms Maysey, who is the president of the Tourette Syndrome Association, urged the government to provide more support to high school teachers.

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‘The problem we have with high school is because there’s such a high amount of teachers, whereas primary school it’s just one or two teachers,’ she said.

‘You can educate one or two teachers, but when you’ve got a different teacher for each subject, it just makes it that little bit more complicated.’

Ms Maysey reassured there was ‘no malice’ behind the involuntary tics and that they simply could not be controlled. 

‘Because of the nature of tics being involuntary, being noisy, they can be seen to be quite obnoxious,’ she said.

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‘What we need is for people to understand is they can’t control it. There’s no malice behind it. 

‘If teachers could actually just understand, or any other school staff, could understand.’ 

Tryxx is 11-years-old and a Year Six student who has 'mixed emotions' about attending high school next year

Tryxx is 11-years-old and a Year Six student who has ‘mixed emotions’ about attending high school next year

Ms Maysey reassured there was 'no malice' behind the involuntary tics and that they simply could not be controlled

Ms Maysey reassured there was ‘no malice’ behind the involuntary tics and that they simply could not be controlled

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Tourette’s Syndrome resource available for schools 

Tourette’s Syndrome Association president Mandy Maysey revealed there were plenty of resources available to help manage students who were living with Tourette’s Sydnrome.

Tac’Tics is designed to ‘directly support the education and awareness of children living with Tourette Syndrome in schools throughout Australia. 

The program is available as an app and is described as an ‘immersive digital scavenger hunt with purpose, based on augmented reality and gamification’.

Teachers can find the app on the TSAA website. 

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Tourettes affects about 1 in 100 kids, yet the cause remains a mystery.

Research indicates those under 21 are more commonly affected – as are boys generally more likely than girls to develop the condition.

The symptoms are thought to lessen with age, however, those with the condition must learn to manage it for a lifetime.

The Tourette’s at School Report shows one 44 per cent of students living with Tourette’s are told off. 

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One third are sent out of the classroom while a student living with the condition is three times more likely to be suspended. 

Research indicates those under 21 are more commonly affected - as are boys generally more likely than girls to develop the condition

Research indicates those under 21 are more commonly affected – as are boys generally more likely than girls to develop the condition

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