If you ever hear and see a child in public that Coughs, Clears throat, grunts, sniffs, snorts, or makes any loud repetitive vocal noise like that, PLEASE don’t judge the child.
My Son does those things (as well as many other vocal tics and motor tics). He Can NOT help it. He is NOT doing it to be annoying, or rude. He has “Chronic Transient Tic Disorder” the not-so-scary way to say he has “TS”. Our neurologist recommended we use that label as TS tends to make people think the worst.
The worst part for me other than wishing my child didn’t have to suffer with TS, is having to deal with other (very ignorant) people who say the most horrible things to my child and even to me. I could tell you some stories that would shock you about how grown adults can be so rude, hateful, and just plain horrible human beings.
My child first started showing major signs of this a few moths before his 5th birthday. He is 6 now. But in the last year he has been on the receiving end of more verbal abuse, scolding, and dirty looks from onlooking ADULTS that do NOT even know him!
I have witnessed all of this, comments made under peoples breath, snickering and pointing, an elderly woman who actually shook her finger right in his face and scolded him, telling him he needed to learn manners…and then proceeded to scold myself and my husband about what horrible parents we were for not teaching our son manners.
Honestly, I am not sure how to handle this in the best, most dignified way, I automatically go into protective “mother bear” mode. I have had different people suggest that I tell these people “He has Tourette’s, he can’t help it.” And I see their point, however I do not find it necessary to slap the label on his forehead every time some random, ignorant, rude person comments on his behavior. I feel people should mind their own business and know that it’s not their place to scold someone else’s child. Maybe something like….”MANNERS go both ways! Don’t preach to my child about manners when you lack them yourself!” Still I find this to be too open ended.
When a stranger attacks your child in any way the “Mommy Claws” come out! The truth is, as a mother it breaks my heart when my child is belittled, made fun of or scolded for a medical affliction, something that he can not control. It makes think…would these people as easily make fun of a child who has no hair due to Cancer treatments? I tend to think not.
So next time you see someone having a tic, even if you are not sure if it is a tic or not…just think before you act. Sometimes it’s better to keep your opinions to yourself.
Have any of you witnessed, or been on either end of this sort of abuse? If so, Please share your story. Also, What would you do? How would you respond to someone making fun of your child for something they can not control? Please comment below!