How can I get my classmates to be more understanding of my TS?
Back story: I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) when I was in the 2nd grade. As you might imagine, it was difficult growing up in the midst of ignorant kids who thought it was either the weirdest or the most hilarious thing they’ve ever seen. Anyway – as I got older and progressed into more “mature” environments, it got a LOT easier. Since my last few years of high school, I’ve been able to give a quick intro to coworkers/classmates saying something like: I have TS and it causes me to make movements and/or sounds that I can’t control. I apologize for any disruption this might cause but I want you guys to know that it is completely involuntary. As much as I expect you to tolerate me, I understand that this is probably new and bizarre to you so I promise to do my best to tolerate your acclimation to me as well.
Now on to the problem at hand! Like I mentioned above… it’s extremely rare to come across someone who refuses to be understanding of my situation. Although when someone does react negatively, I do my best to discount them as someone who isn’t worth my time and I try to move on. But sometimes it isn’t that easy. For example, I’m working on a group project in one of my classes and the students I was assigned to work with are being so difficult. My tics are fairly mild (eye blinking, throat clearing, and head tilting) so you would think that once you get used to being around me, it’s something you could eventually overlook – right? Not so with these girls. They act like I’m the most distracting person in the world and I’m running out of ways to “educate” them like most therapists or TS websites tell you to do. It’s really starting to wear thin and I’m so close to dropping the course. Any advice? :/
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.