Just What is Tourette's Syndrome?
I've been watching American Idol for many seasons. One of the most memorable was the season James Durbin auditioned for the judges. At that time, he told them that he had Tourettes syndrome and Aspergers disease. This was quite a surprise to me as his singing was really good and he gave a spot on performance, impressing all the judges. Although he exhibited a few tics, he had no other symptoms which might get in the way of his performing. The only thing I thought was a little weird about him was his hair, which has changed somewhat since the stylists on American Idol have gotten a hold of him.
According to Wikipedia,Tourettes is an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by multiple physical (motor) tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic; these tics characteristically wax and wane. Tourette's is defined as part of a spectrum of tic disorders, which includes transient and chronic tics.
Genetic and environmental factors play a role in the etiology of Tourette's, but the exact causes are unknown. In most cases, medication is unnecessary. There is no effective medication for every case of tics, but there are medications and therapies that can help when their use is warranted. Explanation and reassurance alone are often sufficient treatment; education is an important part of any treatment plan.
WebMD defines Aspergers asa type of pervasive development disorder. PDDs are a group of conditions that involve delays in the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize with others, to communicate, and to use imagination.
Although Asperger's syndrome is similar in some ways to autism -- another, more severe type of PDD -- there are some important differences. Children with Asperger's syndrome typically function better than do those with autism. In addition, children with Asperger's syndrome generally have normal intelligence and near-normal language development, although they may develop problems communicating as they get older.
As the weeks went by, Durbin just got better and better. He seemed relaxed, at ease, and perfectly able to handle the big stage and huge audiences. How's that for overcoming your handicap? All the judges loved him and were very encouraging, especially Steven Tyler. Durbin is a rock singer and has a similar approach to Tyler on stage. He does a lot of controlled screaming and moving around.
"I think sometimes it takes a little bit of being crazy to make a difference in this world. And that's what you're all about." said Steven Tyler...who better than crazy rocker Steven Tyler to make such a statement?