It's Not What You Think: Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month Helps Spread the Word About the Disorder - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

It's Not What You Think: Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month Helps Spread the Word About the Disorder

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SOURCE Tourette Syndrome Association

BAYSIDE, N.Y., May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- You may think you know what it means to have Tourette Syndrome, but those who live with the neurological disorder every day, can tell you it's not what you think. It's not always based on what has been depicted in movies and on TV-it's not the punch line for a cheap laugh. It's a life tormenting disorder that can be a lifelong struggle for so many.

May 15 to June 15 celebrates National Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month to help raise positive awareness about TS and address common misconceptions. The Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) aims to increase understanding, tolerance and acceptance for all individuals and families living with Tourette Syndrome.

"Increased awareness for the general public, medical and educational professionals to ensure our community receives an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment is a top priority," said Annetta Hewko, President, TSA. "We have come a long way, but today it can still take approximately three years to get an accurate diagnosis of TS. It's heartbreaking to continue to hear about the struggles parents and adults endure until they get their diagnosis. An important part of our mission is to help them find the resources they so desperately need and continue to educate professionals in the field."

In 2005 Congress introduced a resolution which "recognizes the importance of early diagnosis, proper treatment and enhanced public awareness of TS and supporting the goals and ideals of a National Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month" (House Con. Res. 430 and Senate Con. Res 113).

National Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month provides an opportunity for the TSA, its 32 Chapters and over 50 Support Groups and others in the TS community to educate the public through local events, meetings, social media outreach, awareness walks and family outings.

"Throughout the month there are a number of things, big and small, that individuals and organizations can do to help raise public awareness and instill teal pride throughout the TS community. Everyone can play a role," Annetta added.

A new initiative this year is "Teal Tuesdays" in which TSA encourages people to wear teal clothing or accessories to help spread the word by donning the Tourette Syndrome awareness color.

And now, no matter where you live, anyone can join TSA's National Awareness Walk taking place at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York City on Sunday, June 8.  Participants can join physically or 'virtually' by walking with friends and family in their own neighborhood or town.

Additionally, Government Relations Awareness Week from May 26 through May 30, when TSA members, chapters and families hold district meetings with local, state and federal officials and community leaders to raise their awareness of issues impacting families living with TS.

And people across the country and all over the world can participate by using the Twitter hashtag #TSAwarenessMonth, and changing their social media profile photo and status updates to show that they support TS Awareness Month.

Marked by involuntary vocal sounds and physical movements called tics, Tourette Syndrome is an inherited neurological condition frequently misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Founded in 1972, the national Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) is celebrating its 42nd year as the only national, voluntary health organization for people with Tourette Syndrome. The TSA has a three-pronged mission to identify the cause of, control the effects of, and to find a cure for Tourette Syndrome through education, research and service. The TSA directs a network of 33 Chapters and more than 50 support groups across the country. For more information on TS, call 1-888-4-TOURET, visit http://tsa-usa.org, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Inquiries:
Tracy Colletti-Flynn
tracy.flynn@tsa-usa.org

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