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High-school athletes with Tourette’s inspire, compete

High-school athletes with Tourette’s inspire, compete

Source: Seattle Times

He stands in the batter’s box, his head on a swivel, jerking in every direction. He looks at the umpire longer than the pitcher, holds the bat in one hand and punches himself in the ribs with the other. Somehow, fighting the full-blown episode of his Tourette’s Syndrome, Kellen Webster sees the pitch he wants and plows it up the middle for a single. And his father doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so he does both. Just as Tourette’s varies in severity, so do the way parents deal with it, according to Dr. Geoffrey Wiegand, a clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s who specializes in Tourette’s and OCD. “Nobody wants their child to have anything wrong,” he said, noting some parents might not notice subtle tics. “A lot of people will say, ‘They’ll grow out of it,’ and a lot of times that’s the kind of advice pediatricians are giving parents.” As many as 30 percent actually do grow out of it, according to Wiegand.