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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.

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Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research.

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