Life With Tourette’s

Life With Tourette’s tells the stories of three individuals who are overcoming great odds to pursue their dreams.

Chris is a 35-year-old, bright, handsome man who has struggled to find a career worthy of his talents. He worked a series of dead end jobs before deciding to go into training to become a park ranger. However, his very loud and disruptive tics may get in the way of him achieving his dream. He knows that people are skeptical of him because of his Tourette’s. They see it as a disability, but he wants to prove them wrong. Chris goes through the training to become a park ranger but has a hard time controlling his tics in the classroom setting. He must also go through firearms training to pass the law enforcement academy. At the gun range, Chris must command extreme focus in order to shoot his firearm. The instructor has doubts about whether someone with Tourette’s, who has uncontrollable twitches, can safely fire a gun. Chris nails the exercise and explains that any time he is in a very serious situation, he is able to control his tics. Still, not everyone passes the academy and he worries his Tourette’s will ruin his chances. Chris finishes his training at the academy and waits for a response to his park ranger application.

Louis is not where he wants to be in life. He is twenty-seven years old and living in his parent’s basement. His dream is to be a standup comic. At seven years of age he was diagnosed with Tourette’s and the doctors put him on medication. The side effect was severe weight gain. This meant he was not only the kid with Tourette’s, he was the overweight kid with Tourette’s. It was then that he began using humor to cope with his disorder. He liked to make the kids at school laugh at his own expense so that they wouldn’t make fun of him. Now, he wants to make it big in standup comedy so that he can get out of his parents’ house and out on his own. As a way of coping with his challenges, Louis goes to group therapy with others that have Tourette’s. It’s helpful to get together and share common experiences, but Louis also reports that it is “comedy gold.” He likes to use his sense of humor to bring levity to the sessions. Louis gets a gig at a local bowling alley. He is always terribly nervous before any show, no matter what the size of the venue. He takes the stage and struggles to keep the room, but by the end of the show he has everyone cracking up. Louis is hopeful that he’s on his way to bigger and better things. Then he gets a big time booking at one of the best comedy clubs in New York! His nerves are on edge because he knows this could be a make–or–break show.

Zach was diagnosed with late-onset Tourette’s when he was nineteen years old. He is now twenty-seven and lives with his wife and baby daughter. His Tourette’s involves him repeatedly hitting himself in the neck with substantial force. Right now Zach makes and delivers pizza. He worries that he won’t be able to provide for his family. His dream is to become a firefighter. He has applied at 13 fire departments and hasn’t been hired. He worries that closed-minded attitudes about Tourette’s will keep him from ever landing his dream job. Zach takes the fire department’s physical test; a very demanding obstacle course that will test his ability to react and maneuver in a fire. He isn’t sure whether he will be able to hold his tics in during the test. He doesn’t want anyone from the fire department to know about his Tourette’s because he doesn’t want to jeopardize his chances. However, he finishes the test in record time. He successfully hid his Tourette’s from everyone and is hopeful that this time he will get the firefighter job. He just has to wait a week for a letter from the department.

Tune in to Life With Tourette’s tonight at 10:30p.

Comments

  1. Willa Centanni
    September 3, 2013, 5:35 pm

    I would like to thank the powers that be for taking an interest in Tourette Syndrome. Our family is very excited. I’ve been “tweeting” and Louis is “twitching” lol

  2. Susan Ringheisen
    GA
    September 5, 2013, 7:26 pm

    I would also like to say thanks. My 9 year old daughter has T.S. Shows like this are amazing. It alows her to see what people can do when they put their mind to it.

  3. Mark McKinney
    Utah
    September 5, 2013, 9:57 pm

    I’m watching it now and Louis is funny, like Daniel Tosh funny.

  4. Nicole
    Pennsylvaniaania
    September 5, 2013, 10:34 pm

    Thank you for this show it was so good! I hope too see more of the show in the future! My son and I have TS and it’s so good for everyone too see what we go through day to day! Also too show someone with TS going for their dreams!

  5. Linda McCready
    Charlotte, NC
    September 5, 2013, 10:51 pm

    Loved it! How about creating a series from it, maybe even highlighting different people in each episode

  6. Kate Andr
    BC
    September 5, 2013, 11:14 pm

    Is it going to show in Canada, can’t find it on the schedule

  7. Denise Simonelli
    Charlotte, NC
    September 6, 2013, 7:03 am

    Hello!

    How can I get the link of video for “Life with Tourette’s” I missed it last night!!

    Thank You!

  8. Amy
    Idaho
    September 6, 2013, 7:55 am

    Thank you for airing this program. The fact that these men felt they needed to hide their tics really shows how understood TS is. It was also nice to see a glimpse of what the future may hold for those of us who parent a child (or two) with TS. Many thanks!

  9. michael hoover
    reno, nv
    September 6, 2013, 8:34 am

    Thank you, NatGeo for taking an interest and broadcasting this. I don’t know what kind of ratings you got, and frankly I hope YOU don’t care. Programming like this is a public service. The more the general public can be informed about this, the easier life may become for people like my son.

  10. Laura Savage
    Baton Rouge, LA
    September 6, 2013, 8:53 am

    Please, please, PLEASE make more episodes like this one on Tourette Syndrome!!! My husband is 53 and has lived with the shame of TS since he was in 2nd grade. It helps him SO MUCH to know there are other people out there experiencing the same successes & failures he has. Plus, the general public needs more education on neurological disorders so there’s not such a negative stigma related to these disorders. Well done….just want more!

  11. barbara eaves
    coweta ok
    September 6, 2013, 9:15 am

    My son has had Tourettes since 8 and his plan is to become a pro soccer player over seas. He is in 10th and Soccer has helped him control and focus , His lets go at home on his tics which is fine and he is very passionate about is future he is not going to let touretts rule him.

  12. […] who are overcoming great odds to pursue their dreams. Here is the description from their website. It will next be shown at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, September […]

  13. Shawn Corrill
    Illinois
    September 6, 2013, 10:19 am

    I have not seen it yet as I recorded it, however I would like to wish and beg more shows about Tourettes are on TV. I have a son with TS and I love to see more epsiodes.
    Thanks so much for making this show

  14. Guy Ferger
    Portland, Maine
    September 6, 2013, 10:33 am

    We do not have a TV, however we do have computers with internet connections. I would like to see this program. I have recently been diagnosed with Tourette’s. I have had it all of my life. I just did not know it. So did my later father. I’m 56. Laura Savage, Is there anyway I could “talk” to your husband about TS? How he deals with it? I’m having a very difficult time finding people near my age dealing with this. I am new to this.

  15. Denise Wells
    Falls Church, VA
    September 6, 2013, 12:48 pm

    Thanks for promoting awareness and understanding of TS. There is so much info in this piece! I plan to watch it again on Thursday.

  16. Kim krug
    Schaumburg, Illinois
    September 7, 2013, 9:16 am

    I would love to see this as an ongoing show. As a mother of a teenager with Tourette’s, I’m all for tv shows educating about Tourette’s.

  17. Karen
    GA
    September 7, 2013, 9:17 am

    Great show!! My son has Tourette’s and loves seeing other people like him. Shows like this help him feel normal and hopeful for the future.

  18. Brenda Parks-Arms
    ChicagoLand
    September 7, 2013, 9:19 am

    This was most interesting to view shortly into the everyday life of adults with TS. For others to see the trials these men went through was more than educational and heart-wrenching. Thank you for pulling this together and we hope to see more a d/or a follow-up. Documentaries like this go a long way in helping others to relate better. Having a young child in our family it would also be good to see one on different age levels.

  19. Heather I.
    Kansas City
    September 7, 2013, 9:22 am

    Watching my 8 year old son with Tourettes follow the lives of these young men was priceless. He thought it was wonderful! In a world were he often feels different this was so meaningful for us in so many ways. My son went to bed that night and said a prayer for the man who hopes to become a firefighter. I would love to see this become a series. I would also like to see more of their families…their thoughts and feelings. When your loved one is diagnosed, the entire family is diagnosed. We are in it together.

  20. Jennifer Garrison
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    September 7, 2013, 10:24 am

    Thank you for this show! My son has TS and he loves watching anything related to TS. I love seeing real people with TS and not the stereotypical TS jokes. We need more awareness and you have done this is a very professional and entertaining way.

  21. Marie
    North Augusta, SC
    September 7, 2013, 10:24 am

    My son with TS really enjoyed this show. It was so positive for him to see other people with TS pursuing their dreams. I truly hope you can make this into a series–there are so many out there with TS that could be featured on the show!

  22. Dawn Trevino
    Washington State
    September 7, 2013, 10:32 am

    Would love to see more episodes highlighting people with Tourette’s – maybe a series?

  23. Rocío Tovar
    Apple valley ca
    September 7, 2013, 10:44 am

    Many People around the world need to know about ts. HOW ABOUT A SERIES WITH ONE GUEST AT A TIME !!!

  24. Johanna Joseph
    Pennsylvania
    September 7, 2013, 11:01 am

    This was a great show.. I look forward to watching the newer ones. I suffered from one of the worst cases of Tourette’s Syndrome in America.. I got DBS and am now nearly cured.. still have tics but it’s amazing. I’m glad that they are able to function with their TS and show others that they can too! Great inspiration for younger kids..

  25. AM
    United States
    September 7, 2013, 11:04 am

    Make more episodes on Tourette’s please!!

  26. Kimberly Jones
    Atlanta, GA
    September 7, 2013, 11:07 am

    Thank you SO much for the great “Life with Tourette’s” documentary. My 17 year old daughter has TS and this show was such a blessing for us! Please, please, please continue to make this a series and help spread awareness of TS and debunk the “Hollywood stereotype” that all Tourette Syndrome is is a cussing disease…it is SO much more as we saw on the documentary. Thank you!

  27. Suzanne Klar
    NJ
    September 7, 2013, 11:09 am

    Would love to see more.

  28. Brandi
    Central NY
    September 7, 2013, 11:37 am

    Thanks for having this air! It would be great if more people were aware of Tourette’s and the things that people with Tourette’s go through on a daily basis. Awareness in the form of a show is great! THANKS

  29. Jeannine S
    Wisconsin
    September 7, 2013, 1:39 pm

    Thanks for educating people about Tourette Syndrome!

  30. Sylvie
    Sainte-Mélanie, Québec Canada
    September 7, 2013, 1:54 pm

    We are a familly og 5/6 Tourette, please someone give me the link to see it, i don’t have NG channel.:(
    Would love to see it.

  31. Ruthie
    United States
    September 7, 2013, 3:08 pm

    Please make this into a series! I loved it! I want to see more!!!!

  32. Theresa Turdici
    Millbrae, CA
    September 7, 2013, 3:52 pm

    Thanks for this program! I have a 9 year old son with TS and he loves to see programs that portray real people living with Tourette Syndrome. We’d love to see more of this program. Thank you.

  33. Myles R. Walker
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    September 7, 2013, 4:22 pm

    I’m an African American published Author living with Tourette Syndrome all my life. I advocate and fight for all men, women, children from all ethnic backgrounds. There isn’t a current Tourette support group here in Knoxville, Tennessee. We need one because there is a growing population of people living with Tourettes here in Knoxville, Powell, Oak Ridge, South Knoxville, Maryville, Tennessee, Kingsport, Morristown, Johnson City Tennessee. Would love for you guys to.come here and film stuff. Thank You much for filming this awesome documentary. I hope to meet these folks someday! Look forward to.watching. Im sharing this on my http:/www.facebook.com/mylesrwalker1
    twitter.com/mylesrwalker

    Increase your awareness about this news story about an “African American published Author Living With Tourettes” in Knoxville, TN & raising Awareness Grand Rapids Michigan Detroit and abroad http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/255653/9/Tourette-syndrome-One-mans-story

    My first news story about “Living with Tourettes” on Feb 8, 2011 by reporter Josh Ault of WATE-TV 6 News. Share. 1LUV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM-RDFGR4Cc&feature=share

    I don’t know if you are a bookworm likemself.
    This info is just to raise your awareness about people living with Tourette Syndrome. You don’t have to feel obligated to buy my published book. I just want you to know about this because for one I’m a published Author promoting my book working hard getting the word out. 2 you will cross paths in your neighborhood, work place, mall, park, library, restaurant, friend or families residence, school, college, day care, sporting event, cookout, party, banquet, club, airport, police station, hospital, meeting, through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, Pinterest, GooglePlus, Tumble, Flickr, Email and/or any other type of social network or digital communication etc. Somebody, young, teen, adult, or elderly, no matter color of skin, ethnic racial or financial background anyone comes from. Someday you will meet, hear about someone who has Tourettes, and needs help, love, support, and info, in some way, shape form or fashion. I am a published Author with my first book, “Me and My Tourette’s: Motivated by God” $9.95 available at Barnes & Noble, Book, Knook, Books-A-Million, Amazon Kindle, Amazon.com Hue-Man Bookstore, as well as 25,000 book stores worldwide. Here’s my book link to click on that will take directly to Barnes & Noble. Please share with everyone. Thank You. 1LUV http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/me-and-my-tourettes-myles-r-walker/1007902674?ean= 9780595390588

  34. Janice McCready
    FL
    September 7, 2013, 6:27 pm

    Very informative program. Should be a series to get the word out to all esp school age children and those who could employ anyone with tourettes.

  35. Stefanie Manchester
    Upstate New York
    September 7, 2013, 9:02 pm

    I loved this show. I have a 10y/o son with TS. I love the example these men are setting, to never give up & you can do whatever you set your mind too!! This show should be a series showing men, women & childrenwho live with TS.

  36. Fisher Lee
    Arkansas
    September 8, 2013, 3:18 pm

    Loved this show! It’s great to see guys with TS follow their dreams and let nothing hold them back! Please, please make more of these! Heck, I’ll volunteer if you need folks.

  37. Christy Jones
    Pensacola fl
    September 8, 2013, 3:49 pm

    I watched this. Having never been around anyone with Tourette’s I found it so wonderful. However, it really frustrated me that these people feel like they would EVER have to stay at home. After watching this show for a few minutes, I didn’t even notice the ticks. I thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone’s story. I hope if anyone sees this that has Tourette’s-please, get out in public and enjoy your day! If someone treats you different, it is definitely their problem, not yours. Just know there are people who don’t even notice it at all-just like me. 🙂

  38. Katherine Juneau
    Milton, LA
    September 8, 2013, 6:25 pm

    Thanks so much for taking an interest in Tourette’s and how adults can live successful, happy, normal lives. I hope that you continue to air this program as the comments on many facebook pages have described how inspired people are and how much hope they feel for their children and grandchildren with Tourette’s.

  39. kristine
    madison al
    September 8, 2013, 7:47 pm

    My family would like to see this become a series.

  40. Laura Savage
    September 12, 2013, 11:26 am

    To Guy Ferger, shoot us an email to laurabob@bellsouth.net. It would help my husband a great deal to talk to someone his age, too. Thanks!

  41. Danica Surette
    Nova Scotia canada
    September 13, 2013, 7:42 am

    I wrote a children’s’ book to inform those around me about Tourette Syndrome. Voila!

    http://www.specialneedsbookreview.com/2012/12/14/brynns-bizarre-behavior-life-with-tourette-syndrome-by-danica-surette/

  42. Pamela Parrott
    Houston, Texas
    September 13, 2013, 9:55 am

    Awesome program. Have a 16 year old son with TS. Loved the perseverance of Zach going for 13 fire department interviews and vowing to go to more until he gets hired. I don’t have TS and am not that relentless in my pursuits. FIRE DEPARTMENTS – HIRE THIS MAN!!!! Love that Chris doesn’t let TS get in his way pursuing his park ranger dream. He’s amazing. Last, but not least, is Louis – love that he can laugh through and even at his differences. He is entertaining and I wish him all the best.

  43. Maggie Newlin
    Naperville, IL
    September 17, 2013, 9:05 pm

    Will the rest be picked up as a series?!