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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Driving with Tourettes

Today is day 6 of Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month.  Since the weekend was incredibly busy for me, I figured I'd stick with a smaller post for today.  I was thinking about a question that someone recently asked me, and I thought I'd answer her question here in case anyone else has asked that same question.  "Can someone with Tourette Syndrome drive?"

In most cases, the answer to that question is yes.  Tourette Syndrome in itself is not a cause for someone being unable to drive.  There really isn't much reason as to why someone with TS couldn't drive, unless there are other medical issues that are co-existing along with the TS, or unless the tics make it too hard to concentrate on the road or drive safely.  In fact, I've talked to several people that have said the concentration it takes to drive is a good distraction from the tics, giving the ticcer a break from their usual tics.  One person I talked to said that they wouldn't tic while driving, but would have to release their tics (in this person's case, severe head shaking) at every red light and stop sign.  As soon as he was able to drive again, the tics would be controlled until the next chance to stop.

Not only can people with Tourette Syndrome drive a car, but they can also race a car.  I've mentioned before about the racing record that was accomplished by Trey Shannon for TS Awareness.  I may also have mentioned that NASCAR drivers Kenny Wallace and Steve Wallace both have Tourette Syndrome.  They offer hope to ticcers like Monster Man who have dreams of one day racing a car themselves.

1 comment:

  1. There is something about intense concentration that "channels" or "focuses" the Tourettes energy into the activity of one's choosing. I don't think it disappears but rather gets re-directed, something akin to a river being re-drected: It never stops flowing, it just changes direction.

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