People with Tourette’s syndrome often have a challenge in finding work, particularly in the public eye.
While many of us have very subtle symptoms, commonly known as ‘tics’, there is a perception among the general public that all sufferers use foul language, scream or yell spontaneously, have profound body movements, and that the condition is completely outside of our control.
This stereotype has been long portrayed by the media in sensationalist accounts that are often skewed towards media ratings, rather than actual helpful information.
The reality is that the aforementioned symptoms are only a small and rare part of the disorder being typical of less than 10% of sufferers.
In an article on Tourette Syndrome, the US National Library of Genetics stated that TS is one of the most misunderstood conditions on the planet.
As with many people who have a difficulty to overcome, TS people are often resilient and outgoing. Many have learned to ‘stand out’ in public and are quite forward and happy to explain their disorder to anyone who enquires. This leads to having well developed people skills and a confidence in public communication.
My personal working life began when I did work experience in a hardware store for a month in order to gain a reference from them while I sought paid employment. I worked with enthusiasm and after contributing my work for a few weeks, I was asked to stay and fill a new vacancy that had emerged. This beginning emerged into many other great opportunities to the professional I am today.
Many people who have Tourette’s grow to find their vocational direction and live comparatively fulfilling and productive lives in many varied occupations which have included brain surgeons, professional athletes, airline pilots, teachers and trades people.
Given the chance to show their capabilities, TS people often thrive in encouraging work situations and become valuable members of company staff and respected by customers.
Remember that being different is your biggest asset and you don’t have to be like everyone else.
About the Author:
Dave is an Adult Educator, Speaker and Youth leader living in Western Sydney, Australia where he teaches the Electrical Trades at the Western Sydney Institute. He has Diplomas in Business and Training, a Bachelors Degree in Adult Education, Vocational and Workplace Training and a Masters of Education with a major in Career Development. He has lived with Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders since an early age. He is married with 6 children. He is a passionate coach and mentor to young people especially in the vocational guidance and career development areas. Dave is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia and has authored a course on Living with Tourette’s which you can study and purchase online through his website – www.davebrebner.com.