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Introduction Letter

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If you are a new visitor, diagnosed with a difference, please read this introduction letter to you.

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Life's A Twitch! Celebrating 15 years.
1998 - 2018
Life's A Twitch! Celebrating 15 years.


Consulting on all issues Tourette at a wine & cheese function put on by the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada (Toronto, Ontario; 2001)

Greetings, Friend:

Friend.  Now why would I go ahead and assume that you are a friend?  Oh I don't know -- maybe it has something to do with the fact that while Tourette Syndrome (TS) or one of its associated disorders does not touch your life directly, you are still taking the time to visit this site and learn more about a population (perhaps a loved one) that needs your understanding, support, and accommodation. It is generous and kind-hearted of you, your increased knowledge about 'our' various diagnoses will benefit us, and so I salute you.


Teacher, thank you for doing what you do. Thank you for continuing to genuinely care about your students' needs despite ever-growing pressures and demands. Increasing numbers of students (both identified as requiring unique needs and not) and scrutiny from government and parents, and decreasing resources and time means that your job is more challenging than ever. Yet here you are, devoting more of that precious time to your profession. I will do my best to ensure that the information you find on this site (such as this handout or this one) and in my presentations helps you to accomplish much more with these individuals in much less time. For it's not like you have plenty of time to spare!

Mental health professional, thank you for doing what you do. As a member of this team myself, I am intimately aware with the strains on resources, both personal and material, in the field. I take my hat off to each of you, and hope that the information offered on this site aids you in devising more comprehensive assessments, accurate diagnoses, and successful treatment (psychological and medical). Cases involving TS or other neurodevelopmental disorders of self-regulation are often very complex, involving a myriad of conditions, factors, and disciplines. They can also be enormously rewarding, as these individuals bring an equal number of strengths and positives through the door with them. You may wish to see a list of these assets here or to see an article on these positives here.

Employer, thank you for doing what you do. Many in your position, unfamiliar with the difference they are confronted with, make their own assumptions about the potential of those individuals diagnosed with it. This is a disservice to the diagnosed individual to be sure............but it is also a disservice to that employer. Individuals with the differences discussed on this site have been renowned surgeons and doctors, highly successful CEO's, nationally recognized trade workers, brilliant scientists and academics, skilled teachers and lawyers, fine actors, and even decorated members of the military! You have taken a chance by hiring someone with a difference you don't entirely understand. Read the information contained on this site to alleviate some of your concerns and to find ways of addressing others. Some articles I've written in the past on TS In The Workplace can be found here and here.

'Significant Other', Friend, Neighbour, Interested Other ..........what can I say. Nothing is quite adequate. It seems to me that it is one thing to be born into a disorder. It is one thing to learn the strategies, to educate yourself, and to learn to accept and even like your difference because you really don't have a whole hell of a lot of choice in it. It is another thing altogether to voluntarily take on this role. To embrace another with these challenges as you are choosing to do. I firmly believe, based on my own experience but also from meeting countless others in this population, that remarkable strength, maturity, and self-actualization can result from the journey of learning to live with differences. This will be your reward as well. Thank you for doing what you do.

Finally, of course, the families of individuals with a difference. The first article I wrote in the TS community was inspired by, and dedicated to, parents. In retrospect it applies to much more than simply TS, and I'd like you to read it here. Despite its length this homage still does not do justice to you -- thank you for doing what you do.


Use my webpage, and the resources you find on it, whenever you want or need the perspective of someone who "gets it".  If you would like people in your area or at your school to know more about a number of differences, what they feel like, and how to deal with them my website will give you details on my many presentations and how to book me.  If you'd like to know more about me first my Accolades section will help.  My Writings will allow you to read more about what a number of differences feel like and how to cope, and you can read some of the research I've done too. The Resources section will tell you about the various kinds of help you can access on the Web, in the library, on video, and in your area. Finally, the Youth Haven has a collection of things in it to make teens and children with differences feel better about themselves, including a Certificate of Achievement I'd like them to have.

All the best; cheers,

Dr. B. Duncan McKinlay, Psychologist

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Last updated on January 3, 2018

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