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Tic Talk: Living with Tourette Syndrome

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"Creating awareness and tolerance one tic at a time." - Dylan PetersA third grader writes about Tourette SyndromeHis book reveals a maturity and wisdom far beyond his years Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder that affects approximately 100,000 Americans, according to the National Institute of Health. It most often strikes youngsters between the ages of six and nine. Dylan Peters was diagnosed with TS when he was only four. With Dylan, the TS began as it most often does, with facial tics, head jerking, and protracted blinking of the eyes. These repetitive motions (sometimes accompanied by vocal sounds such as gurgling or repeating words and phrases) understandably attracts a lot of unwanted attention. The emotional impact on those with TS can be staggering. They have no control whatsoever over the tics and vocalizations; neither can they avoid the stares and whispered comments. Dylan understands all too well. For a long time, he wanted his family to keep his TS a secret, afraid that it would make him the object of ridicule among his classmates. His mother told him, "If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade." Dylan realized she was right. "When I thought about it," he says, "I could see that things really could be a whole lot worse." With his family's and his teacher's support, Dylan decided to speak to his classmates about his TS. It went better than he ever could have hoped. The whole experience gave him the idea of writing a book for other kids with TS. Dylan, who is about to enter the fourth grade, is the author of Tic Talk-Living with Tourette Syndrome: A 9-year-old boy's story in his own words. In it, he shares what he has learned of tolerance and acceptance during the five years he's had TS. In a style that is often humorous and always insightful, Dylan helps others, young and old, understand TS and the enormous pressures this little-understood affliction places on those who have it and on those who love them. "Dylan has done what most of us would not even think of doing, especially at such a young age," writes Jim Eisenreich in his Foreword to Tic Talk. "He's had the questions, but instead of waiting for the answers, he went ahead and made his own," adds Eisenreich, a former Major League Baseball Player. Eisenreich, too, has suffered from Tourette Syndrome since he was a child. The book is filled with heartwarming illustrations, all done by Dylan's friend, Zachary Wendland. Tic Talk-Living with Tourette Syndrome: A 9-year-old boy's story in his own words (ISBN 978-1-58985-162-7/1-58985-162-5), paperback, is published by Little Five Star, a division of Five Star Publications, 4696 W. Tyson Street, Chandler, AZ 85226. The book is distributed through Ingram, Baker and Taylor. To request a review copy and/or to schedule an interview with the author, please contact the publisher. ISBN 978-1-58985-162-7/1-58985-162-5 "Simple, colorful illustrations by Dylan's best friend Zachary Wendland drive home this straightforward, tell-it-like-it-is story... A set of ten successful strategies for working with children with Tourette Syndrome and a list of additional resources round out this highly recommended picture book for school libraries and for teaching young people everywhere about Tourette Syndrome."Hornbook Guide to Children