At the end of the last year I worked on a project with my friend Gurpreet to help a primary school re-design its playground. Along with their teachers, Gurpreet and I worked with children in every class to help them come up with ideas and make models of the sort of structures and equipment they wanted.
This morning we went to present the most popular and creative ideas at a whole school assembly. I had met most of the children before during workshops and had explained about my tics, but that was a few months ago and from previous experience I knew that children sometimes forget if I don’t see them a lot.
I was also anxious because even though swearing isn’t a dominant feature of my Tourettes I’m one of the 10% of people with the condition who do swear involuntarily and I didn’t want any bad language to distract their attention from their fantastic new playground designs.
At the start of the assembly I explained briefly that I would be making unusual noises and movements, but that we’d come to talk to them about something much more exciting.
The assembly was great fun and the children were understandably enthusiastic about getting new things to play on.
The children didn’t seem too distracted by my tics, unlike one boy at the station who was concentrating on me so hard that he fell up the stairs.