Syndrome (TS) is a genetic disease which is characterized by a chemical dysfunction in the back of the brain resulting in
highly abnormal motor and vocal behavior, called Tics, obsessive Rituals (i.e. washing you hands 4 times before you are convinced
they are clean and sanitary), ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and Impaired job performances. The reason I know so much about
this sort of thing is I have had TS all my life. As it turns out I was a forceps baby at birth and sustained a brain injury,
so I am also developmentally disabled.
TS and the other injuries also
hindered my social development. It is very hard for a person with TS to sit down and visit and so conversation skills
do not develop properly. Also, Teenagers with TS are often the target of verbal and physical abuse by their teenage peers,
simply because teenagers with TS are "Different" This kind of social scrutiny causes teenagers with TS to shy away for
fear of being humiliated. Again, social development is hindered, and at a time of life when social development is the
most crucial. All this is why I joined Toastmasters 21 years ago.
During the Fall of 1990, I met Dr. Jennifer
Tom, ATM-S. We went out a few times. It didn't take Jennifer long to recognize my lack of social and communication skills,
and so she told me about Toastmasters International, and how the organization could help me. In early November of 1990, I
took the plunge, and joined Toastmasters. During the last seven years, I have gone through the entire Toastmasters Program.
All in all, Toastmasters has done wonders in improving my communication and social skills. The one thing that has really helped
me to develop my conversation skills is Table Topics., and speaking "Off the cuff". It has gotten to the point where I can
now speak off the cuff a lot more fluently than when I first joined Toastmasters; and so, I can carry on conversations a lot
more fluently as well. Evaluating other speakers also has helped in developing my ability to speak off the cuff; and in addition
to that, it has helped me to rise above my weak attention span associated with TS, and be a better "Listener".
has also played an important role in developing my social skills. When I served as Area C-2 Governor in the Founder's District
in 1994-95, I developed better social skills simply by learning to work together with various club officers in my area to
achieve certain goals. All this required rising above TS and that is exactly what I did. Area C-2 finished as a
"Select Distinguished Area" ranking #4 in the Founder's District during the 1994-95 fiscal year.
And so, this
is why I strongly recommend Toastmasters for others with Tourette's Syndrome, and for that matter, for other people in general.