What is TS?

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TV and TS.

One of the latest Christmas Episodes of the popular TV Series "Touched by and Angel" was about a kid named Cody, who had Tourette Syndrome, and his father who was imprisoned for manslaughter when he hit a teenager who was calling Cody a "Retard." The message on how God loves and excepts everyone as "Being Special" just the way they are was quite moving. However, this TV portrayal of a person with TS, like any other TV portrayal, is slightly blown up. TV portrayals pretty much have to be blown up, so that viewers can get a good picture of what TS is; but at the same time, the viewers should be aware that actors who portray a charactor with TS do exaggerate.

The young actor who played Cody had a part on "Touched by an Angel" once before, so he doesn't really have TS. Even if an actor, who portrays a charactor who has Tourettes, is actually stricken with this illness in real life, a lot of the symptoms of TS would still be "Play-acted." This TV version portrayed Cody's Tics as being almost 100% involuntary, and an on going thing. Even when Cody was aware that the tics were going on, he couldn't stop them. I have had Tourette Syndrome all my life, and Tics come in episodes. The older you get, the longer it is between episodes. Once I become aware that the Tics are taking place, I can usually bring these tics to a halt. The charactor was also portrayed as having to "Touch people" all the time. Touching people is just a "Very strong urge" that a lot of people with TS have. But an increased awareness of the consequences for touching people, when it isn't warranted, prevents a person with TS from actually doing it, just like the awareness of Tics will enable a person with TS to bring them under immediate control.

All in all, TS is a bit blown up on the TV Screen. But as I said before, it is neccessary to blow it up a little bit, so TV viewers can get a good picture of what people with TS often experience. I applaud the producers of "Touched by an Angel" for the way they touhed on the subjest of Tourette Syndrome, and the inspirational message that was sent to TV Viewers all over America.


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