Writing a book about my life with Tourette Syndrome is something that always made sense. Getting my thoughts and emotions out on paper has always been what I’ve naturally turned to ever since I was a child. When I realized how little information and representation there was out there for my disorder, I decided I was going to change that and one of the ways I would do that was by writing a book “someday.” It soon became a dream of mine to see my name on the cover of a book and here we are years later, and it’s actually happened!
Having my book published is a win on so many different levels for me and the Tourette Syndrome community. Because this meant that people were starting to listen, to care, and wanted to learn more about Tourette Syndrome. I grew up watching television and movies mock what I struggled with day after day. They put a stigma on everyone’s back and made it difficult for us to be taken seriously. This book was a way to get my voice heard and to be a voice for anyone who might be too afraid to speak out for fear of ridicule and/or rejection. Our stories are meant to be heard and if we can help just one person by sharing them, then we’ve accomplished something really special.
This book is for everyone in and outside of the Tourette Syndrome world because TS affects every single part of a person’s life. I want teachers to get a deeper understanding of the student who may be struggling without them even realizing it. I want children to be included and to stop getting kicked out of classrooms or wondering if they will if they begin to tic in class. A small act, good or bad, can be carried with a student throughout their entire academic career and beyond. The teacher is the role model and sets the standards for the students. If they aren’t showing that level of understanding, then the students never will.
My hope is that teachers use this book in and outside of the classroom. Sometimes, people think that if they don’t know anyone or have never met anyone with something like Tourette Syndrome that it must not exist or they never will exist around them. Because of that it can be overlooked how important it is to learn about these differences that could be right in front of them in the future. Learning together in the classroom can be a powerful thing. The class can use the stories in the book to learn from and understand how they can help their classmates and help the teacher to get ideas from their students.
When the student moves on from the classroom and enters the workforce, I want it to be done with as much ease as possible. Fearing to disclose their disability is something many people face and although I cannot speak to every disability, I can put information and advice out there for those hiring employees with Tourette Syndrome. It shouldn’t be a red flag to see or hear someone speak about their disability with pride. It should instead show the employer what resilience and strength they have. Just because someone may have to do something a bit differently or have certain accommodations, does not mean they are incapable of the task.
The passion behind wanting to write this book is the part that came easy. I thought that it would be easier since my love for writing and my advocacy were coming together, but I found that it wasn’t always the case. I wanted to be careful of the words and stories that I shared and I wanted to make sure I was telling my story and not something that I thought someone else would want to hear or read. I found myself re-writing so many chapters over again and having a fear that what I was saying was either too much or not enough. The voice inside my head throughout the entire project was loud and made me feel like I wanted to give up so many times. But, at the end of the day, I’m extremely proud of my work from cover to cover. I put my heart and soul into this book and I hope that those on the other side will feel that as they read and learn about not only my journey but the effects that Tourette Syndrome can have on every aspect of a person’s life.
People with Tourette Syndrome are just people. We may move around, make noises, or even say things a bit more than the average person, but we deserve to be heard and represented in the appropriate way. We deserve to be seen as human beings and not a joke or a punchline. Our stories matter and until every student, teacher, or employer recognizes that, I will never stop advocating - through every avenue possible.
About the Author
Twitter: @oneticatatime - https://twitter.com/oneticatatime
Instagram: @_britneywolf - https://www.instagram.com/_britneywolf/
Bio: Britney Wolf is a passionate advocate in the Tourette Syndrome Community. She believes that the proper representation will only come by speaking up about what it’s like to live a life without control over her body. She’s not afraid to make people think about the way they speak and act around those with disabilities and is determined to make a positive change in every aspect of life.
Book Description: Ticcing My Way Through Life is a book about the ups and downs of living with the misunderstood disorder of Tourette Syndrome. I share my real life experiences while providing education surrounding the disorder and how the audience can become allies. It will help teachers, employers, and those in and outside of Tourette Syndrome by teaching them how little moments of respect, empathy, and understanding can make a huge difference.