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Team USA's Goalie Brings Positive Light to Tourette's Syndrome

Tim Howard has brought much pride to the USA team. He has made World Cup History with sixteen saves in a single game. Life has not always been easy for Howard. He was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, which is a neurological disorder, when he we was in sixth grade. Some of the symptoms exhibited with this syndrome includes erratic physical and vocal tics. Despite the difficulties when he was younger, Howard never gave up. He was mentored and started playing for U.S. national teams by the time he was fifteen. Some attributed his athleticism to heightened reflexes and obsessive-compulsiveness that is associated with Tourette’s. Although the cause of Tourette’s is unknown, genes and the environment are considered factors, studies show that most people inherit Tourette’s from their parents. There is no cure but treatment plans can include medicine and cognitive behavior therapy, exercise and other relaxation techniques.

There are many misconceptions about Tourette’s. Some associate Tourette’s with cursing uncontrollably or intellectual deficiencies which couldn’t be further from the truth. Only about ten percent of people have this type of tic. Tourette sufferers have normal intelligence and life expectancy. They are not incapacitated by their symptoms. In fact, there are quite a few famous people with Tourette’s such as Jim Eisenreich (MLB), Chris Jackson (NBA), and Dan Ackroyd (actor). For more information about Tourette’s in the Greater Washington DC area visit Tourette Syndrome Association.