Tourette syndrome is often something many people still don't quite understand. But Haley Kathleen Elmhorst, an 18-year-old Youtuber with Tourette syndrome, is here to change that with a powerful video.
At 8 years old, the Wisconsin teenager was diagnosed with the neurological disorder that results in repetitive tics that can manifest as involuntary movements or as vocal-based, or as both. The Center for Disease Control estimates that one out of 360 children in the U.S. have the disorder, including 37 percent of them that have moderate or serve forms of the condition.
"Many people think Tourette syndrome is a condition that makes you swear uncontrollably," she wrote to A Plus. "While some people do have a tic known as coprolalia, only 10 percent of people who have Tourette syndrome have a swearing tic. I also want people to become aware that people with Tourette syndrome can't control these tics and to not stare or say rude comments to those who suffer."
Elmhorst's video coincided with Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month, which runs from May 15 to June 15. She created the video to show the public the unique ways each individual suffers from Tourette syndrome.
Elmhorst was amazed at the public response she received from her YouTube video.
"After sharing it online I was shocked at how fast it was getting shared and the feedback I was getting," she wrote to A Plus. "So many Tourette sufferer's or family members of Tourette suffer's said that the video had really spoke to them and helped them feel less alone. I am so glad my video was (and still is) able to bring people comfort while spreading awareness! It has also shown me that when you openly talk and explain your condition with others that many people are loving and compassionate towards you! They won't laugh or put you down. Most people want to help. And one way I can help them help me, is to educate them!"