By Ben Brown
When someone tags me in a tweet, I get notifications every time someone likes, shares or comments on it.
And I’ve gotten a lot of notifications over the past few days.
To blame is pretty awesome video thread capturing a sharp podium speech that high school-age Sam Reall delivered a short while ago to a seated audience at the Illinois Golf Classic.
"Today I will be sharing my story of what it's like to live with Tourette Syndrome," Sam began in the phone-captured video. He told the audience he was diagnosed at age 6 and has dealt with an array of tics like blinking, nose-scratching, hopping in patterns, making noises and repeating others’ words.
Then he dropped what so many Touretters can relate to: “I didn't know there was anyone else like me, therefore I didn't think I could talk about my struggles with anyone."
Sam credited his family and friends for the good times and support of an otherwise “normal” childhood, but noted how so many Touretters’ tics “can be socially unacceptable, making it hard to fit in.”
That’s also where bullying comes around, Sam told the audience. He made a request.
"Please, please try to think what it would be like already to deal with having Tourette Syndrome ... and then having people always looking and pointing at you, laughing and making fun of you ...." said Sam.
"They never get a break from their tics,” he added, “and it's not their fault."
Sam then asked all in the room to promise they’d never make fun of anyone with TS, nor joke about it, as the fallout can be disastrous.
And to any Touretters who might’ve been in the room, he closed with another ask: "Never give up."
Sam’s remarks also covered his OCD diagnosis and lesson plan at school. Watch it all.