Leighton Clarke- the comedian more commonly known by the name Uncle Tics, has grown a huge following on social media.
He is known for his funny videos highlighting life with Tourette syndrome, showing his daily routines from cooking, to eating, to playing mini golf.
Warning- strong language brought on by tics.
Uncle Tics and Tourette syndrome
There has been a huge increase in channels highlighting life with Tourette and tic disorders in recent years.
Technology has made it much easier for the community to share their stories, and for those in the community to find people like themselves around the world.
It is also known that a very small minority of people have used the ‘entertainment’ value of Tourette symptoms for social media gain.
Sadly, this has meant that those with the condition- particularly those that have gained plenty of traffic sharing their stories or have swearing compulsions- have been ridiculed.
It is important that we don’t treat those with a Tourette diagnosis with suspicion and as if they are lying. An already stressful neurological disorder compounded with accusations of lying or fabricating tics, will really affect a persons mental health and wellbeing.
Uncle Tics displays behaviours and tics that are absolutely expected from someone with Tourette syndrome.
Putting the Tourette New Zealand community on the map
There are currently 5.1 million people in New Zealand, meaning a possible 50,000 people currently have Tourette or another tic disorder in NZ.
This is calculated from the roughly 1-in-100 statistic. There are new studies that show that up to 1-in-50 school children may have Tourette syndrome or another tic disorder.
The Tourette’s Association of New Zealand is based in Christchurch, with support groups helping in various regions. It is made up of members and volunteers to help improve the life of those with the condition.
Social media is helping those with TS cope
As much as social media makes everything look perfect, it is also a place for people to share struggles, and share ways to cope.
Uncle Tics is doing this well, helping those suffering both within and outside of his home country.
There has been an ‘explosion of tics’ in the era of social media, much of this has to do with how easy it is for us to share our experiences, more than how many people are faking it for fame.
Keep doing your thing, Uncle Tics!