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uneasiness about having kids

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  • uneasiness about having kids

    hello to all you parents out there of parents with children who have tourettes...I myself was diagnosed when i was seven and have been on medications ever since..the main reason of this post is to get other people's opinions who have tourettes and have had or want to have children...i myself have always wanted to have kids of my own, even though i'm still only a teenager..i like to plan ahead...but with all the research being done, i'm starting to have second thoughts about having my own kids...most of the research i have read suggests that tourettes in hereditary, which worries me father himself has tourettes (which is probably where i got it from) but i have never directly approached him about this subject...I guess i have to make a decision regarding whether i want to have my own children knowing that there is a high chance that they will have tourettes too, or should i adopt? i was just wondering if there were any parents out there who have tourettes themselves and have had children with or without tourettes who would like to share some insight into how they made their decision and whether or not you have any guilt or reservations... it would be greatly appreciated...this topic has been on my mind for quite some time and i really dont have anyone to discuss it with in my immediate surroundings...
    thank you

  • #2
    uneasiness about having kids

    You have raised a very good question which deserves discussion in order that you can make an informed decision.

    We'll be looking forward to the views of parents who have had to make the same decision.

    In the meantime have look at this posting on the genetics of Tourette

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

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    • #3
      uneasiness about having kids

      This question has come up many times in discussions between adults with TS and parents of children with TS.

      Even though TS is hereditary, it is not a sure thing that a child of a person with TS will inherit TS.

      The other uncertainty is if your child does inherit TS what will their symptoms be? TS symptoms can range from mild to severe and the parent's symptoms are not a predictor of the child's symptoms.

      I have a teenager with TS. Knowing what I know now, would I have chosen to have a child if I knew that he may have TS? Absolutely. There are no guarantees in life and there are far worse things that can happen than having TS.
      Forum Moderator


      • #4
        uneasiness about having kids


        You raise a deep question and one in time you will find the answer to for yourself.

        I did not know anything about TS when my son was diagnosed but if you had asked the question then I still would have had my son.

        I was more concerned about another disorder (scoliosis). A female had a 75% chance of having it and a male 50%. That did not stop me from having children though it did cross my mind when I was a teenager. Asthma was another concern for me. You just have to weight the balance for yourself in time.

        If you meet the right person to share your life with and they are healthy then you have a chance of not having to much trouble in most cases.

        The question you may want to ask yourself is how hard has your life been with TS?
        Most people can manage, though it can change your life style a bit.

        I knew the risks for the other disorders and still had children. Maybe I was also prepared for the worse before doing it and it made it better.

        I recently read that TS comes from both parents, or atleast a component does. I think it was the U.S. TS website. I will find the link or article and post it here so you can read it.

        I think scientist only understand a fraction of the connection between parents and children, don't cancel the consideration out of having your own child until you can collect all the facts. This statement may take years to accomplish so be patient and informed.


        • #5
          uneasiness about having kids

          Hi There

          I agree this question has come up a lot with adults with TS. I grew up without a diagnosis until I was a parent, and that put my childhood and early adult life into perspective. For this reason I certainly advocate for early diagnosis. I have 4 boys and two have TS plus. TS by definition is a syndrome and my boys and I each present very differently. My youngest are a 5 year old twin. They each have (undiagnosed) neurologies :roll: and my life can be hectic and overwelming... but whose life isn't with children and working full time and trying to juggle so many many hats as a Mom.

          I have to say "dido!" to the following statement by Cathy:
          I have a teenager with TS. Knowing what I know now, would I have chosen to have a child if I knew that he may have TS? Absolutely. There are no guarantees in life and there are far worse things that can happen than having TS.
          There certainly are no guarantees and PJK is right when she said it is written that children with TS can be the product of what is referred to as the "culmination' of genetics... so a person may not have TS but comes together with a significant other and their combination of genes produces a child with TS. I firmly believe that life does not deal you anything you cannot handle.

          I look forward to the perspective of others.

          TSFC Homepage


          • #6
            uneasiness about having kids

            teenwithtics, I have been thinking exactly the same thing!!

            I was looking for a place or opportunity to post it, but wasnt sure if I should and I didnt know if anyone else felt the same way or would see me as cruel. But now that you have said it, I will say that I have been thinking that SOO much lately!

            After looking at the genetics link again, and since I have learned how to use a punnets square to figure out the pourcentages of genes I tried to figure out my chances. Not knowing whether I am TT or Tt (although chances are higher that I am TT) makes it harder, and obviously not knowing the genes of my husband, but if I am TT, then I will for sure not have any kids who are guaranteed to be TS-less, although I could have Tt kids who would most likely not be affected. But I am not sure if I want to take those friends and I used to joke that we would adopt so we wouldnt have to go through the pain of childbirth, but I always thought to myself that I would have my own kids...and I still want to...but I don't know if I would be able to handle it.

            It's such a hard thing to decide. I know I've got lots of time to decide, but it's a pressing issue on my mind....and I hate being unsure of things. I like to just know how things are going to be...part of my OCD in a way I guess, because life needs to be rather routine for me and go as planned. So this is especially hard.

            For parents who have children with TS, I don't want this to come off as rude because it is not how I mean it at all, but of course you say that you would still have had your children. All good parents love their children and wouldnt give them up for anything, but if you had the option between having an easier time raising your kids or one with more difficulties before you had your kids, what would you have chosen? I guess it's kind of hard to explain what I mean...but hopefully you get it.
            ~be a miracle~


            • #7
              uneasiness about having kids


              Your feelings are only natural and no real need to applogize.

              As I said before the same feelings ran through my mind around 16 yrs of age and even through my early 20's.

              The thing is that if you have the right partner in life and feel like you have some "control", which most of us never do, then you get by easier. I planned ahead preparing in case I had children. TS does not have to be a curse and not every child you have may have it to the extent that it would be harder to raise them.

              So much more will be known about TS before you are serious about having a family. Stay informed and watch research shed more light on the topic.

              I don't know too many people that plan a pregnancy down to the month, it just does not always happen that way. Sometimes they come when you least expect it. Roll with it right now and don't worry.

              You have so many more things to experience before you cross that bridge.


              • #8
                uneasiness about having kids

                Well, when I had my kids I didn't know anything about Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome or Celiac disease, all of which are genetic, and I've got them all. I was only diagnosed with AS and TS a year ago, and with Celiac disease last month.

                It doesn't look like any of my kids (four daughters and one son) have inherited the AS and TS (but it looks like one of my granddaughters may have AS), but knowing the symptoms now, all of the kids might be gluten intolerant, as well as the same little granddaughter. Plus, the youngest has attention problems (which apparently might be caused by gluten intolerance, I'll have her tested).

                Would knowing have stopped me from having kids? It's more of a question of, 'would I have married if I'd known about AS'? Probably not. Because after marrying I figured out I didn't like being touched (three of my six brothers and my sisters have AS as well, some of them TS, and my dad had AS, and my mom TS I believe, so, nobody ever hugged or touched each other, making it 'normal' in our family, so I simply didn't know), and I really don't like living in the same house with others, I'd rather be alone when I choose to be.

                But I am glad I have the kids, even though MY issues caused it to be very hard to raise them. They are all beautiful people, and the four grown-up ones are all happy and well adjusted, as is my 14-year-old.

                Of course, it is never easy to raise kids, even kids without any difficulties. That's just a fact. It is hard work, no matter what. But children are definitely worth it, they are so great. Personally, you just can't worry about things like TS when deciding on having kids, since there is no knowing if they'll even have it at all. And then there are the perfectly healthy, normal people, who'll have a severely handicapped child. That is ALWAYS a possibility. If everybody would be afraid to have kids because it is possible to have one with problems, then there would be no more children.

                The only good reason for staying childless is, if genetics are such, that it is a certainty that a specifics couple's children will have terrible handicaps or illnesses that will kill them. Unfortunately, there are people like that.
                German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).


                • #9
                  uneasiness about having kids

                  I only have two items that are relevant on the whole 'should a ticcer have little ticcers' conversation. And believe me, we argued this back and forth for about 10 years. I don't say this lightly - it is like a puzzle: it seems simple after you hear the answer.

                  1. Adoptable children are MUCH more likely to have the Tourette gene than the normal population. Let that soak in a while, and think about social cognition, and that TS is genetic, and it'll make sense.



                  The TS+ genes are NOT a significant part of the VALUE of a human being. Period. If they were, I'd have put a gun in my mouth years ago. Tourette's does not have me, I have Tourette's.
                  Darin M. Bush, The Tourette Tiger, author of "Tiger Trails"


                  • #10
                    uneasiness about having kids

                    Y'know what? Of the people I know that have Tourette's Syndrome, most are fantastically interesting people. I don't think TS is so bad. Sure, there are obstacles to overcome, and I'm sure the parents (and mine) will tell you that raising a child with TS (as well as ADHD, OCD, etc) is a little more challenging... but really, it doesn't have to be a huge deal.

                    Now, neither of my parents have TS, so they never could have known that me, or my brother, would have the syndrome. But either way--to get philosophical--I'm pretty happy about my existence, and I'd rather exist with TS than face oblivion without it.

                    And I've seen the experience of life with TS give people a very interesting and positive outlook on life, as well as an outstanding sense of humor.

                    If I ever have children, I hope they have at least enough TS to make them interesting.


                    • #11
                      genetics/having children

                      This is an interesting question, one which I wonder how often people with other inherited medical conditions debate about. It is becoming commonly known that certain heart conditions, strokes, etc etc are all inherited yet most of us don't think twice about having children knowing that heart and stroke problems run in the family. At least I didn't. I remember reading some place about a fairly high profile person, think it might have been Jim Eisenreich who said in reply to a question about whether or not he was going to have children because they might inherit TS; that if he did have children with TS, who better to raise them and understand what they go through than himself.


                      • #12
                        uneasiness about having kids

                        Jim is a fabulous guy! Pity if he should skip having kids, just because of a 'gene scare'. Same thing with a bunch of nice guys (and gals) at the conferences.
                        Darin M. Bush, The Tourette Tiger, author of "Tiger Trails"