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Film about Tourette's Syndrome

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  • Film about Tourette's Syndrome

    Hello everyone!

    My name is Eliza, and I am a filmmaker who is developing a documentary about Tourette's Syndrome. I know there have been a handful of documentaries, but the ones I have seen seem to mostly focus on Coprolalia, and I wanted to show a broader view.
    I grew up with Tourette's Syndrome, but as I grew into my teens most of my tics disappeared. Now, in my late 20s, I have small tic outbursts, but it is a lot more controllable than when I was younger.

    The reason I am here at the forum is because I wanted to ask you all what kind of a documentary you would want to see. Do you think there are films out there that accurately portray how broad Tourette's Syndrome can be?

    Films are a great vehicle for discussion and when done in a powerful way can help reshape public thought. I want to help erase the stigma. I also want to use the film as a means to encourage children who are struggling with Tourette's.

    I hope to hear from you, as I would greatly value your thoughts.


  • #2
    Re: Film about Tourette's Syndrome

    Hi Eliza,
    My introduction to the TS community was a young man named Duncan McKinlay.
    I made a film about him called "Life's a Twitch."
    You can see it here:

    This short documentary is a quirky ride into the world of Duncan McKinlay, a man with Tourette Syndrome. At 7 he noticed what he called a devil in his head that made his life hell. In his teens, it wasn't a question of whether to kill himself, but when. At 19, when he was finally diagnosed, Duncan made researching TS his life path. He's come to understand that his strange ticks are release triggers for the high energy charging through him. At 27 he's a virtuoso at channelling this energy. He's just finished a doctorate in psychology. He's in nationwide demand for his workshops that enlighten and boost the spirits of the 100,000 across Canada who have Tourette's.

    Duncan's achievements since we made this film about him are quite impressive.
    This short bio is from his web-site: Life's A Twitch! Tourettes Syndrome Tics Site by Dr. B. Duncan McKinlay, C.Psych.

    Dr. McKinlay, or "Dr. Dunc", is an Ontario, Canada Psychologist registered to work with children and adolescents in the areas of clinical and school psychology. He has Tourette Syndrome himself, and is committed (devoted, that is!!) to improving the quality of life in people with Tic Disorders and a variety of other disorders & conditions including: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) or 'rage', sensory processing dysfunction, Learning Disabilities, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, depression, and anxiety.
    Through empathy, good humour, research, and both considerable professional and personal experience, Dr. McKinlay teaches understanding, treatment, management, and acceptance of Tourette Syndrome, tics, and associated disorders in the world and in ourselves.

    You should also check out the films in the @random project which was an outreach initiative of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada. You'll find lots of videos to inspire you there. And very few of them focus on Coprolalia.

    Good luck with your documentary!
    Cheers! Tina
    Last edited by Tina; March 8, 2013, 11:47 AM.
    Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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    • #3
      Re: Film about Tourette's Syndrome

      When my son was diagnosed I did the research on the internet and found this girls channel on youtube that I found very comforting. She is smart, creative and honest. I think she lives in ATL, GA.

      Alex Berthelot - YouTube


      • #4
        Re: Film about Tourette's Syndrome

        I used the DVD, "I Have Tourette's, But Tourette's Doesn't Have Me" for a presentation on TS in my daughter's grade 4/5 class. It is about kids with TS and the comorbid diagnosis that tend to go hand in hand with TS. It was really good, but would eventually need to see/utilize one that is geared towards teens.


        • #5
          Re: Film about Tourette's Syndrome

          Is MeiYu a pokemon reference just curious? If not there is a top pokemon named MeiYu.


          • #6
            I didn't know MeiYu was a Pokemon character! It is Mandarin. Mei means beautiful and Yu means rain. It is a combination of my daughters' names.


            • #7
              Re: Film about Tourette's Syndrome

              Thanks everyone for your responses. It is all very helpful.
              MeiYu, I believe I have seen parts of this doc in the past. Now that you mention it, I am curious what has been done to specifically reach teens. I have seen docs revolving around children and adults with cases of Tourette's, but nothing much in the teen arena - especially nothing done in an engaging way to reach teens. Has anyone else come across anything?

              Tina, thanks for the link to the doc on Duncan! What a great guy he seems to be, very inspiring.

              Geneva, thank you for the link! I was starting to come across quite a few postings from teens. I think this could be a good resource - more than ever people are 'journaling' this stuff down via YouTube - and they seem to be getting a lot of responses from other teens.