11-Year-Old's Brave Battle with Tourette Syndrome

Playing 11-Year-Old's Battle with Tourette Syndrome

Danielle first started noticing changes in her daughter's behavior when she was 7 years old.

The mom explains that daughter Bianca began rapidly blinking her eyes, followed by shoulder shrugging and the opening of her mouth really wide. After researching the possible reason for these new behaviors, she came across Tourette syndrome. After Bianca began having uncontrollable coughing, it was determined Bianca was dealing with the syndrome. Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by multiple involuntary tics involving body movements and vocalizations. There is no cure.

Currently, Biana's tics include slapping her face, sticking her tongue out, the shaking of her head and making a gagging noise.

Bianca says she is teased because of Tourette syndrome, but she tells people, "It's not funny, it's really not funny." With middle school approaching, Danielle worries how she will be treated and is concerned about things like if someone will take her daughter to the homecoming dance. Despite her fears, she is confident that a bright future is in store for her daughter and focuses on how to help her daughter live the best life possible.

The Director of Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program at UCLA Dr. John Piacentini tells The Doctors that most people with Tourette syndrome tend to get worse during puberty and after during adolescence, the tics can become less intense and in some cases disappear.

The Doctors arrange for Bianca to get a mouthpiece from dentist Dr. Bill Balanoff that could help with her Tourette syndrome. An initial study found that the mouthpiece reduced tics by 40 percent. We also arrange for Biana to become a youth ambassador for Tourette Association of America Also, see Biana meet singer  Jamie Grace , who also has Tourette syndrome, in the video below .       

Watch: Tourette Syndrome Explained

Watch: Deep Brain Stimulation for Tourette Syndrome