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Ticked: A Medical Miracle, a Friendship, and the Weird World of Tourette Syndrome

by Jim Fussell

When Jeff Matovic burst into the office of Dr. Robert Maciunas, he had very few options left. Matovic had suffered for years from Tourette Syndrome, his full-body spasms and outbursts getting progressively worse, to the point that he saw suicide as a viable option. Drugs, physical therapy, prayer—nothing was working. But Dr. Maciunas was a pioneer in deep brain stimulation (DBS), a new therapy that had worked to correct other brain disorders. Could it fix Matovic's Tourette's? All Matovic had to do was convince Dr. Maciunas that he was a perfect candidate for the procedure. That, and have several electrical leads—a "brain pacemaker"—implanted into his skull.



Author Jim Fussell is uniquely qualified to tell Matovic's story—he suffers from Tourette Syndrome as well. Fussell's job as a feature writer for the Kansas City Star brought him in contact with Oprah Winfrey, who first told him about Jeff Matovic, the "Miracle Man." As Fussell learned about Matovic's remarkable journey, he vowed to seek him out. This is their story.


A Day In the Life of Tourette Syndrome

by Troye Evers

Like many people with Tourette syndrome, Troye Evers’ symptoms began early in his childhood, but he was not officially diagnosed until he was eighteen years old. He remained in the closet about his diagnosis until his thirties, attempting to pass off his symptoms as the result of bad sleep or a dry throat.  Now, he has collected the stories of seventeen other people from all walks of life, living with TS.


This breakthrough book will dispel several pernicious myths about the disorder, while showing the human faces behind the condition. In these seventeen stories, each individual opens up about how the disorder has transformed their life for both good and bad. As few others understand the reality of their condition, many with TS spend their whole lives suppressing their symptoms and their personalities in the process. Incisive and eye-opening, this book makes their realities come alive. For more information or to purchase this book click here.


Crazy and Proud

by Lowell Handler 


Touretter Lowell Handler is a former Black Star contract photographer-journalist whose pictures have appeared in Life, Newsweek, Elle, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, and many other publications.  After writing Twitch & Shout: A Touretter’s Tale and having it profiled in The New York Times Book Review, and called by Entertainment Weekly “A mind-bending account of a mind-boggling affliction,” he has now created the e-book "Crazy & Proud" which can be purchased here-


Front of the Class

by Brad Cohen

Front of the Class is an inspiring true story of incredible challenges and unwavering determination. As a child with Tourette Syndrome, a neurological disorder of the brain that causes the body to make strange sounds and uncontrollable violent twitches, Brad was beaten, mocked and shunned. Some thought he was possessed by the devil. Others, including members of his own family, refused to be seen with him in public. As an adult, Brad overcame all odds to become an award-winning teacher of the year for the state of Georgia. The road in between was a roller coaster ride in perseverance. (from Brad Cohen's website)


Quit It

by Marcia Byalick

A freelance writer and author of self-help and children's books, Byalick's first novel for Delacorte Press centers on Carrie, a seventh-grade girl who has just been diagnosed with TS.  Targeted to early teens, Quit It explores Carrie's struggles to cope with TS while trying to fit in with her peers.


A Test of Will

by Diane Shader Smith

A Test of Will is a sensitive and accurate portrayal of life with Tourette Syndrome. As we follow Will, the novel's central character, we learn about Tourette Syndrome as well as the trials and tribulations experienced by a teenager of today. Family, friends and teachers play an integral part in the events that shape the issues and challenges of Will's life. 


Icy Sparks

by Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Set in 1956, Icy Sparks is the story of Icy, a 10-year-old girl with Tourette Syndrome, who has been raised in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky by her grandparents. She does her best to hide the jerks and spasms brought on by her disorder, but the other kids call her the "Frog Child", and eventually Icy is sent to a children's asylum. Upon her return, she meets the eccentric Miss Emily, who assists her in assimilating into the world again.  


Motherless Brooklyn

by Jonathan Lethem

Motherless Brooklyn is a detective novel by author Jonathan Lethem whose main character has a serious case of Tourette Syndrome.  The book has won the National Book Critics Award for fiction. It's been reviewed everywhere, it seems, including in The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The Wall Street Journal. 


Passing for Normal: A Memoir of Compulsion

by Amy Wilensky

Motherless Brooklyn is a detective novel by author Jonathan Lethem whose main character has a serious case of Tourette Syndrome.  The book has won the National Book Critics Award for fiction. It's been reviewed everywhere, it seems, including in The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The Wall Street Journal. 



I Have Tourette's, But Tourette's Doesn't Have Me

The HBO documentary “I Have Tourette’s, But Tourette’s Doesn’t Have Me” gave voice to children with TS when it aired on November 12, 2005 from 7:30 – 8:00 PM.



Produced in association with our parent organization, national TSA, the documentary provides a candid, wide-ranging look at the lives of children with TS. The children speak frankly about living with Tourette and its emotional impact. It shows them at home, at school, at camp, playing in a band, and doing everything that kids do. The children featured in the film are funny, charming, talented, and articulate.



The film is moving, informative, and insightful and is an excellent starting point for a discussion with friends, neighbors, and extended family. If you would like a copy of the DVD, please call the national Tourette Syndrome Association at 718-224-2999.


The Tic Code

The feature film The Tic Code portrays a mentoring relationship between an adult musician and child prodigy, both of whom have TS.  Chapter Board member Michael Wolff composed the score and produced.  After opening in the summer and fall of 2000 in cities nationwide, it is now available on video. 



The movie, Maze, was filmed in NYC in the fall of 1999.  It's produced, directed and co-written by Rob Morrow, the star of the television program "Northern Exposure."  In the film,  Morrow portrays an artist who has Tourette Syndrome and who discovers through the course of the film that he is able to love and be loved.  Available on video.   



Welcome to Tourettaville

The musical play Wecome to Tourettaville was co-written by chapter Board member June Rachelson-Ospa and her young son Jonathan, who has Tourette Syndrome.  Robby Merkin, Daniel Neiden, Jody Gray composed the music. After winning the VSArts Plawright Discovery Award, Welcome To Tourettaville was presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C in October 2000.  The play has been performed at conferences and at schools.  To inquire about arranging a performance for schools or other venues, please contact June directly at



Syndrome is a one-man play about the experience of having Tourette Syndrome.  Written by the playwrite Kirk Wood Bromley, it starred actor Joshua Berg, who has TS and helped conceive the play.  The play opened at the Greenwich Street Theater in Manhattan for a month-long run.  If it returns, we'll let you know.


Berg studied acting at the Interlochen Arts Academy; Bromley is a poet, playwrite, actor, and Artistic Director of Inverse Theater Company.

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