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Using Tourette for Greatness

Emma Groves, Staff Writer

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Brooklyn Eastman is like any other high school sophomore girl. She goes to her classes, she studies, she participates in school activities, but the one thing that sets Eastman apart is not the fact that she has Tourette but the way she does not let the syndrome define her.

Tourette is a syndrome characterized by involuntary tics whether they be motor or vocal tics. Motor tics use the muscles to perform involuntary movements such as face twitches, rapid blinking and shrugging. Vocal tics use the voice box to create subliminal noises such as throat clearing, grunting, shouting, and swearing.

Tourette is typically developed between the ages of 2 and 21. In Eastman’s case, she developed Tourette at a younger age of 10. Although she developed the syndrome early on, she wasn’t diagnosed just as quickly.

“The road to getting diagnosed was long and miserable. I saw so many doctors and none of them knew what was going on,” Eastman states.

Finally, Eastman was diagnosed with Tourette and it was a “big relief”. She then decided that instead of sitting idle, she’d use the hand she’d been dealt to reface the game.

While she had been a good public speaker before her diagnosis, she decided to use her diagnosis to become a spokeswoman and an advocate for Tourette syndrome.

“After I was diagnosed I started doing presentations all the time,” Eastman states.

Ever since she began doing presentations, she has become an inspiration to many people and is still learning more about her syndrome everyday.

Eastman states,“It has gotten easier. I understand it more and more every day. I find things that work and things that don’t work. I have learned to educate and understand what people are going through.”

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Eastman

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