A first-grader from Connecticut who was teased and bullied for his Tourette’s Syndrome is taking matters into his own hands.
In an effort to stop his classmates from picking on him, Gavin Clampett and his 9-year-old sister, Brynn, have produced a powerful video explaining the syndrome, SWNS is reporting.
The neurological disorder causes the first grader to experience a variety of motor and vocal tics, including grunting, exaggerated sniffing and blinking.
“We can deal with the tics, it’s just teaching everyone else to accept him for them as well,” said his mother, Rebecca, a job coach and esthetician.
“You see Tourette Syndrome in the media or you watch a movie and 99 percent of the time I guarantee you, it is used as a joke.”
“It is the swearing, the coprolalia, it’s that stigma that people have that Tourette's is someone just blurting out all these inappropriate words, when really that’s only 10 percent of the case,” the mom from Connecticut said.
The tics and uncontrollable movements mean Gavin, who is only 7, gets dirty looks from people, and kids make cruel comments.
Rebecca said, “He did get a little bit of flack in school from his peers asking him to stop, so we ended up making a video explaining what Tourette Syndrome is.”
Gavin, who has high functioning autism and OCD, played the video to his classmates so they could understand the condition.
“We can teach our children to own it and stand up for it and to educate people on it,” Rebecca told SWNS.
“We are very unapologetic about his diagnosis. I want to raise awareness for every child who goes through this," she said.
In the video, which Rebecca also shared on YouTube, Gavin's sister explains Tourette’s "is a neurological disorder which means it affects the brain in which a person makes unwanted sounds or movements.”
The 9-year old adds, "These unwanted and uncomfortable sounds and moves are called tics, but not like a tic that is found outside.”
"These tics can be very noticeable or not very noticeable, quiet or loud."
Gavin, who was five when he was diagnosed with Tourette's, said, "They are like a hiccup and it just does it and I can't stop."
He described, "My jaw goes up and down... I have noises where the spit swishes around my mouth and I have noises that sound like I'm sniffling."
"They bother me a little but I'm OK," he adds.
His sister Brynn finishes by saying, "I feel like my brother and every other kid who has Tourette's Syndrome are brave. So be kind to them and don't treat them different because they are just like you."