An interview with a part-time superhero who has Tourette’s syndrome

TED Blog

Jess Thom wants you to know that it’s okay to laugh.

“You’re going to hear the words ‘biscuit’ and ‘hedgehog’ a lot in the next few minutes,” she says at the beginning of her talk from TEDxAlbertopolis. That’s because Thom has Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological condition that causes involuntary movements and noises commonly referred to as tics.

In the extraordinary talk below, Thom explains how she has turned her condition into a source of creativity and artistic expression, empowering herself to become a superhero instead of a sufferer.

We spoke with Thom, who founded the website Touretteshero, about learning to embrace Tourette’s. Below, an edited transcript of her really lovely responses:

You bring so much humor and joy to living with Tourette’s syndrome. How have people reacted to your message, and to your TEDx talk in particular?

When I first started Touretteshero, I had no idea how people…

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