Knowledge is Key

Tonight I had a very insightful conversation with Joey’s mother, Michelle. All of her sons have tourette syndrome and she had to make herself extremely informed about the disorder and how to deal with it.

It was hard for her in the beginning because she didn’t understand it well. She told me that every day was a challenge when her oldest sons, Danny and Joey, were young. Even now with her youngest son. And its especially hard because “they are all so different in their mannerisms in the way they have it.”  Their mannerisms can also change daily. In the same way no person is exactly alike, nobody with tourette’s is alike either.

She told me “it was hard when I was younger”. But now she’s extremely well informed and understanding and supports her sons the best she can.

Joey’s Family

Joey’s family consists of his mother, father, two brothers, and his sister. Him and both of his brothers have been diagnosed with tourette syndrome, and each have different symptoms and different degrees of symptoms. His mother and grandmother also experienced tourette symptoms, but were never professionally diagnosed.

From left to right: Joey, Michelle (his mom), Tommy, Katie (siblings).

From left to right: Joey, Michelle (his mom), Tommy, Katie (siblings).


Who it’s About

Tourette’s isn’t a disorder that someone deals with and lives with on their own. Children are generally diagnosed in their childhood or adolescence, so their family is going to be their number one support.

Joey, my significant other, and his mom are the main focuses in this project. Joey was professionally diagnosed with tourette syndrome early in his life, and his mom had always been a huge supporter of his when it came to his disorder. I plan to go deeper in depth into tourettet syndrome and its relationship in families, and Joey’s family in particular.

A Brief Explanation of Tourette’s

TS is a neurological disorder, which is a disorder of the body’s nervous system. It tends to become evident in early childhood or adolescence. (x)

A person with tourette’s experiences something called ‘tics’, which is “an involuntary movement or vocalization that is usually sudden onset, brief, [and] repetitive”. They can either be motor or vocal, meaning, either movements or sound. They also greatly vary in severity. (x)

People with tourette syndrome may also have behavioral symptoms such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, or lack of restraint. It’s also very common for a person with tourette’s to also have another mental or behavioral condition.


Who Am I?

My name is Mikayla Burke and I am an Animation and Visual Effects student at Ex’pression College. I have always loved being apart of the creative process and I am persuing a career in a creative field. I ususaly work in media such as digital or pencil and paper for drawing and I am always open to new types of media. I am inspired and motivated everyday by people I meet and by others I follow on the internet, and I aspire to inspire others with my craft one day as well. 

I’m creating a non-fiction media piece about tourette syndrome, because it has been in my life for the passed four years. My boyfriend and his two brothers have the disorder and I wish to learn more, as well as educate people who have a distorted view of tourette’s.