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BB PETE HELPED ME WITH MY TOURETTE'S.

Byline: BY ELIZABETH SCASE

TOURETTE'S Syndrome sufferer Kyle Hutchins beat the bullies - after explaining why he swears and twitches.

The 12 year-old was diagnosed with the often ridiculed condition, which causes involuntary physical and verbal tics, four years ago.

He became the subject of cruel taunts and teasing from his classmates - until he talked about living with Tourette's to them.

"Kids were initially cruel and teased him," says Kyle's grandmother Yvonne Hutchins, 65 and from Solihull.

"So Kyle gave a talk about Tourette's after researching it on the internet. It helped them all understand things a lot better.

"He's a smashing kid and has always been really positive.

"We're all so proud of him because he's been really brave and never lets it get him down."

Parents Jenny and Martin from Solihull, took Kyle to a psychologist four years ago after he developed rapid blinking and began swearing.

Teaching assistant Jenny, 38, recalls: "We were shocked when we were told it was Tourette's because we didn't know anything about it.

"I'd never even heard of it before."

Although there is no history of Tourette's in the family, Yvonne suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which has been linked to the condition.

"I've just had to learn how to calm down, and Kyle has had to as well," she says. "He's learning to control himself now but still has his moments and off days. Don't we all?"

Kyle visits a psychologist regularly and takes tablets to help control the condition. He also has a group of supportive friends at his school, Grace Academy in Solihull.

Kyle, who has two siblings - seven-year-old Kieron and six year-old Jack - was delighted when Tourette's sufferer Pete Bennett won the latest Big Brother reality TV show.

"It was great because it really raised awareness of the condition," he says. "Pete's a great role model because he's not ashamed of having Tourette's."

Kyle has now been named a Sunday Mercury Wonderkid for the way he has tackled Tourette's Syndrome.

Each Wonderkid receives pounds 100 and an invite to a party at Drayton Manor Park, supported by Birmingham-based Legal & General insurance company.

Andy Dawson, operations director for Legal & General, says: "The symptoms associated with Tourette's Syndrome mean that it can be very difficult for people with the condition to integrate with those around them.

"We admire Kyle's courage and determine tion to overcome this debilitating disorder."

SundayMercury@mrn.co.uk

WHAT IS TOURETTE'S SYNDROME?

Tourette's Syndrome is generally associated with inappropriate swearing in public.

But it is actually a complex and debilitating neurological disorder which is estimated to affect about one per cent of the population.

The symptoms are repetitive, rapid, sudden movements called tics, which can be verbal or physical.

Some people have very mild symptoms, whereas for others the symptoms may be very severe.

The exact cause of the condition is not known and there is no cure, but it can be effectively treated through psychotherapy, relaxation and behavioural therapy, or drugs.

CAPTION(S):

FACING THE FUTURE: Kyle Hutchins now in his England shirt and when he was younger, inset, Pete from Big Brother
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2006
Words:518
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