Hi readers

Recently we went to see a show about Tourette’s. We didn’t really know much about Tourette’s except, mistakenly, people swear a lot.

Well, it was brilliant! Jess, the actress with Tourette’s, completely changed our understanding of it.

Did you know over 30,000 people have Tourette’s in the UK, but that only 10 per cent use swear-words. Most people repeat the same, mild word (like biscuit, her word) up to 20,000 times a day. Many sufferers also have an involuntary physical tic. In Jess’s case, she repeatedly punches herself in the chest. It’s so bad she has to wear a special glove to protect her knuckles. It must be so frustrating. She also needs 24/7 support because her seizures are too risky for her to be left alone.

We really liked Jess and were wowed at how funny and clever she is. Both of us think she’s really brave putting on a truly entertaining show which educates people, and raises money for young sufferers.

She shared her story about plucking up courage to go to the theatre. Once there she didn’t feel accepted because some people complained she was too disruptive. She was asked to move and sit in a special soundproof room, with a limited view of the stage. It made her feel excluded, very upset and cross to be treated like that. We sympathise as we know how it feels to be excluded because of our disability.

Luckily more theatres now have ‘relaxed’ performances, where people can move around during the show. These are especially helpful for people with autism and learning disabilities.

So please, if you go to a show and someone is disruptive; before you complain, have a think about what might be going on for them, and how little it would cost us all to be more tolerant and inclusive.

Adam and William are supported in their editing by The Friendship Club– a project for adults with learning disabilities, run by People First Dorset.