Help us raise $30,000.
Why? To continue our annual camp for families all over Australia to meet others just like them.
TSAA has just run it’s 4th annual camp—we need to raise $30,000 to ensure we can book again for next year. We only need 1000 x $30—we can do this with your help.
Read Liam’s story below to understand the difference this camp and $30 makes to children with Tourette Syndrome and their families.
TSAA is the only organisation in Australia committed to supporting people effected by Tourette Syndrome. TSAA is a volunteer, self funded registered charity. After 27 years of campaigning and spreading awareness most people in the community have now heard the term Tourettes—but few have a true understanding of what it means.
#I’M Just Like You CAMPAIGN
To give an inside view, TSAA created a 3 minute video with children and families affected by TS while attending last year's annual camp. The input of the children themselves determined the content—from their perspective and personal experiences.
When I first said “hi” to Liam he was very reluctant to talk or make eye contact. Sitting bent over with his arms covering his head he was obviously feeling uncomfortable. His answers to my questions were short and gruff, like he really didn’t want to be there.
His Mum managed to talk him round to participate in the kayaking activity with me even though he really wanted a boat by himself and didn’t want to be with a group. He and I got along well in the boat, he told me that he loved going fishing with his Dad. He also told me he had a big brother. When we pulled the boats up onto the shore, Liam was delighted to find some razor-fish shells. I think what was also lovely was how enamoured Liam was with our activity leader Ben. Ben was very patient and responsive to Liam and answered all his questions, paying no attention at all to any of his vocal or motor tics.
In the afternoon Liam wanted to go sailing but wanted a boat just for him and I. He coped really well with having to share a boat with two adults and two other children (one of them my son), already it was obvious that he was starting to feel less stressed about being around other people. Sailing with Liam was great fun. He was mostly relaxed and seemed to enjoy the company of the two older boys in the boat, laughing and smiling. He even offered a line from Bob Marley “every little things gonna be alright”, when things got a little hairy and people were shifting positions in the confined space. Liam had opinions and thoughts to offer to the conversation, demonstrating that fine thread of confidence when feeling safe, valued and with no pressure.
Liam joined in the soccer game for a while before heading out to hang with some boys at the park. His Mum told me that he was having a good time and that he had asked her if they could buy a house there and live at the camp.
That night Liam joined in at the camp fire, participating with so many people around him—he obviously was feeling much more relaxed and the prospect of all those people was no longer daunting and anxiety provoking.
On Sunday Liam was so excited to go off and do archery with another family, already starting to branch out and reach for the company of a wider group of people. What a huge change from the young boy who would not even make eye contact with me on arrival.
When it was time to go I called Liam over and happily demanded a big hug throwing my arms open to him. Without a second thought he wrapped his arms around me and we had such a great hug! I hope we get to see him again at the next TSAA event.
Written by TSAA member — Names were changed for privacy reasons.
Your $30 today could help Liam and others just like him around Australia attend our camp and change lives by empowering them with the self-esteem and resilience needed to meet their daily challenges.