Currently, there are no scientific tests to determine if a person has Tourette's. Many times, parents, doctors and teachers blame disciplinary problems for a child's erratic behavior…instead of the true cause.
Vicki, Amanda's mother, says she noticed that Amanda was waking up angry every morning when she was only 4 years old. She took her daughter to a physician, who prescribed stricter punishments at home.
"The doctor felt like it was a discipline problem," Vicki says. "It made me feel like I was a bad parent."
Time outs and spankings didn't stop Amanda's outbursts and excessive knuckle-cracking, Vicki says. Finally, in the third grade, Amanda had an outburst in school and was sent to a psychologist. After months of testing, she was diagnosed with Tourette's.
Vicki urges parents of children with similar behaviors to seek professional help. "I was disciplining [Amanda] for something she had absolutely no control over, and I had no clue," she says.