Although brothers and sisters can become lifelong friends, as in any family, rivalries are bound to come up. When TS is present it can place demands on every family member at times. Acceptance is, as always, an important part of managing. Helping your family recognize the realities of a member with TS can lead to everybody knowing what is needed and what role they can learn to play to support their sister or brother with the condition.
In some families, the brothers or sisters may go ahead and tease their sibling with TS a whole lot, just as in any other family. If there is real resentment among siblings, that likely will require family and possibly professional attention.
However, there are siblings that have “stepped up” to behave responsibly, accept their ticking brother or sister, and support them as strong family members. We know of one family who reported that siblings looked out for their brother, but NEVER teased him for having TS. Not once! It is important that all of the siblings play as positive role as possible as they grow up and show their love and support in the natural ways of kids in families. The siblings can take pride in having been respectful and supportive, and the child with TS focuses on the challenges and the fun of growing up in a family, not on having a neurodevelopmental condition.
Of course learning to understand and live with Tourette Syndrome is not easy for any family, but it’s something to strive for, and offers parents, brothers, sisters, and those with TS wonderful opportunities for closeness and growth.
The Tourette Association is always ready to support you and your family with whatever challenge you may be facing. We encourage you to contact us.