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Question 1: Duncan when i get done playing my nintendo 64 games my tourettes comes out strong why is that? My Dad thinks my tourettes comes out becaues i focus on my games to much.Is my Dad right? D.P.,Texas

Hi D.P.!! I'm glad you wrote, my new friend -- I always get very excited to meet new members of the big Tourette Family!! Welcome to the club bigguy!!

It sounds like you (just like most people with Tourette -- including me) find it REALLY EASY to pay attention to computers and computer games even though you might not be able to pay attention to other things (like
your math teacher!) that well!! There are some good reasons for that..........

Computers and computer games can be a Touretter's BEST FRIEND! They help us to pay attention because there is lots going on to KEEP our attention.

-They show us things in lots of colours and with lots of noises.

-The pictures and things on the screen are always changing.

-We don't get bored because the faster our brains run, the faster we can make the game or program run, or the more things we could be running on the computer at the same time to jump back and forth on (you might play one game for 10 minutes, but then jump to another one, and then another one!).

-If we do something wrong on the game it lets us know RIGHT AWAY by making a noise or giving us a message to read. If we do something right on the game it also lets us know right away. That feels good because lots of times we get in trouble because we don't KNOW what we are supposed to be doing, or IF we are doing something wrong. Computers and computer games keep us on track.

-Also, once you know how to beat a game level, you can ALWAYS do it because the rules don't ever change -- you beat the same level the same way every time. That feels good because lots of times adults and other people are always changing their rules, or we don't know what their rules are very well.

For all these reasons, D.P., you might not tic or act hyper or have a hard time paying attention or have ANY Tourette symptoms when you are on the computer because the computer is helping you to use up all that energy that normally MAKES you tic or get hyper or have a hard time paying attention! That's why using a computer for doing schoolwork is a really, REALLY good idea!!

The reason your symptoms might get worse after you are done on the Nintendo is because suddenly you don't have the computer or game to help you use up that energy anymore, and so the energy starts going back into symptoms again. It's kind of like being in a sauna, and then jumping back into a swimming pool -- the water seems EXTRA cold now because you were so warm. In the same way your symptoms are EXTRA noticeable after playing the game because you weren't doing them for awhile.

I hope this helps explain, D.P., and thanks for writing!

Dr. Dunc.

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Last updated on March 25, 2022

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