Mother’s call for more help as son’s condition worsens

WALTON: More should be done to help parents of Tourette’s sufferers – that’s the view of one mum who says every day has been a challenge for her son since he was diagnosed.

Kylie Malapeau, 36, spoke out on her struggle to cope with her 15-year-old son Billy’s condition following a report in last week’s Evening Star about a Felixstowe mother whose life has been turned upside down since her twins were diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome.

Billy, who attends Orwell High School, Felixstowe – the same as one of the twins – was first diagnosed with the neurological condition two years ago ,but it has only been in the last six months that the condition has worsened.

Ms Malapeau, of High Street, Walton, said: “He had motor tics at first but now it is full on. I first noticed certain things when he was six but the doctors said they were just bad habits.

“When he was diagnosed two years ago, the doctor said we had two options – to medicate or to get on with it. I felt they did not offer us much help.

“We didn’t go for the medication option at the time because it wasn’t that bad, but now we are going back to the doctors to get it.

“Billy has agreed he needs medication. He lashes out and throws stuff around all the time. He needs constant care.”

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Ms Malapeau, who also has a 22-month son, Jenson-Lei and ten-year-old daughter Elise, is hoping that by telling her story, people will become more aware about Tourette’s.

As well as swearing, Billy is also prone to making racially offensive comments.

“I worry about him going out alone. He is 15 and wants to go out with his friends but what if he says something and people don’t understand his condition?

“He is very sad about it. The other day he punched me in the back but then burst into tears. I can’t tell him off for it. It is just the way it is.

“It is very hard work. I have a 22-month son who copies everything Billy does. There are times I want to admit defeat but you just have to carry on.

“I am quite new to this, but it is not a well- advertised condition. There are no support groups in this area.”

Tourette’s Syndrome affects one child in every 100 and there is no cure.

n Do you suffer from the condition and want to tell your story? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.