Tourette Syndrome Conference Degenerates Into Vulgar Shouting Match
Bayside, NY (AP) – A biannual convention of researchers and people diagnosed with the Tourette Syndrome motor disorder erupted into chaos yesterday when a group of attendees began yelling obscenities at one another and disrupting the proceedings.
The Tourette Syndrome Association, headquartered in this Queens neighborhood, was holding its gathering to share updates on research into the origins, pathology, and treatment of the condition, which affects up to four percent of the population. It is typically associated with muscle tics, often including the sudden making of sounds by the mouth. One of the less common features among sufferers is coprolalia, or a tendency to spout rude words and phrases. In this case, they involved an escalating series of sexual and fecal expletives applied to the speakers, the audience, and one another.
According to eyewitnesses, three or four of the attendees apparently had that symptom of the disorder, and reacted loudly and obscenely in turn to certain announcements. Lisa Matlin, one of the association directors, attempted to ignore the yelling and continue her remarks from the podium, but the three shouting attendees got progressively louder and more offensive, forcing Ms. Matlin to wait until the three could be removed from the room. As they were removed, the offending individuals unleashed a barrage of curses and threats, colorfully likening the others present to the waste and seminal emissions of various large, malodorous animal species.
Even among those assembled, who are most accustomed to providing an understanding, tolerant environment for coprolalia sufferers, the outburst was unusually difficult to stomach. Sidney Rudolph, whose eleven-year-old son Trevor exhibits the tendency, acknowledged that he had never heard anyone so vividly and continuously compared to painful, lewd acts with power tools. “I couldn’t help but get angry,” he recalled afterwards, “especially since adults with coprolalia have usually managed to remove themselves from difficult situations when they feel a verbal tic coming on, There was something really problematic about the way these guys handled this.”
Indeed, according to Wesley McInnis, who is both a clinical researcher and who lives with the syndrome, the three men, who have not been identified, might well have exaggerated or completely fabricated the severity of their apparent conditions. “It’s suspicious to me that three grown men, none of whom any of us have met at previous conferences, would all show up and exhibit the same rare symptoms, precisely the ones that would generate the most intense reaction,” he said. “Who would think of sticking around long enough to have people hear you wish them raped by marauding pieces of frozen excrement?”
Dr. McInnis added that the societal view of Tourette Syndrome has long focused excessively and wrongly on the small minority of sufferers who also exhibit coprolalia, when in fact the overwhelming majority of people living with Tourette Syndrome are affected solely by non-verbal tics, and are able to conduct otherwise normal lifestyles.
“%$%# bastards,” he said. “I hope they get *&^ed with a *&^ing !#$@er.”
“Oh, sorry about that,” he quickly added. “I just blurt things out sometimes.”