Great Yarmouth mum’s battle for more understanding of Tourettes Syndrome

Sharon Palmer is raising awareness about the challenges faced by children with Tourettes. Photo: Sha

Sharon Palmer is raising awareness about the challenges faced by children with Tourettes. Photo: Sharon Palmer - Credit: Sharon Palmer

Twelve-year-old Callum Palmer enjoys gaming, being creative and hanging out with his friends.

He is also prone to outbursts of swearing, verbal and non-verbal tics, and high-pitched screeching.

On occasion he has been known to blurt out culturally inappropriate words at school - all of which gets him into trouble.

For his mother Sharon Palmer, of Garfield Road, Great Yarmouth it is a frustrating situation and she is on a mission to help more people to understand the challenges faced by those with Tourettes Syndrome.

'It is all about his education and happiness,' she said. 'If people understand it more it will be easier for people to deal with. He does need extra help but he is not disabled.'

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Like many with the neurological disorder Callum also has ADHD, adding to his problems.

At school it has meant the highest level of sanction - fixed term isolation, followed by 'reintegration lessons.'

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His mother says his time at both primary and high school has been fraught with problems.

But with the help of experts from Tourettes Action who have been talking to staff she hopes to increase understanding.

Come September Callum, a pupil at Great Yarmouth High School, will spend three weeks at Brooklands, a short stay school, for assessment after which Miss Palmer, 40, hopes he will get the best appropriate education.

His Tourettes was picked up at primary school around that age of seven when he started uncontrollably blinking, pulling at his shoulders, grunting, and throat clearing.

The nature of his tics is constantly changing, with head nodding and rolling his eyes becoming prominent more recently although he can suppress them to an extent when in public.

Meanwhile Miss Palmer who works at Halfords in Great Yarmouth is staging a charity car wash on August 12 at Gapton Hall from 9-6pm.

She added that since she had become more vocal about Tourettes many other parents had been in contact about the struggles they were having getting help and understanding for their children with a range of conditions.

To support her fundraising efforts visit the online donation page by clicking here.Visit

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