Living With Tourette's

Tourette’s Syndrome is an incurable disorder causing uncontrollable verbal outbursts and physical tics. These can make it impossible for sufferers to work, make friends, or even go to the shops. Spitting, swearing and motor tics make even the simplest tasks difficult, and draw unwanted attention and judgement from society.

But at Camp Twitch, an annual event that offers friendship and support to around 100 people with Tourette’s and their families, the “twitchers” are free to be themselves without anyone judging them. This camp changes lives.

This local documentary series follows the sufferers’ struggles to get work, find love and bring up kids in a society not designed to cope with Tourette’s. The six episodes will follow Tourette’s sufferers including Willliam, whose uncontrollable motor tics and loud shrieking make it too hard to go to school; Renee, whose severe case of Tourette’s doesn’t stop her being the best Mum she can be; and Adam, whose motor tics are so severe that even putting on shoes is incredibly difficult.  
While Tourette’s is incurable, there are many things that those with Tourette’s can do to manage their tics; including singing, driving and roller derby. We will also reveal the struggle that many tickers face to gain access to one medication known to effectively relieve the symptoms – medicinal cannabis (Sativex).

Made with the support of NZ On Air.

To learn more about Tourette Syndrome or to donate, please visit



Episode 1

For most people, getting dressed and going to work or school are no trouble. But for those living with Tourette’s Syndrome, these simple tasks are almost impossible.


Episode 2

Take a front-seat ride as Tourette’s sufferers Renee, Letisha, William, Analise, Adam and Jessica reveal their struggles to take part in everyday society.


Episode 3

At Camp Twitch, young people from around New Zealand are swearing, spitting, twitching and screeching – and loving it.


Episode 4

The excitement at Camp Twitch continues for 130 young Kiwis with Tourette’s Syndrome as they try to learn to surf, and are inspired by a policeman with Tourette’s. As one of our tickers goes AWOL the others gorge   on pizza, become blood-crazed zombies and try to blow up the neighbourhood.


Episode 5

After the excitement and camaraderie of Camp Twitch, Renee, Letisha, William, Analise, Adam and Jessica all come down to earth with a bump. They are faced, once again, with the daily struggles of life with this debilitating disorder. Especially Renee and Jessica, who are hoping to gain approval to use medicinal cannabis.


Episode 6

All of our Tourette’s tickers are working hard to overcome the obstacles they face in daily life. Williams struggles at school, Adam desperately wants to get a job, Letisha’s biggest fan comes to watch her at roller derby, and Jessica’s medical test result are in – will she get her medicinal marijuana? And can Analise perform her first big acting role without yelling “cut”? But the biggest challenge is faced by single Mum Renee, whose driving test could change her life.