Michele Turk, Local Author of “What Makes Him Tic? A Memoir of Parenting a Child with Tourette Syndrome” to Hold Book Signing Event

Come to a book signing for local author Michele Turk’s new book, “What Makes Him Tic? A Memoir of Parenting a Child with Tourette Syndrome,” (Woodhall Press, 2024).

The event is Friday, June 14 from 4:00pm – 6:00pm at the, Reading Room Cafe, 5 Suburban Avenue in Cos Cob.

When Michele Turk’s 11-year-old son Michael was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, she made it her mission to show him, and later others, that he was so much more than the boy who shouted obscenities hundreds of times a day.

Michele Turk and her son Michael. Contributed photo

What Makes Him Tic? A Memoir of Parenting a Child with Tourette Syndrome describes Michele’s leave-no-stone-unturned strategy to figure out what Michael needed to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally in a world where Tourette is the punchline of jokes on late-night TV and sitcoms.

In What Makes Him Tic?, Turk blends firsthand experience raising a child with Tourette with useful information on how her son was able to control his symptoms, accept his condition, lean into his strengths, live a full life and transition to a young adult who is now living independently and thriving at age 24.

Readers follow Turk on her six-year journey to make sure Michael survived his school years with his self-esteem intact and didn’t become one of the many students with special needs who fall through the cracks. Turk found him treatments and people who could help, pushed for a good education, and became his advocate and his champion.

The memoir also provides ample reporting on Tourette, often referred to as “the most misunderstood well-known condition,” and is meant to be a roadmap and inspiration for parents, caregivers, and educators of children with Tourette and other special needs.

People have achieved great success despite, or perhaps because of, their TS, including Oscar-and Grammy-Award winning musician Billie Eilish, actors Dan Akroyd and Seth Rogen, and soccer star Tim Howard. In fact, the book addresses how neurodivergent people are now being viewed not only in terms of their deficits but their strengths as well.

More memoir than medical story, What Makes Him Tic? is a moving portrait of a family, a marriage, and a mother coping with day-to-day life amidst the stresses of caring for a boy with a stigmatizing condition. The book is also a surprising testament to the healing power of music: taking readers to New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall — where Turk was certain she was the only parent ever to sit in the audience and wonder whether her child would curse while singing with a youth chorus onstage— as well as inside bars and music venues where Michael sang, played drums and guitar, and, ultimately, where Michael found himself part of School of Rock.

For more information on the book or Michele, visit MicheleTurk.com.

Register for the event here.