T-Rex for Tourette’s
by Ann van Engelen
Adding to the Tourette’s support network, Tiki the T-Rex has joined the crew as the group’s mascot bringing public awareness of the association and strength to children with the syndrome.
“The mascot idea started when a friend of one of our members drew him a T-Rex. He said when you say Tourette’s it sounds like T-Rex and he thought it could be his friend’s superpower,” says association executive director Robyn Twemlow.
“The whole story was quite coincidental, funny and cute as we didn’t have a mascot. We came up with a choice of names, and Tiki gained the most votes.
We put a T-Rex on our camp shirts this year, and the campers found it quirky and loved it. It grabs people’s attention and puts it out there in a fun way, as the two words sound the same.
“We have had a busy year with Camp Twitch being a highlight. Families got together, and people didn’t have to hide their ticks as everyone understood them so they could be themselves.
“The awareness of Tourette’s is getting stronger, and we appreciate the support we are receiving as more people are becoming aware of the syndrome. More children are being diagnosed as the compulsions are more widely recognised by medical professionals, which is a good thing.
“Tiki is a mascot and comfort for children as they love hugging these sorts of things. They can take on that confidence and persona of being a mighty creature regardless of their tics.
“Our motto is ‘Tic loud and tic proud’ — which is why T-Rex is perfect. He will empower them to own having Tourette’s syndrome and not feel embarrassed about their tics or being who they are. The T-shirts and soft toy are merchandise items to help us raise funds for what we do. I plan to add little vests for Tiki to wear to go with his unique personality.”
To purchase Tiki or a T-shirt, contact Robyn through messenger on the Tourette’s Association of NZ Facebook page.