Teenage Diaries Revisited: Growing Up With Tourette's | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Teenage Diaries Revisited: Growing Up With Tourette's

Play associated audio

Name: Josh Cutler

Hometown: New York, N.Y.

Current City: New York, N.Y.

Occupation: ESL teacher

Then:

"I look just like a normal person, except after a while you'd realize I don't act much like a normal person."

Josh has Tourette's syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable tics and verbal outbursts. He took his tape recorder to high school, documenting his efforts to live a normal life. "Girls are a very touchy topic with me," he said. "A lot of the Tourettic things I do seem to drive other people — including girls — away."

Now:

Josh overcame Tourette's enough to become a public school teacher in New York City. But it hasn't been easy for him. He was put on probation by the New York Department of Education two years ago and is currently fighting the charges. Until his case is resolved, Josh's life is in limbo.

On recording his teen audio diary:

"After my story aired [in 1996], even complete strangers from around the country went out of their way to drop me a note. My well-wishers ranged from ordinary people, to a man in prison in Texas, to a young lady named Emily, who also has Tourette's and with whom I still correspond. The lesson I learned from documenting my experience is that in some ways the cold, cruel world is not as cold and cruel as I used to think it was."

Produced for All Things Considered by Joe Richman and Sarah Kate Kramer of Radio Diaries, edited by Deborah George and Ben Shapiro.

You can subscribe to the Radio Diaries podcast at NPR.org.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Night At The Fiestas' Spins Stories Of Faith And Family

Kirstin Valdez Quade's debut book of short fiction is inspired by her family and its long history in the "romanticized" region of northern New Mexico.
NPR

Not Just Sugary-Sweet, Hard Cider Makes A Comeback

Cider is the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage in the United States. Much of that growth is driven by big industrial producers, but smaller cider-makers are looking for a larger bite of the apple.
NPR

Nigerian President Faces Tough Reelection Campaign

Nigerians head to the polls Saturday to vote for their new president. The incumbent Goodluck Jonathan faces former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari, who says he's tough on security and corruption.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.