TOURETTE SYNDROME ASSOCIATION letter of response to dr. phil
Dr. Phil McGraw
5482 Wilshire Boulevard #1902
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Re: Your broadcast segment on Tourette Syndrome - Extreme Disorders program (January 17, 2006)
Dear Dr. Phil::
Two key facts emerged from this broadcast: 1:) the Dr. Phil program has a large, loyal following among the Tourette Syndrome community; and; 2:) many members of our community were bitterly disappointed by the segment on TS and flooded our offices with deeply felt expressions of resentment.
In contrast, let us say that our Association is indebted to you for raising awareness among your vast and devoted audience. At the same time, we are highly disturbed that the sole individual with this disorder whom you presented gave vent to an almost ceaseless flow of foul offensive words.
While cursing and other unacceptable expressions are a rare symptom (85 to 90 percent of the TS population do not exhibit it), you never mentioned this important clarification. As a result, your audience came away with a false stereotype of individuals with TS, who number in the hundreds of thousands.
This is not merely a matter of bruised feelings among vulnerable youngsters and adults who must cope with a burdensome disorder every day of their lives. It tends to encourage damaging discrimination in areas such as education, employment and social acceptance.
In the interest of fairness and responsibility Dr. Phil, we earnestly hope that you will find an early opportunity to correct the distorted impression left by your program, as well as your website. The facts you provided are nearly two decades old. Please replace this information with the enclosed Tourette Syndrome fact sheet.
Tourette Syndrome Association
P.S. Tourette Syndrome is defined as a disability under federal law.
cc: Carla Pennington Stewart, Executive Producer, The Dr. Phil Show
Les Moonves, CEO, CBS Television
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