XENIA, Ohio — Only about 1% of school-aged kids are estimated to have a tic disorder or Tourette syndrome. But many of those cases are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. For Dakota Wagner, a Xenia high school freshman, that was the case until she was finally diagnosed last year.
What You Need To Know
- Tourette syndrome affects only about one percent of school-aged children
- For Dakota Wagner, she started noticing tics in sixth grade
- After being misdiagnosed, Wagner eventually learned she had Tourette Syndrome last year
- Wagner created her own business, Tic'd Off, creating beeswax lip balm with a portion of the proceeds going towards research for Tourette syndrome and tic disorders
Wagner is a freshman on the varsity softball team, but she isn’t a typical 15-year-old. She also has Tourette syndrome and has multiple tics a day. Wagner said she was diagnosed just a year ago after being misdiagnosed in sixth grade.
“I never thought I’d have something like that because it’s very uncommon," Wagner said.
The teen said her tics can vary.
“It’ll just go from me twitching my neck to me clapping or me throwing something even," she said.
But her tics calm down when she’s exercising.
“When I’m focused on something more, I tic a lot less," Wagner said. "But sometimes I’ll have really bad tic moments and I’ll just need to take a break.”
Wagner doesn’t let her disorder impact her daily life if she can help it.
“I try to make a joke out of it so that the other person knows that I’m comfortable with it," she said.
Wagner has used her diagnosis for good too, creating her own business, Tic’d Off. She sells homemade beeswax lip balm with a portion of the proceeds going towards research for Tourette’s and tic disorders.
"That’s helped me and a lot of people because a lot of people have been reaching out saying thank you so much for spreading the word, and those stories always touch my heart," Wagner said.
While it’s been a struggle for Wagner, she said the biggest difference has been staying positive and being upfront about her condition. She hopes her outlook inspires others going through something similar.
“Keep a positive outlook on everything," Wagner said. "It makes everything 10 times better. Just try to find that positive in all that negatives. And just don’t be uncomfortable to share the word. Don’t be uncomfortable to hide it because if you compress it, it makes it 10 times worse in the end.”