Speaker to discuss his journey with Tourette’s Syndrome


Screenshot from YouTube

Trevor Smith, student and president and chairman of the Tourette Advocacy Foundation, will be speaking Tuesday about his journey with Tourette syndrome.

Morrgan Zmolek

Disability Awareness Week is kicking off at Iowa State to educate students about various disabilities and how those who are disabled are affected by it. 

As a part of this week-long series of events, there will be multiple speakers talking about the impact and challenges of disabilities, along with some telling their own stories. 

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Memorial Union will be hosting Trevor Smith, president and chairman of the Tourette Advocacy Foundation, in the Gallery Room. Smith will be discussing the impact Tourette’s syndrome has had on him in his lecture event named “My Journey with Tourette’s.” 

Smith, a young man said to have one of the worst cases of Tourette’s Syndrome in the world, has dealt with this disability for many years. A condition passed down to him from his mother, Smith’s Tourette’s was expected to subside when he reached his teens as his mother’s did. His, however, only worsened. 

Smith has been prescribed countless medications known to help others with their uncontrollable movements associated with the condition, referred to as tics, but nothing worked. Recently, he underwent a risky procedure called deep brain stimulation where electrodes are placed in the brain and send out electrical impulses to certain parts of the body. This procedure is typically used for treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It’s much less explored in the treatment of Tourette’s syndrome. 

Student Accessibility Services encourages everyone to go and listen to Smith’s lecture because it will teach others the impact of this disability. 

“I think it will open others’ minds and give an understanding of disabilities to those without,” said Wendy Stevenson, specialist for Student Services. She went on to stress the importance of being understanding and respectful to those with disabilities.

Learn more about Smith and his story Tuesday in the Gallery Room of the Memorial Union.