Everton’s Howard: It’s hard to pinpoint when it first become evident I had Tourette’s Syndrome

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard admits he cannot quite pinpoint the exact time he knew he was slightly different to the kids in his class.

The 34-year old USA international was diagnosed with the neuropsychiatric disorder in middle school and he has not let that affect his career as he has become one of America’s most successful soccer players to play in Europe.

Howard said at times it was difficult growing up with TS, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but he did what he could to manage the various tics that occurred in his development as a person.

“From the age of 9 to 15, it was just this chaos of different tics, and they were pretty strong,” he told the American Academy of Neurology.

“I would just begin to figure out how a tic worked with my body, and, bam, six months or a year later, a new tic would come.”

He added: “I enjoyed school, but I couldn't sit still, didn't have a ton of focus. I was just trying to get myself in the moment.

“And, of course, kids talk. Any time anything's different about a kid, not just TS, they talk.

“But also, I had such good friends. They didn't ostracize me or make me feel like an outcast.”

Of his condition whilst being a sportsman, the former Manchester United gloveman added further: “On the field I wasn't Tim who had TS or Tim who had tics. I was Tim who scored goals or scored baskets or hit home runs.”

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