Mum hits back at cruel trolls who called her a 'safety hazard' because of her Tourette's
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A mum with Tourette's syndrome has hit back after cruel trolls have claimed she’s a ‘safety hazard’ and threatened to call social services as she raises her young daughter.
Holly Shortland, 19, from Taunton, Somerset, regularly posts videos online to share her experiences of being a young mum to nine-month-old Luna-Rose while living with Tourette’s. You can see her talk about her condition here:
Holly, who was diagnosed with the condition at just five years old, said she hopes to change the negative representations around Tourette's.
However, trolls have made cruel comments to Holly, with some even threatening to call social services.
Holly explains: "I find it hard that others find it hard. I will be out ticcing with my daughter and I will get comments from people saying I am a safety hazard and questioning why no one is here to help me with my baby.
"People even say 'poor child' about my daughter, or they simply laugh, get their cameras out and yell things to try and make me tic more.
"I am extremely sick of people thinking disabled people can’t be able mothers. I have struggles and do get help from my fiancé or my parents, but I never actually have struggles or need help with my tics and my daughter.
"It doesn’t affect my parenting at all, other than 'mummy makes funny noises' and have to try really hard to not let the ‘naughty word’ tics out.
"One thing I always make videos about is whether people with Tourette’s can hold babies, and have many videos about how we are not a danger to children, we aren’t a danger to anyone but ourselves.
"I will never fully know my condition because it's neurological, but I truly believe our subconscious plays a massive role in our disorder. I rarely tic when holding my baby.”
Holly first joined TikTok when she was just 13, and was inspired to share videos after seeing the representation of the condition was ‘awful’.
She added: "People were extremely angry I started posting on TikTok, despite my diagnosis and explanation of the progression of my tics and that they aren’t bad and not very noticeable, people were ignorant.
"It’s also hard these days because people always have negativity. I get comments telling me they will call social services and take my child away because I’m abusive or they tell me my tics are fake and that I should grow up.
"Another comment I get is that my baby is going to have shaken baby syndrome.
"TikTok was the best and worst thing to ever happen to me. The best because I finally found a community, not only of young people with tics but also of young people with other disabilities.
"I’m so unbelievably grateful for the people who actually stood by me, not just for the funny tics or 'to see if she’ll throw the baby' but beside me as a person. I am so much more than my condition and I’m glad people are starting to see that.
"I’m grateful for my daughter, for giving me purpose, hope and unconditional love. She single-handedly, from just the start of my pregnancy, calmed my tics majorly, changed my experience with my condition and is the only thing that makes me see the good in my Tourette’s."
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