Overcoming Challenges (Guest Blog)


Overcoming Challenges


This is the first of what I hope will be many guest blogs written by kids who overcame all kinds of challenges to achieve their dreams. My first guest is my awesome granddaughter, Sami Thompson. She’s twelve years old and has Tourette Syndrome. She has been facing this particular challenge most of her life, although she was officially diagnosed when she was eight. She’s so dynamic and so upbeat that she won’t let anything keep her down. Below is her story.


When I was eight years old, I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (TS). What happens when you have TS is your mind tells you to do something and you have no control over it. There are two kinds of  “tics” that you have with TS. Body motion tics, (things like pulling on your hair or twisting your neck a lot ), and verbal outbursts, (like clearing your throat all the time or yelling out a word for no reason). I also have obsessive/compulsive disorder, which means that sometimes when I want something, I obsess over it and have a fit if I can’t get it. I don’t do it on purpose. I just can’t help myself. When I finally get over the fit I feel really bad since I know it’s hard on my family.


When I’m in class and I start to tic I feel embarrassed because I think that other kids judge me for my TS, which some of them do. It hurts my feelings because I can’t help it and wouldn’t be doing it on purpose because that would be silly. Sometimes, when this happens, I go to the office to talk to the guidance counselor. Most of the times I start to cry when talking about my feelings and what I go through.


When I was nine years old I tried out for softball and made the team. And when I turned eleven I decided to become a cheerleader. I didn’t let TS stop me. When I play ball or cheer, I keep my head in the game and I keep focused. And when I focus I don’t even notice the tics because when you’re having fun you don’t realize you have a disorder and you’re overcoming it. If I can do it, you can do it too.


I’m hoping that Sami’s story will inspire both kids and adults alike. Most of us don’t have a clue what children like Sami go through. As a grandparent, I’m looking in from the outside. I only know what she tells me or shows me through her actions. Sami’s neurological disorder has made me see the world through different eyes. Now, when I see a child acting a little strangely, I’m not so quick to judge. Who knows what that child is going through?


So, I’m sending out this invitation to all kids who have overcome a daunting challenge to achieve a dream that everyone told them was impossible. Tell me your story so I can share it with my readers. And please know, you are beautiful just the way you are.


(Send your story to https://getpsychedbooks.wordpress.com/. You can also message me at http://www.facebook.com/GetPsychedByJanetMcLaughlin. Word count should be 250 to 400 words.)



  1. What a sweet, inspiring story! Sami is wise beyond her years, and so very courageous to share her story here. It seems that through overcoming her own challenges, she has developed a sense of compassion that far exceeds that of many “grown ups”. What a beautiful gift!

  2. janetmclaughlin · · Reply

    Thank you, Liz. She is a beautiful child in so many ways and I’m blessed to be her “Nanny.”

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