A dad-of-three living with Tourette’s syndrome has become a social media star after sharing the reality of what parenthood is like when you have the often embarrassing condition.
Glen Cooney, 40, who developed Tourette’s syndrome aged ten after the tragic death of his cousin, decided to share videos on Tiktok of the black comedy of family life with wife Helen, 43, and children Emma, 25, Daniel, eight, and Olly, five.
His videos have gained more than 130,000 followers and document how Tourette’s affects his daily life – including dealing with tics such as shouting ‘Coronavirus‘ while out in the supermarket and copying other people’s accents.
Glen says he decided to start filming himself with his children to show that having Tourette’s doesn’t stop him from being a great dad.
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Dad-of-three Glen Cooney, 40, from Guernsey on the Channel Islands, first developed Tourette’s syndrome aged ten, following the death of his cousin. Despite cruel trolls saying he ‘shouldn’t be a dad’, Glen has become a huge TikTok star with his videos showing the realities of his condition
One of his most popular videos sees him attempting to make trifle – but finding it impossible to resist throwing the ingredients at himself and his son Daniel, eight
Glen looks down at the hand that he’s just put in the bowl of custard as his tics dominate the trifle making
Since launching his channel just four weeks ago, he’s already hit 100,000 followers and has had millions of views, while also connecting with other people who suffer with the syndrome from all over the world.
He said: ‘My most recent tic is fake sneezing and shouting coronavirus in supermarkets, it happens and when I look up I’m surrounded by people backing away from me.
‘I can’t help the verbal and physical tics when they happen, and I haven’t had the condition since birth so I have been learning how to live with it.
‘My children find it quite funny, they’re not old enough to completely understand it and can’t help but laugh when I mimic accents of people I hear in supermarkets. We have been for a curry before and as soon as sat down I started talking with an Indian accent.
‘Sometimes I see bald people with lots of facial hair, look up and shout ‘your head is upside down’ while pointing at them.
Sweet revenge: The family have celebrated having 100,000 followers on Tiktok after their videos were a huge success on the social media platform
Watch that egg! Dad Glen says his tics can happen at any time and he’s recently been shouting ‘coronavirus’ in supermarkets
Glen says he hopes that his videos will ‘normalise the condition’. Pictured: Glen’s wife Helen and Glen’s two youngest children, Olly, left, and Daniel, right
WHAT IS TOURETTE’S SYNDROME?
Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological condition characterised by a combination of involuntary noises and movements called tics.
It usually starts during childhood and continues into adulthood. Tics can be either be vocal or physical.
In many cases Tourette’s syndrome runs in families and it’s often associated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Tourette’s syndrome is named after the French doctor, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who first described the syndrome and its symptoms in the 19th century.
There’s no cure for Tourette’s syndrome, but treatment can help to control the symptoms.
Source: NHS Choices
‘It can get really embarrassing sometimes but over time I have learnt to accept the things I can’t control and try to live my life as openly and honest as I can.