LAFAYETTE (KLFY) - Lafayette native David Begnaud is a Teurlings High and UL Lafayette grad. Throughout school, David Begnaud was fighting a battle.
"I was diagnosed at six years old."
Begnaud recently revealed he has Tourettes Syndrome and he is now working to bring awareness to the disorder.
"I changed elementary schools several times. Bullying was a problem. My dad home schooled me at times. My parents did everything to help me live a normal life."
Begnaud is most known for championing the people of Puerto Rico through his reporting in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Begnaud said he is talking about it now in the hopes of starting a conversation and creating more acceptance of the syndrome.
"I think it has been... my achilles' heel, but also the fuel that has driven me," he said.
Tourette's generally surfaces in childhood and is characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocal tics. Tics range from subtle eye blinking or shrugging to uncontrollable shouting out words or phrases.
Begnaud said, "If you know someone with Tourettes, it doesn't have to stop you from anything. I just want to use this to try to create a conversation that either leads to some type of tolerance, and if we're lucky, acceptance."
According to the Tourette Association of America, one out of every 160 children between the ages of five and 17 has Tourette Syndrome or another tic disorder.
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