AN anxious mum is desperately searching for other Wyre Forest families affected by the neurological disorder Tourette Syndrome, characterised by tics - repeated involuntary, rapid, sudden movements.

The condition causes considerable distress to the sufferers, who are often laughed at and labelled freaks by people who lack understanding.

Kidderminster mother-of-three, Sue Cichocki, whose 12-year-old son, Jax, was diagnosed a few months ago with Tourette's wants to set up a support group to help sufferers and their families.

"I really hope we can get a support group running because there is nothing round here - the nearest group is in Birmingham, but Jax's consultant said there are a few cases locally," she said.

Mrs Cichocki believes it would help Jax to meet other sufferers and for him and the rest of the family to know they were not alone and to share and learn from other people's experiences.

"Jax has been bullied and called a freak. He understands that people are calling him names," she added.

People with Tourette's display involuntary behaviour that can be viewed as bizarre, disruptive and frightening and the symptoms can provoke ridicule.

Children like Jax also experience mood swings, have a short attention span and need special help at school.

Mrs Cichocki and her husband, Chris, of Westminster Road, who have an older son and daughter at university, are still trying to find out more about Tourette Syndrome themselves.

They were particularly distressed recently when they saw an adult sufferer being laughed at in a Kidderminster caf. "We thought it was disgusting and we want people to be more aware of the condition," said Mrs Cichocki, "We don't want our son to suffer like that."

The condition can be inherited, although not necessarily, and drugs can help lessen the symptoms. Sufferers can often learn to control the tics to some extent, although this might merely postpone more severe outbursts of symptoms.

Anyone affected by Tourette Syndrome can contact Mrs Cichocki on 01562 633060.