Essential Tremor is a condition that can easily go undiagnosed, especially in children, because it is mistakenly thought to only happen with the elderly. In reality, there's a lack of awareness of what Essential Tremor is; most people mistake it for Parkinson's Disease, but Essential Tremor is eight times more common.
Allison Dyke, a communications major at Kuyper College, was diagnosed with this condition when she was 4-years-old, and wanted to share her story to help spread awareness.
Essential tremor is a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic shaking of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk. The disease makes simple tasks hard to do, like buttoning clothes, applying makeup, and holding objects steady.
As a child, Allison was behind in her fine motor skills, and struggled to with tasks like tying her shoes. She even stayed away from many physical activities because her tremor made everything difficult.
Up until her sophomore year of high school, Allison struggled to deal with her Essential Tremor without any outside resources for help. Then she found the International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF), an organization that provides support for people with the disease through educational programs, advocacy, and research funding.
Through these materials and online resources, she was able to educate her teachers and others around her about her condition. She even got a scholarship from the organization when she started going to Kuyper College.
Now she's speaking out about Essential Tremor in hopes of letting other students and adults know they're not alone. Allison and her mom also have a support group for people like her in West Michigan.
To learn more about Essential Tremor, visit essentialtremor.org.