Media and Turner Syndrome

Last night while browsing for something to watch I came across reruns of Law and order SVU. Like many of you, I am a fan of his show and love how they don’t shy away from tough subjects. So when I came across the episode The Clock I was interested. As I scrolled down to the details it was about a young girl with Turner Syndrome. I was thrilled finally a popular show addresses Turner Syndrome and how did I miss this in the past. As I started to watch it I began to be disappointed at how they were handling the subject manner of Turner Syndrome and I felt like they were doing a disservice to those who live with it daily like myself.

Now if you haven’t seen the episode warning spoilers ahead. In this episode, Elliot and Fin investigate a disappearance of a 17-year named Janey who has Turner Syndrome. Which they state makes her look 12. So far most of my fellow butterflies are knotting your head relating to this I know I can. I remember when I first ran for City Council in my community a lot of people thought I was too young to even vote let alone run for office. I was 25 but I did look like I was 17 or 18. As for the show they were on point with highlighting this common characteristic of Turners.

In the episode, Dr. Warren tries to explain to Elliot and Fin what Turner Syndrome is. He makes some good points but overgeneralizes. The good points he makes are the normal common ones most of us butterflies experience short stature, delayed puberty, unable to have children. He also states that Tuner Syndrome girls tend to be very bright with above-average IQs. My doctor has also stated these are common traits with the Tuner patients he has worked with. I was ok with that and was happy that they outlined a little of this relativity unknown disorder. I also related to a lot of what his character was stating.

However, what was a huge disservice was that Dr. Warren goes on to say that Tuner patients are trapped in a child’s body. For me, that was way off the mark and is a harmful generalization to those facing Turner Syndrome. I can’t imagine how a parent who was watching this for the first time with a newly diagnosed daughter would think and this type of miss information. It is harmful to understanding the complexity of Turner Syndrome. To add fuel to the fire the teenager cast as the turner syndrome patient didn’t even have Turner Syndrome and that was such a missed opportunity.

If you are going to address this disorder they should at least have someone who has those classic tuner syndrome features so someone with Tuners can look and see themselves being represented on TV. While I want to thank the writers and actors of SVU for addressing Turner Syndrome they, unfortunately, miss some opportunities to help raise awareness and did more harm and good with this episode.

While watching this episode it got me thinking about the lack of reputation in the media and awareness brought to the disorder. it also brought to light the large amount of miss information that is out there on Turner Syndrome. It is disheartening that there is so little attention brought to this disorder and when it is addressed it is often not portrayed well or even acutely. For example, a local news channel in my home state of Iowa was featuring a woman with Turner syndrome and a

severe heart defect. I think she was needEd surgery. The headline to the story when I was reading it said ( terminal birth defect only affects females )


This made it seem that Turner Syndrome is terminal and would terrify any parent navigating the complexity of this disorder. As you continued to read the article it does address a lot of common issues but only covers the surface. This is one of the reasons why I decided to start the blog. I wanted to share my experiences and put those fears at ease. Yes turners can lead to major medical issues and yes I have to monitor my health but it is certainly not terminal and you still can achieve your goals. It may be some bumps along the way but it is even better when it is achieved. So if you do watch this episode I encourage you to watch with an open mind and decide your view for yourself on this episode. I also encourage you to share your journey with others together we will bring awareness to Turner Syndrome