Good afternoon everyone, and on behalf of the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders, I want to welcome you to the NJ Walks For TS at Ramapo College! Thank you for coming out to the walk today! Your support for TS is amazing and appreciated!
I want to thank NJCTS very, very much for honoring me with this very prestigious award. I am flattered and thrilled beyond words. Now, I want to tell you a little about my experience with TS and how I ended up here today.
I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when I was 6 years old. As I got older, I tried to control my “tics” because I was embarrassed and afraid someone would make fun of me. I would try to hold my tics in all day long while at school and couldn’t wait till I got home so I could tick all I wanted. Similarly, I rarely went on playdates after school because I wanted to go home so I could tic, and I never went on sleepovers because of the same reasons.
I continued to try to hide the “real me” until my freshman year in high school, when my doctor suggested I tell a few close friends about my TS and OCD. She related it to diabetes – a problem that you cannot control. I was hesitant about the idea and not convinced that it was okay, normal, cool, or any combination of those words to have Tourette Syndrome — until my mother and I came across the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome website. Continue reading →
Here are a list of book titles and websites/films about Tourette Syndrome that I thought you all might find useful!
“I Can’t Stop” — Holly Niner A Story about TS (kids book)
“Adam and the Magic Marble” — Adam Buehrens
“Hi, I’m Adam: A Child’s story of Tourette Syndrome” — Adam Buehrens (kids)
“Tic Talk: Living with Tourette Syndrome, A 9-year-old boy’s story in his own words” — Dylan Peters (kids)
“Teaching the Tiger A Handbook for Individuals Involved in the Education of Students with Attention Deficit Disorders, Tourette Syndrome or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder [Plastic Comb]” — Marilyn P., Ph.D. Dornbush (Author), Sheryl K. Pruitt (Author)
“Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I never Had” — Brad Cohen with Lisa Wysocky
“Twitch and Shout: A Touretter’s Tale” — Lowell Handler
“Against Medical Advice” — James Patterson and Hal Friedman
“Children with Tourette Syndrome” — a parent’s guide, edited by Tracy Lynne Marsh. 2nd edition or newer
“Challenging Kids, Challenged Teachers” — Leslie E. Packer, Ph.D. & Sheryl Pruitt, M.Ed., ET/P for TS Plus
“The Explosive Child” — Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.
“Don’t Think About Monkeys” — edited by Adam Ward Seligman & John S. Hilkevich
“What to do when your temper flares” — a workbook by Dawn Huebner, Ph.D.
“What to do when your brain gets stuck” — a workbook by Dawn Huebner, Ph. D.
“Coping with Tourette Syndrome” — a workbook by Sandra Buffolano, MA
“House Rules” — Jodi Picoult (Asperger’s)
“Healing the New Childhood Epedemics” — Kenneth Bock and Cameron Stauth Continue reading →
The Youth Advocate of the Year Award was established in 2012 to reward a teenager whose contribution makes a difference to New Jersey’s adolescent and pre-adolescent Tourette Syndrome community. An NJCTS Youth Advocate is a person whose dedication and actions improves awareness and helps break the stigma of TS by educating the public, medical professionals and educators about Tourette and by supporting kids and families living with the often devastating neurological disorder that affects 1 in 100 children and adults.
A NJCTS Youth Advocate lives out the mission of NJCTS and advances public perception, understanding and acceptance of people with TS and associated disorders such as OCD, ADHD, anxiety and depression. Continue reading →
Come visit me on my Definite Possibilities website! Don’t know me? Here’s a little about me as we head into 2013:
I love to live an active life and explore. I am very passionate about helping others and I am currently in the process of putting together a fundraiser to raise money for Autism by cycling a marathon. The marathon is also being dedicated to my brother, who I am very close to and loves adventure and cycling. Unfortunately, at times, his “gift” prevents him from participating. In addition to that I am writing a book on anti-bullying.
I am a complete goofball, dorky and passionate — old-fashioned to a certain degree. I laugh every chance I get. I have a love for the outdoors and anything that involves me being around nature. Coffee. Campfires. A challenge. I love movies. Inspirational people.
My book, “The Line, the Itch and the Rabbit Hole,” chronicles my experiences with Tourette Syndrome. I had my first tic at age 7 (a sniffling annoyance, dismissed as a “bad habit”) but wasn’t diagnosed with TS until I was 23.
My symptoms dried out through my early teenage years but worsened in my late teens after I spent a number of years experimenting with drugs and alcohol. After that, TS remained a constant in my life.
I didn’t tell anyone around me about the diagnosis, not just because it’s a heavily misunderstood illness and I didn’t want to deal with any explanations, but also because I naturally like to keep myself to myself.
With the publication of “The Line, the Itch and the Rabbit Hole,” I finally have a means of relaying that information to people around me, and while I put off doing that, I would really like to communicate with fellow sufferers to learn how they dealt with the illness and the stigma attached to it.
I also suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, have spent numerous years addicted to drugs and alcohol (sober now) and spent some of my childhood in a psychiatric hospital after an “accidental suicide attempt.” All of these things are explained in the book, available from Amazon for just a $0.99 download!