Anti-Bullying Book Fund

My name is Logan Kurtz, I’m 18 years old, and I have a gift known as Tourette Syndrome. I want to help the thousands being bullied! Please go here to make this happen: http://www.gofundme.com/anti-bullying-fund. This is the ultimate step-by-step guide to standing up to a bully!

My goal is to give the caged innocent a way out though inspirational words and step-by-step instructions when facing a bully. Please help by donating a few dollars to help fund this project! Money raised will go toward children who end up in hospitals because of bullying.

And, there are rewards for donating:

  • $15 = Free one book and free shipping
  • $100 = Your name is featured in thank you letter every time a book is sold; free 6 books and free shipping.
  • $250 = Your name is featured in thank you letter every time a book is sold; free 16 books and free shipping; your name will be on the homepage of the official website.

For more information or to read more from me, check out my Help Spread The Word About Tourette Syndrome and Definite Possibilities pages.

Athens Day 5: Following in some big footsteps

LauraAthens4Saturday was the most bizarre and amazing day yet. Looking back on it, I don’t even know where to start, so I’ll just start with the morning.

So I was at the conference at 8:30 a.m., a bit early, but I wanted to see the first speech. I almost fell asleep, so it’s good that my sister got me a coke. Starting this day, as you know, I didn’t know when I would speak during the day, either 10:20 a.m. or 1:45 p.m.

The president of the European Society for the Study of Tourette Syndrome (ESSTS) asked the keynote speaker if it was OK for me to go first, and they talked a little and decided that I would go right AFTER the keynote — which is even better (read: more nerve-wracking) than before, because all the people would still be there, instead of being late for my speech (because they wouldn’t have known about it before).

So I sat there for more than an hour just waiting for the keynote (Dr. Robert King of Yale University, who frequently works with the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome, which lets me write on this awesome blog!) to end his speech. He named me a couple of times during his speech, to announce my speech, which was pretty cool.

About an hour into his speech, he said for the first time “to close,” so I thought I would be on soon and I started to get nervous. He then continued for another TWENTY minutes while I was getting more nervous and nervous, because I didn’t know when he was done. My heard was racing, and I actually got light in my head and I tried to do some breathing exercises which, of course, didn’t help. Continue reading

Athens Day 4: Gaining insight … and another speech!

Friday was the only day, as it turns out, were I didn’t have to do some sort of presentation. I listened to a lot of presentations, and didn’t understand them all, but I did get some interesting new insights.

Friday afternoon we went to the Acropolis museum, which was really nice — I finally had the idea I was in Athens! It was a guided visit, so I learned a lot about the Greek ancient history.

Afterward, we had the official opening of the conference with a keynote speech from Johns Hopkins University. It was about brain matter, so I didn’t understand a lot of it, but I wasn’t the only one! Then we went to the rooftop garden for the reception (including dinner), and I had some very nice conversations with some doctors from the Netherlands and Italy.

Somewhere halfway in the evening, professor Mary Robertson came up to me with a camera (she took a lot of pictures of me during the dinner yesterday as well!) and wanted us to be in a picture together, which is nice, because I really wanted that too! It’s on her camera, though, so I don’t have it yet. Then she took me to introduce me to a few big people of the world of Tourette, including the keynote speaker of before. And she took pictures as well!

She’s just so much fun — I really like her! Then the big news of the day: As I said before, they were trying to get my speech into the conference again, and I got a defined go! I don’t know what time it will be, yet, it’s either at the end, like I said before, or — hold on to your heads — right before the keynote speaker!!

Keynote speakers are always the BIG people and everyone (about 250 people) tends to come to the keynote, even if they miss other presentations. Usually the keynote is in between breaks, because it’s so important, but now they’ve suggested that they’ll cut the break by ten minutes, so I can do my speech and right after me, the keynote will come!

Of course, it’s not sure yet — they are going to ask the keynote speaker if he’s OK with it, but if he is, I’ll probably have an audience of about 200 people! So that’s, well … nerve-wracking doesn’t even cover it!

Comments about depression and suicide, part 1

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t written in a while, but I was diagnosed with depression a few months ago and I’ve just been trying to deal with it. Quite a few people recently bombed one of my videos about suicide and depression. I shall discuss all of their antics.

Why do you bash that girl for whining about her life, then whine about your life when you have so much? Has it ever occurred to you how privileged you are?

This is the first comment to speak of. If you have seen the video, I obviously did not “bash” this young lady. I only stated facts of what happens when she is at my lunch table. Second of all, I was not whining about my life. I only meant to discuss my latest feelings and try to help others.

The first sentence does not bother me at all. This person is clearly ignorant and wasted two seconds of my life by having me read it. The second statement states how clearly privileged I am, even though this person has never met me in his or her entire life.

Yes, I am very privileged. I have a great life even if I am suffering quite a few disorders. I don’t discuss quite a few aspects of my life on YouTube or my blog, since they are much too personal and would not in any way help others. I must admit that one of the things I do not discuss could help others by me discussing it, but I am not ready to reveal that part of my life yet.

Tourette is something most people can easily tell I have, but the aspect I’d rather not speak of is not noticeable at all. I will gladly discuss anything about Tourette, OCD, anxiety disorder and depression, though. Continue reading

Different room for exams

Yesterday and today were the first days I’ve taken my exams in a separate room in college. I took all of my exams in high school in a separate room because of my tics, and in college I thought I could move back into a room with a small number of others when taking exams because my tics are a bit more mild this year.

I posted about this a little before, and in that post I mentioned that the last two times I took my exams in a room with another student the other student had to leave the room because my tics were bothering her. I thought it best for everyone that I move back to taking my exams in a separate room.

I don’t feel upset about this, really. I took an exam yesterday and today in a separate room, and I didn’t have to deal with thinking about if my tics were bothering anyone. I was more focused on my exams, and that’s what matters.

I have TS, which is not my fault, and if taking my exams in a separate room helps both myself and other students, then I call that a win. Letting other people provide you with the accommodations you need is not accepting that you are any less than any other person. It’s realizing that you are just as important as everyone else and so are your needs.

Hello from Cory Singer!

Cory3Hi everyone! I want to say thank you for allowing me to be a part of this blog. I am looking forward to sharing my life experiences with you in the hope that I can encourage and inspire all of you to keep chasing your dreams. My motto is “Focus On My Abilities, NOT My Disabilities.”

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am 18 years old. I live in South Plainfield, N.J. (for now), and I am a senior in high school. I am an only child but consider my dogs Sprout and Missy part of my family. I plan on going to college while pursuing my dream of becoming a professional singer and performer.

I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome about five years ago. I also have Asperger’s among other disorders. For me, I look at my differences as an advantage. If you can learn to be positive about challenges that you face on a daily basis, then you can do anything!

I am chasing my dreams. Last year, I auditioned for a national television show on Bravo called “The Kandi Factory”. On May 7, my episode will air at 10 p.m. I hope you tune in, and if you’re local, come down to our viewing party and watch it with me.

“The Kandi Factory” is a singing competition. I already consider myself a winner because I did not let my disabilities stop me from chasing my dreams, and I never will stop chasing them.

Iwill be back a few times a week, and I hope to hear back from all of you! Feel free to follow me on Twitter, on my Facebook page or on my official website.

I thought it would be really cool to write a song for the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome. How about we do it together?? Why don’t you all send me some of your ideas? I can’t wait to meet everyone and I hope that you are all having a GREAT day! Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this great blog.

Youth Ambassador presentation tomorrow

I am excited for my presentation tomorrow about Tourette Syndrome at my rival school. In my presentation, I will talk a lot about associated conditions of TS, such as, ADD, ADHD, Executive Functioning, anxiety, depression and more. But I also talk a lot about the disorder itself.

My sister and I both have TS, and we have each have had our struggles. But at the end of the day, we have to live with it and accept it. The best way to help people to understand is to tell people, and that’s why the Youth Ambassador Program has helped me so much.

I love advocating about Tourette Syndrome to/for as many people as I can because word gets around quick. I haven’t done a presentation in a while, so this will be a great break from school.

Athens Day 3: Behavioral therapy in the spotlight

LauraAthens3Today was the second and last day of the Training School. Tomorrow, the annual meeting will start.

Today was all about behavioral therapy and how to use it as a therapist. In the morning, a video of me was shown from about 12 years ago! I knew that tape existed, but I hadn’t seen it before. It got a bit emotional, because I remembered the feeling I had back then (300 tics in 15 minutes and always feeling down) very well.

Later this morning, together with my (former) therapist, I did a role play about Exposure Response Prevention. It’s a type of behavioral therapy that I’ve had myself. Because I got so good at it, we didn’t do the role play with tics, but with symmetry behavior instead.

We had five empty bottles of water which I put into a perfect position (in line, labels on the same side etc.). Then my therapist moved the bottles a bit, to make me have the “itchy” feeling you get when you have to do a tic or a compulsion.

Later on, I did another role play with Habit Reversal, another behavioral therapy. Continue reading

Athens Day 2: Big names in the world of Tourette LOVED my speech!

LauraAthens2Today was the big day!

It started with listening until lunchtime, which was nice, so I could get used to the accommodations and the people and the vibe in the room. After lunch, my speech was the first one! I talked about my daily life with Tourette and all the co-morbid symptoms. It was very well received. I made everybody laugh, and they all seemed very interested.

Tourettes Action Conference October 2010Maybe the best thing about it was that Mary Robertson (she’s like, BIG in the world of Tourette; if you don’t know her, just Google her!) was there and she wrote down notes and was nodding as if she really liked what I had to say! When I was finished, she told me that I did a great job and she really liked it! So that was a very big complement, especially coming from her! That’s her at the right. 🙂

Then at the end of the day I had my (to me) most important speech. I’ve talked about the importance of teaching children how to live with Tourette and the positive sides, such as creativity. And I gave a few examples about achievements of people with Tourette: Tim Howard, Mariah Cary and, well, me. Continue reading