More than 75 students at Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill, NJ learned about Tourette Syndrome and about treating others with respect after NJCTS Youth Advocate Tess Kowalski’s recent presentation.
The students learned about Tourette Syndrome (TS)—a misunderstood and misdiagnosed neurological disorder that affects 1 in 100 children, characterized by vocal sounds and motor movements called tics.
17-year-old Tess, along with Youth Advocates-in-training, 14-year-old Paige Kowalski and 16-year-old Ethan Lederman, answered questions from the audience. Tess, Paige, and Ethan spoke openly and honestly to create a supportive atmosphere for everyone in attendance.
Youth Advocate presentations are often arranged at the request of a family whose child may be struggling with disclosing his or her diagnosis to friends, school staff, and their community. NJCTS Youth Advocates present in schools, community groups, religious organizations, and hospitals throughout New Jersey about Tourette Syndrome and associated disorders. In addition to providing an overview of the neurological disorder, Youth Advocates promote understanding and tolerance and deliver a strong anti-bullying message.
Tess’s presentation at Temple Emanuel was no exception. “The presentation was amazing and has been helpful to my son and to his peers,” said a family spokesperson. “It was worthwhile and my family and son truly appreciate the support.”
Very often, the child benefitting from the presentation feels empowered and inspired to become an NJCTS Youth Advocate themselves. NJCTS holds training sessions throughout the year and currently has more than 30 Youth Advocates leading these presentations.
For more information about Tourette Syndrome and the NJCTS Youth Advocate program, contact 908-575-7350 or www.njcts.org.