The GreaTS have arrived!

TheGreaTS_NJCTS_BannerChange the world. Stand With The GreaTS! Join the global community to break down social stigmas, create awareness, and provide support resources around Tourette Syndrome. This is your chance to make a difference. Get involved today at standwiththegreats.org. Share your message of support using #standwiththegreats.

NJ Walks for TS Honorary Committee Welcomes Congressman Leonard Lance

RepLeonardLance-NJ06Congressman Leonard Lance (R-7) continues his support of NJ Walks for TS at Mendham by joining the event’s Honorary Committee. The 6th annual 5K walk/run at Mendham Borough Park is a day of advocacy, awareness, acceptance, and action.

NJ Walks for TS at Mendham benefits the Education Outreach Program of the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome which educates students and teachers at schools in every corner of New Jersey about TS, anti-bullying and self-advocacy as well as delivering on-site hospital training for doctors. Each member of the Honorary Committee has a history of support for the 1 in 100 children living with Tourette Syndrome (TS)—a neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable movements or sounds known as tics.

Rep. Lance is a longtime champion of NJCTS, beginning with his days in the New Jersey State Senate. He is a co-sponsor of federal legislation for Tourette Syndrome and hosts roundtable discussions with families living with the disorder.

“NJCTS is grateful for Congressman Lance’s continued support of NJ Walks for TS at Mendham,” said NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice. “We hope others will follow his lead and step out in support of the thousands of kids and families living with TS in New Jersey today.”

To join the  Honorary Committee, start a team or register for the walk, call at 908-575-7350 or visit www.njcts.org.

Congressman Sires Returns to the Honorary Committee for the 6th Annual NJ Walks for TS at Mendham

SiresCongressman Albio Sires (D-8) continues his support for  New Jersey Walks for TS by joining this year’s Honorary Committee. The sixth annual NJ Walks for TS at Mendham Borough Park will take place this Saturday, Nov. 14th. The 5K walk/run is a day of advocacy, awareness, acceptance and action on behalf of the Tourette Syndrome (TS) community.

NJ Walks for TS at Mendham benefits the NJCTS Education Outreach Program, which educates students and teachers at schools in every corner of the state about TS, anti-bullying and self-advocacy, as well as on-site hospital trainings for doctors. Each member of the Honorary Committee has a history of support for the 20,000 New Jersey children living with TS—a neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable movements or sounds known as tics.

Rep. Sires has a long history of supporting the TS community in New Jersey. During his days as the New Jersey General Assembly Speaker, he helped obtain funding to create the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders, the nation’s first Center of Excellence for Tourette Syndrome. In Washington, D.C. , Congressman Sires introduced the first federal legislation for Tourette Syndrome.

“Standing up for the TS community is nothing new to Congressman Sires and we’re grateful for his continued support of NJ Walks for TS,” said NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice. “We hope this inspires others to do the same on behalf of children and families living with TS and its associated disorders.”

To join the Honorary Committee, start a team, or register for the walk, call 908-575-7350 or visit www.njcts.org. NJ Walks for TS at Mendham will take place rain or shine, Saturday, Nov. 14th with registration beginning at 8 a.m.

Young Magician Wants to Make Tourette Syndrome Disappear For All

Ben Mars, aka “The Great Marsini” invites the public to stand up and step out on behalf of 20,000 NJ school-age kids with Tourette Syndrome at the 6th annual NJ Walks for TS at Mendham on Nov. 14th.

Drive through Teaneck and you might catch “The Great Marsini” at work. The entrepreneurial 10-year-old makes sure his lemonade or hot cocoa stand (depending on the season) stands above the rest.

“I do magic tricks,” said Ben Mars. “One time a man stopped by on his way to bringing his wife to the hospital just for a glass of lemonade.”

Now the fifth grader is trying to catch the public’s attention for a different cause. He’s a member of the Youth Committee for the sixth annual NJ Walks for TS at Mendham. The event is a 5K walk and family fun run to benefit the Education Outreach Program of the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders, Inc. (NJCTS).

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an inherited neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements or sounds known as tics. TS affects as many as 1 in 100 people and is frequently accompanied by ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, learning disabilities, and childhood mental health conditions.

Kids with TS often report feelings of isolation and having a visible disorder makes them targets for bullies.  Classroom learning is challenging for children coping with more than one disorder beyond TS. School can be extremely difficult for the 20,000 New Jersey kids living with TS. Ben was one of them.

“It was hard to find a school for me,” said Ben. “I kept thinking am I a problem?

He is happy at The Park Academy in River Vale and now wants to help others with TS feel understood. He invites the public to attend NJ Walks for TS at Mendham on November 14th to learn about TS and to extend friendship to the TS community.  Registration is available at www.njcts.org.

All proceeds go to outreach programs to teachers, students, doctors, and other healthcare professionals at schools and hospitals across the state.

Ben knows firsthand the empowerment that kids with TS feel once they are understood— especially through in-school presentations.

As for his greatest trick, Ben wants to make TS disappear by working actively for a cure. He’s on the right team as NJCTS is home to the world’s only TS Cell and DNA repository at Rutgers University. For right now, the scientists will handle the research while Ben uses his charm to bring attention to the cause.

On November 14th, Ben will walk with scores of other kids with TS for a day of awareness, acceptance, and advocacy—and he wants you to join them. Registration for NJ Walks for TS begins at 8 a.m. at Mendham Borough Park at the intersection of Mountain and Park Avenues. The day will feature a timed 5K and simultaneous walk, music by the Good Works Band and solo artist Dawson Coyle, food and family fun. For questions about the walk, or to learn more about TS, visit www.njcts.org or call 908-575-7350.

Fifth-grader is Stepping Up Awareness Efforts

Kyle Swords of Pine Brook, NJ with NJCTS Youth Advocate Mike Hayden at a recent presentation at the Hilldale Elementary School.

Kyle Swords of Pine Brook, NJ with NJCTS Youth Advocate Mike Hayden at a recent presentation at the Hilldale Elementary School.

An inspiring 10 year old is quickly becoming his own best advocate.

Kyle Swords of Pine Brook, NJ, is educating his community about an often misunderstood and misdiagnosed disorder which he faces every day. In kindergarten, he started developing tics and 2 years ago he was officially diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (TS)—a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements or sounds known as tics. TS affects as many as 1 in 100 people, or an estimated 20,000 school-age children in New Jersey today.

Accepting the diagnosis wasn’t easy at first for Kyle and his family but, over the summer, he attended the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS) Team Up with Tim Howard event at Rutgers and it changed his outlook on TS.

“Prior to this event, Kyle had never met other children his age who also have Tourette,” said his mother, Christina Swords. “It was an incredibly powerful experience for him to see so many other people, including [U.S. Men’s National Team Goalkeeper] Tim Howard, who share his condition. For the first time, having TS felt special to Kyle, and even a little bit ‘cool.’”

So, Kyle and his family decided it was time to educate their community about TS.

Hilldale Elementary School student and his family are giving back, supporting other families affected by Tourette Syndrome in their community.

Hilldale Elementary School student and his family are giving back, supporting other families affected by Tourette Syndrome in their community.

“People are often wary of behaviors they don’t understand and as such, we felt that a great way to support Kyle would be to bring awareness to the school about his condition,” said Christina.

The Swords’s reached out to NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Gina Maria Jones to schedule a Youth Advocate Presentation at Kyle’s school. With the help of NJCTS Youth Advocate Mike Hayden, Kyle educated more than 150 4th- and 5th-graders at Hilldale Elementary School about TS and about treating others with respect. Kyle bravely addressed the audience and answered some questions about his experience with TS.

Kyle stood proud after the presentation, knowing he had the support and understanding of his teachers and classmates.

“I’m not so worried about my tics anymore,” said Kyle. “Everyone understands that it’s just my TS.” If there is one thing Kyle wants people to know, it’s that “Kids with TS can do anything that kids without TS can do.”

Kyle is also serving on the Youth Committee of NJ Walks for TS at Mendham coming up on Saturday, November 14. Youth Committee members serve as local examples of individuals living successfully with TS—they form teams, fund-raise, and inspire others to join them for a day of awareness and advocacy on behalf of all individuals living with the challenges of TS.

NJ Walks for TS benefits the NJCTS Education Outreach Program, providing in-service trainings and Youth Advocate presentations to schools and hospitals across the state. The program is making it possible for NJCTS to provide the latest information to help professionals identify, diagnose and manage TS and its associated disorders.

“As a family, our goal is to spread awareness of TS into our community,” said Christina. “We want to give back and support other families in the community in any way possible.”

NJ Walks for TS at Mendham is set for Saturday, Nov. 14th at Mendham Borough Park at the intersection of Mountain and Park Avenues. The event is rain or shine and check-in will begin at 8 a.m. For more information about the event, or to learn more about Tourette Syndrome, visit www.njcts.org.

Show your support for NJCTS on #GivingTuesday

Gray gradientBlack Friday. Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday!

NJCTS is participating in #GivingTuesday on December 1, 2015, a global day dedicated to giving.

Our #GivingTuesday goal is to raise awareness for New Jersey’s 28,000 children and families living with Tourette Syndrome and associated disorders while raising critical funds to support individuals living with the challenges of TS every day.

Share your #GivingTuesday story! Tell the world how NJCTS has touched your life. Take an #Unselfie – a picture with a caption or card in the photo explaining how NJCTS makes a difference in your life. Tag your picture with #GivingTuesday #NJCTS and #Unselfie. Then, upload it to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook on December 1.

Tell your friends and family about what NJCTS means to you. Ask them to get involved by sharing your posts. Ask them to show their support for your favorite charity. Ask them to donate to NJCTS.

Join the #GivingTuesday movement on December 1! Visit www.givingtuesday.org to learn more about how you can make a difference and visit www.njcts.org to support the center that has made a difference in your life.

Thank you for joining the #GivingTuesday movement.

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Newton High School Alumna brings Tourette Syndrome education back ‘home’

NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Gina Maria Jones delivers an in-service presentation to more than 150 faculty and staff in the Newton School District at Newton High School.

NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Gina Maria Jones delivers an in-service presentation to more than 150 faculty and staff in the Newton School District at Newton High School.

The NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders, Inc. (NJCTS) continues its mission to educate the public, medical professionals, and educators about the disorder. Recently, Education Outreach Coordinator Gina Maria Jones, M.Ed, delivered a faculty in-service to the entire Newton school district in Newton, NJ.

NJCTS received a call from the mother of a Newton High School freshman with Tourette Syndrome (TS) who wanted to ensure that her child had the support necessary for a successful school year. She turned to NJCTS to arrange for a presentation to the teachers. When the high school learned that there were other students living with TS in the school system, they took the in-service a step further and invited the entire district.

NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Gina Maria Jones, took the call and quickly agreed to do the presentation herself. With a background in education, Jones typically coordinates with NJCTS-trained presenters, who are all education professionals with advanced degrees, to facilitate the in-service presentations. But this case was different. As a 2002 Newton High School graduate, Jones—née Cicchino—couldn’t wait to bring Tourette Syndrome awareness back to her home community.

“For me, going ‘home’ to Newton High School was such a pleasure,” said Jones. “As an alumna of NHS, I was beyond honored to return to the school where I received a superb education and ‘return the favor.’ Not only was I able to thank the community that helped shape me, but I was able to educate them about Tourette Syndrome and associated disorders as well as the multitude of services and programs provided by NJCTS.”

NJCTS Faculty In-service presentations aim to help educators not only understand what their students with TS or associated disorders are going through, but also how to develop strategies for accommodating such students and fostering a supportive atmosphere. As a result of Jones’s presentation, more than 150 faculty and staff gained a better understanding of Tourette Syndrome, an inherited, misdiagnosed, and misunderstood neurological disorder characterized by involuntary sounds and movements know as tics that affects 1 in 100 children.

A natural presenter, Gina Maria grew up on the stage and performed in many of Newton High School’s musicals and plays throughout her high school years. She now uses her talent and Master of Education degree to spread TS awareness and to educate others about Tourette Syndrome and the associated disorders.

“Gina did an excellent job giving us an overview of TS and its associated disorders,” said Newton High School Principal Jeff Waldron. “The program was educational and spoke to how we can best address the needs of these students. At the end of the presentation, teachers working directly with students [living with Tourette Syndrome] got to meet with their families and Gina participated in those conversations. The entire presentation was well done and well received.”

To schedule an in-service in your area, please call 908-575-7350 or email Education Outreach Coordinator Gina Maria Jones at gjones@njcts.org. For more information about NJCTS please visit www.njcts.org.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski Joins 6th Annual NJ Walks for TS at Mendham Honorary Committee

Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) joins the NJ Walks for TS at Mendham Honorary Committee

Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) joins the NJ Walks for TS at Mendham Honorary Committee

The NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS) welcomes Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) to the honorary committee of the 6th annual NJ Walks for TS. This 5K walk and family fun run  is a day of advocacy, awareness, acceptance and action and will take place at Mendham Borough Park.

NJ Walks for TS at Mendham benefits the NJCTS Education Outreach Program, which educates students and teachers at schools in every corner of New Jersey about Tourette Syndrome, anti-bullying and self-advocacy; as well as doctors and other healthcare providers to identify and treat TS.  Each member of the Honorary Committee has a history of support for the 1 in 100 children living with Tourette Syndrome (TS)—a neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable movements or sounds known as tics.

Since its inception, NJ Walks for TS has emerged as a day of celebration and inspiration for kids, by kids and has grown to include Central and South Jersey.

“Assemblyman Wisniewski is lending his support to stand up for the TS community and we are grateful,” said NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice. “We hope his example leads many others who are willing to step out on behalf of the thousands of kids living with TS in NJ.”

For more information about NJ Walks for TS, visit www.njcts.org/walk. To join the  Honorary Committee, start a team or register for the walk, visit www.njcts.org or call Nicole Greco at 908-575-7350 or ngreco@njcts.org.

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NJ Walks for TS at Mendham Honorary Committee Welcomes Assemblywoman Quijano

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20) joins the NJ Walks for TS at Mendham Honorary Committee

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20) joins the NJ Walks for TS at Mendham Honorary Committee

The NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS) welcomes Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20) to the honorary committee of the 6th annual NJ Walks for TS. This 5K walk and family fun run  is a day of advocacy, awareness, acceptance and action and will take place at Mendham Borough Park.

NJ Walks for TS at Mendham benefits the NJCTS Education Outreach Program, which educates students and teachers at schools in every corner of New Jersey about Tourette Syndrome, anti-bullying and self-advocacy; as well as doctors and other healthcare providers at hospitals across the state to identify and treat TS.  Each member of the Honorary Committee has a history of support for the 1 in 100 children living with Tourette Syndrome (TS)—a neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable movements or sounds known as tics.

Since its inception, NJ Walks for TS has emerged as a day of celebration and inspiration for kids, by kids and has grown to become a statewide movement with events Central and South Jersey.

“We are grateful for Assemblywoman Quijano’s support and participation in this important event,” said NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice. “We hope her example leads many others who are willing to step out on behalf of the thousands of kids living with TS in NJ.”

For more information about NJ Walks for TS, visit www.njcts.org/walk. To join the  Honorary Committee, start a team or register for the walk, visit www.njcts.org or call Nicole Greco at 908-575-7350 or ngreco@njcts.org.

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Assemblyman Timothy Eustace Joins 6th Annual NJ Walks for TS at Mendham Honorary Committee

Assemblyman Timothy Eustace (D-38) joins the NJ Walks for TS at Mendham Honorary Committee

Assemblyman Timothy Eustace (D-38) joins the NJ Walks for TS at Mendham Honorary Committee

The NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS) welcomes Assemblyman Timothy Eustace (D-38) to the honorary committee of the 6th annual NJ Walks for TS. This 5K walk and family fun run  is a day of advocacy, awareness, acceptance and action and will take place at Mendham Borough Park.

NJ Walks for TS at Mendham benefits the NJCTS Education Outreach Program, which educates students and teachers at schools in every corner of New Jersey about Tourette Syndrome, anti-bullying and self-advocacy.  Each member of the Honorary Committee has a history of support for the 1 in 100 children living with Tourette Syndrome (TS)—a neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable movements or sounds known as tics.

Since its inception, NJ Walks for TS has emerged as a day of celebration and inspiration for kids, by kids.

“We thank Assemblyman Eustace for his continued support and recognition of this event,” said NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice. “We hope to be joined by many others who want to step out on behalf of the thousands of kids living with TS in NJ.”

For more information about NJ Walks for TS, visit www.njcts.org/walk. To join the  Honorary Committee, start a team or register for the walk, visit www.njcts.org or call Nicole Greco at 908-575-7350 or ngreco@njcts.org.

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