Guest Blogger Danny Enright: CBC Show Features Man with Tourette

Last week’s episode of the CBC radio program “Wiretap” featured a man with Tourette Syndrome describing his experiences with online dating. So much of what he said resonated with me (diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome as an adult): the range of people’s reactions to this information, the feeling of elation when a tic is released, and even his penchant for bird calls!

Despite my tics being relatively benign and amusing on the spectrum, I too am constantly concerned about how my tics are being perceived, or if I’m wearing out my friends’ patience by asking them 100 times a day “Are you a chicken?” I created a folded brochure entitled “Why is Danny Saying Monkeys?” to explain Tourette Syndrome, including my own particular variety. One paragraph states “Tourette is a good way to detect awesome people… because those who love me despite my Tourette, or even because of it, are awesome!”

At the end of the piece on Wiretap, the man with Tourette says, “If I find the right woman for myself, and I let loose in bird calls, ideally she would join me. That’s what I’d like.” I really identified with this, because I have many people in my life who do just that, and it really helps me feel less outside the norm. One trick I do when I have to wait at a restaurant is to give my name as “Monkeys” so that when the server calls out “Monkeys!” I’m not the only person in the restaurant who’s doing it!

Here’s the link: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/wiretap/character-study-1.3027303 (Tourette-related content starts at 16:30 into the episode).

Danny Enright

Greater Vancouver Chapter

UPCOMING WEBINAR: February 25 on Sensory Issues at Home & at School

THIS WEEK’S WEBINAR

Making Sense of Sensory Issues – How to manage heightened senses at home and in the classroom

February 25, 2015

Presented by Dr. Michelle Miller, Psy.D., a New York State-licensed clinical psychologist who works at Therapy West, a group practice in Manhattan, and as post-doctoral fellow in the Tourette’s Syndrome Clinic at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J.

Over the years, parents and teachers have been increasingly attending to childrens’ sensory-related struggles; however, understanding and supporting sensory problems still remains unclear for so many people who work with children. Research also has suggested that 1 in 6 children are significantly impacted by sensory issues, further highlighting the need for this area to be addressed. This webinar is aimed at exploring what sensory issues are, how they look in different children and adults, and what can be done — both at home and at school — to help children with sensory issues thrive.

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UPCOMING WEBINAR: January 21 on Habit Reversal Therapy

THIS WEEK’S WEBINAR

Creative Applications of Exposure Therapy and Habit Reversal Therapy

January 21, 2015

Presented by Dr. Joelle Beecher-McGovern, a clinical psychotherapist at the Child & Adolescent OCD, Tic, Trich & Anxiety Group (COTTAGe) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy has strong experiential support for a number of psychiatric disorders among children and adolescents. It includes several treatment modalities, including exposure therapy for pediatric anxiety and habit reversal training for tic disorders and trichotillomania. Despite the strong evidence for these treatments, they can be difficult for children and families to implement for a number of reasons, including logistical barriers, motivation issues and difficulties with follow-through in out-of-session work.

In this presentation, Dr. Hilary Dingfelder will briefly describe these treatment modalities and discuss some of the practical issues associated with implementing these treatments with children and adolescents. Dr. Dingfelder will then discuss some creative applications of these strategies to enhance these treatments for children and adolescents. Examples of areas that will be covered include:

  1. How technology can be used to supplement treatment (e.g., using the smart phone to monitor progress or supplement exposures)
  2. How to strengthen reward plans to improvement motivation
  3. Creative ways to enhance exposures with young children (e.g., through the use of games and puppets).

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Nerd alert

nerd alert

My bff is going through a divorce. Watching your spouse move out of your home apparently is not a lot of fun, so the kids and I took her out on Saturday night. My first hope was to hit a museum, because when a marriage breaks up, it seems like an appropriate time to look at pictures of naked cherubs and drink over priced lattes in a cafe. But we ended up shopping instead.

For those of you who know me, shopping isn’t really something I do. Thrifting? Yes. Malls and stores? Not so much.

But this experience was different. We took in the sites and sounds of downtown Pasadena. The brick buildings, window displays and bustling coffee and trinket shops were balms for our weary souls. She took a mental break from her worries, and frankly, I took a mental break from mine.

As we sat down to dinner at a place that served over 100 forms of burger, it dawned on me that I really don’t have as much fun as I’d like. THAT needs to change. And whose fault is that? Mine. Duh.

For that evening, I didn’t worry about the prices of food. I didn’t say no to my daughter’s request for a $6.95 bowl of frozen yogurt. I didn’t complain when she threw it in the trash five minutes later. “This isn’t like the yogurt I’m used to,” she whined.

“Yes, Stink, you CAN have that set of black nerd glasses. Along with your muppet hair and Pikachu hat, you look AMAZING!”

My kids are 11 and 10. It’s time that they got out of their little suburb bubble. It’s time for me to get out of mine.

That night, Stink was exceptionally twitchy and ticky. Pip and I will be a bit harder to convince, but not Stink. He was exceptionally jubilant that evening.”I LOVE the city!” he said. “I could live here!”

“Me, too,” I thought, “Me, too. Maybe one day I will. Why not dream? A book could lead to a play which could lead to a movie. Why not dream? I used to dream. It’s never too late.”

At the end of our meal, waiter came up to the table. Stink had just finished showing T his talent show magic act. “Kid, I have to tell you, you are amazing. I mean it. You are so funny. You are awesome!”

Stink responded in kind, “YOU are awesome! I always tell people that! Stay awesome!”

I will, Stink. I will.

I love my wacky, big haired, over -the-top performer. He’s teaching me to have fun. He’s teaching me to be awesome.

On that note, readers, stay awesome. Because you are awesome. It’s never too late to dream.

We can’t always change tics, but we can change our minds about how life can be. We can accept what we can’t change, change what we can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Who is with me? Who wants to sign the “I’m doing something new each month pledge?”

Sign in with a comment. I’ll hold you to it.

UPCOMING WEBINAR: November 12 on getting kids motivated for school

THIS WEEK’S WEBINAR

Getting Kids Motivated for School: Strategies to foster your child/teen’s motivation to achieve in school

November 12, 2014

Presented by Dr. Graham Hartke, is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Roseland, N.J.

As our schools continue to increase curriculum, testing, and workload standards, many kids and teens are struggling to stay motivated in school. These are students who do not like school, struggle to complete homework, procrastinate often, have slipping grades, are bored, say they “don’t care about school”, avoid school work, get in trouble, are disorganized, and/or feel disconnected from classroom learning.

This webinar focuses on strategies parents and educators can use to increase student motivation to succeed in school. Strategies will address the causes of low motivation, learning difficulties, improving the homework process, improving organization, and reducing procrastination.

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OTHER UPCOMING WEBINARS

 

Bullying & Vulnerable Populations

November 19, 2014

Presented by Nadia Ansary, Ph.D.

More information about this webinar »

Monsters, Robbers & Nightmares, Oh My! Simple Ways to Improve Your Child’s Sleep

December 3, 2014

Presented by Courtney Weiner, Ph.D.

More information about this webinar »

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List of all NJCTS webinars, including October 29 on mental health in the African-American community

THIS WEEK’S WEBINAR

Mental Health Stigma in the African-American Community

October 29, 2014

Presented by Dr. Christine Adkins-Hutchison, Associate Director of the Office of Counseling and Disability Services at Kean University in Union, N.J.

Asking for help of any kind can be difficult. Seeking psychological services can be even more challenging. For many in the African American community, acknowledging the need for help and pursuing assistance in many forms, especially in the form of counseling, can feel next to impossible.

This webinar will discuss the stigma regarding help-seeking and mental health issues that persists in this ethnic community. How to recognize the need for support, and ways to encourage help-seeking in this population also will be considered.

REGISTER FOR THIS WEBINAR »

OTHER UPCOMING WEBINARS

Getting Kids Motivated for School

November 12, 2014

Presented by Graham Hartke, Psy.D.

More information about this webinar »

Bullying & Vulnerable Populations

November 19, 2014

Presented by Nadia Ansary, Ph.D.

More information about this webinar »

Monsters, Robbers & Nightmares, Oh My! Simple Ways to Improve Your Child’s Sleep

December 3, 2014

Presented by Courtney Weiner, Ph.D.

More information about this webinar »

Continue reading

Rage is really affecting my TS son

Hello, my name is Helen, and I am married and have four sons.  Our first son was diagnosed with TS at the age of 9.  No one in our family has TS that we know of.  We were lucky enough to only have one son with TS.  We were told 50/50 one of our other sons would have it.

Anyway, my son Billy is now 29 years old.  From nine years old till about 16, Billy was on meds.  He decided in high school he didn’t want to take meds cause they made him tired.  Billy, at the same time, started experiencing with marijuana and alcohol.  Billy graduated from HS and got into the school of engineering at Rutgers University after making quite a number of outstanding schools.

Freshman year went fine.  Sophmore year Billy decided to join the engineering fraternity.  His graes declined and he was put on academic probation.  At that time he started dating a girl named Kat.  She was a grade ahead of him and studying psychology.  Their relationship ended after three years because of Billy’s temper and drinking.

Billy then graduated and moved into the city for five years.  He had another girlfriend Tara that last almost three years with lots of fighting and drinking.  Billy has anger issues.  That relationship ended.  Billy decided he wanted out of the city and to buy a house.  He moved into a houser closer to me and my husband.

Billy had some problems with the house but also started dating a new girl named Gabby.  That lasted a few months when she broke it off because of Billy’s anger issues.  Billy came over for dinner Wednesday night and admitted he was depressed and ruined three relationships because of his anger issues.  He realizes he needs to see a TS doctor.  He is in the process of finding one.

My heart goes out to Billy.  I fear of suicide since he has used the term numerous times through the years.  He’s also hating his job at this time.  The word hate is used constantly in his language.  His brothers are afraid of him when he gets angry.  I believe his drinking is out of control and a way of medicating himself.  I have alcoholism in my family and I am very afraid that Billy is succumbing to alcohol.

It breaks my heart to see my son like this and feel like there is nothing I can do but be supportive of him.  Let him know we love him and will be there for him no matter what.  To come to us no matter what he feels.  I hope he finally  takes advantage of the TSA and joins blogs and talk to other people about his issues.  I wish he could only see how bad TS is for others.  His is mild compared to some adults and children.

I just read about “rage” on Facebook and that totally describes what Billy is going through. It is good to know that he can control it, if he puts his mind to it.  Then again, I wish he would stop drinking until he can control his rage.  I look forward to participating in this blog about TS. I should’ve done it years ago instead of sweeping the problem under the rug.

List of all NJCTS webinars, including October 8 on Tourette in the Asian community

THIS WEEK’S WEBINAR

Mental Health Issues in Today’s Asian-American Community

October 8, 2014

Presented by Dr. Andrew J. Lee

Dr. Lee designed this webinar to provide participants information about the stigma surrounding mental health issues in Asian and Asian-American communities, some cultural factors contributing to this stigma and some suggestions as to how to talk with Asians about mental health issues.

Dr. Lee will cover Asian cultural values that may contribute to the stigma associated with seeking out mental health services, the model minority myth and the negative implications of this myth, the role of ethnic identity and acculturation, and what can be helpful to know in speaking with this ethnic population about mental health issues.

Dr. Andrew J. Lee is the Director of the Office of Counseling and Disability Services, which includes both the Kean Counseling Center and the Kean Office of Disability Services, at Kean University.

REGISTER FOR THIS WEBINAR »

OTHER UPCOMING WEBINARS

Bullying & Vulnerable Populations

November 19, 2014

Presented by Nadia Ansary, Ph.D.

More information about this webinar »

Monsters, Robbers & Nightmares, Oh My! Simple Ways to Improve Your Child’s Sleep

December 3, 2014

Presented by Courtney Weiner, Ph.D.

More information about this webinar »

Continue reading

List of all NJCTS webinars, including October 1 on trade secrets of a Tourette doc

THIS WEEK’S WEBINAR

Trade Secrets of a Tourette Syndrome Doctor

October 1, 2014

Presented by Tolga Taneli, MD

Would you like to learn some great tips on speaking with your child’s doctors?  How about getting them all to collaborate with each other about your child?  Did you ever wonder about the drug approval process?  Learn about this and more in this webinar!

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OTHER UPCOMING WEBINARS

Mental Health Issues? Asians have those? Understanding the stigma surrounding mental health for Asian and Asian Americans

October 8, 2014

Presented by Dr. Andrew J. Lee

More information about this webinar »

Bullying & Vulnerable Populations

November 19, 2014

Presented by Nadia Ansary, Ph.D.

More information about this webinar »

Monsters, Robbers & Nightmares, Oh My! Simple Ways to Improve Your Child’s Sleep

December 3, 2014

Presented by Courtney Weiner, Ph.D.

More information about this webinar »

Continue reading

List of all NJCTS webinars, including September 17 on getting kids motivated for school

THIS WEEK’S WEBINAR

Getting Kids Motivated for School

September 17, 2014

Presented by Graham Hartke, Psy.D.

As our schools continue to increase curriculum, testing, and workload standards, many kids and teens are struggling to stay motivated in school. These are students who do not like school, struggle to complete homework, procrastinate often, have slipping grades, are bored, say they “don’t care about school,” avoid school work, get in trouble, are disorganized and/or feel disconnected from classroom learning.

This webinar will focus on strategies parents and educators can use to increase student motivation to succeed in school. Strategies will address the causes of low motivation, learning difficulties, improving the homework process, improving organization, and reducing procrastination.

REGISTER FOR THIS WEBINAR »

Continue reading