Dr. Bernard Maria was looking for just the right metaphor to describe a patient’s journey with Tourette Syndrome that even a young child could comprehend and give parents an illustration of what to expect. That was when he thought of the TS Train. Dr. Maria serves as chief of the Child Neurology and Developmental Medicine Division in Atlantic Health System’s Goryeb Children’s Hospital. He sees many patients with Tourette Syndrome and often refers them to NJCTS for family services. That’s why he approached Faith Rice, founder and former Executive Director of NJCTS, about creating the TS Train worksheet for his patients. Volunteer Lindsey Beaudreau jumped on board and the TS Train became a reality.
“The first train explains the concept of tics and comorbidities,” Dr. Maria explained. “The second is the child’s TS Train at that moment in time. After the family completes their view of their child’s train, it can be scanned into their medical record. Then after assessment and testing, the doctor could refine the order and types of cars. Placing the cars in order will enable a more rational discussion of treatments.”
Dr. Maria tested the concept with his pediatric patients before giving NJCTS the go ahead to share. “Families love the tool! I saw two siblings with Tourette and they had different issues so the train helped communication and targeting of treatment.”
NJCTS has placed the TS Train in the online Resource Room and you can also download it below.
Click the Image to Download the Black and White copy. Share it with your doctor when you discuss your TS.
Dr. Maria is one of the most respected child neurologists in America, dual board-certified in pediatrics and in psychiatry and neurology, with special qualifications in child neurology. He was the 2018 recipient of the Child Neurology Society’s highest honor, the Hower Award, which is given annually to a single child neurologist for contributions to the field, a first for New Jersey physicians.