Tourette Talk: Reclaiming Cognitive Resources Lost to Social Stigma

People who are members of non-majority groups systematically experience conditions in their lives that result in chronic stress and, therefore, decreased physical and mental health and social and economic opportunity. The costs of the many kinds of scarcity in their lives – money, health, respect, safety, affirmation, choices, belonging – is seriously reduced “mental bandwidth,” the cognitive capacity and emotional resources needed to make good decisions, learn in school, maintain healthy relationships, work, and more.

With Tourette Syndrome, one lives with physiological symptoms, social marginalization, and numerous other challenges. Between these challenges, how do we navigate life with TS without losing cognitive resources? And how do we reclaim the cognitive resources we have lost? Join the conversation with Dr. Cia Verschelden as we discuss the effects of bandwidth depletion as well as interventions, especially in school environments, that can help students-including students with TS- regain bandwidth so they can not only survive but thrive.

Cia Verschelden has worked in higher education for over three decades. She recently retired as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Malcolm X College in Chicago. Her research and writing related to equity in educational opportunity led to publication of her bestselling book, focused on higher education, Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Social Marginalization. She has applied the same concept to the preK-12 context in Bandwidth Recovery for Schools: Helping Pre-K-12 Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Trauma, Racism, and Social Marginalization. Verschelden holds a BS in psychology from Kansas State University, an MSW from the University of Connecticut, and an EdD from Harvard University.



  • January 24, 2023
  • 7:00 pm