NJCTS’ Education Outreach Program includes school in-service programs
TEANECK, NJ- The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders, Inc. (NJCTS) is continuing its mission of educating the public, medical professionals and educators about the disorder. Recently, the organization’s Education Outreach Program delivered a faculty in-service at the Teaneck Community Charter School.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an inherited neurological condition known for uncontrollable movements or sounds known as tics. As many as 1 in 100 people show symptoms of TS, which is frequently accompanied by learning disabilities and mental health disorders like depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
“The faculty walked away with a deeper understanding of Tourette Syndrome and how to use strategies and accommodations to help those students with TS and associated disorders, especially during the upcoming test season,” said NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Gina Maria Jones, M.Ed.
During the February 27th presentation, Jones used a variety of examples and techniques to help the teachers and staff understand what it feels like to have TS, as an estimated 20,000 school-aged children in New Jersey live with this challenging disorder.
In one example, faculty are encouraged to say the pledge of allegiance out loud while the in-service facilitator frequently interrupts. This exercise helps teachers understand the difficulty children with TS have concentrating on schoolwork while struggling to stay focused while managing disruptive tics. A teacher described the activity as “brilliant.”
In addition to faculty in-service presentations, NJCTS offers a peer in-service program in which specially trained Youth Advocates deliver a message of strength, empowerment and anti-bullying at schools across New Jersey.
Students, faculty and parents report a greater sense of cooperation and understanding in the classroom following NJCTS in-services. These presentations are made upon request. Parents, educators and healthcare professionals are welcomed to contact NJCTS at 908-575-7350 to request an faculty or peer presentation.