NEWTON, NJ- As many as 1 in 100 people show symptoms of Tourette Syndrome- a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements or sounds known as tics. Despite this significant prevalence, getting a proper diagnosis is still a challenge. The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders, Inc. (NJCTS) is dedicated to educating the public, healthcare professionals and educators about the disorder in order to create enough awareness to improve the lag-time from initial symptoms to diagnosis and treatment.
NJCTS had a recent opportunity to educate the community about Tourette Syndrome (TS) at a health fair hosted by Project Self-Sufficiency in Newton. More than 75 attendees visited an information table hosted by NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Gina Maria Jones, M.Ed and many stopped to ask questions about TS.
“There is a lot of stigma attached to TS, so being there to answer questions for parents, teachers and healthcare providers is crucial to creating accurate awareness,” said Jones.
TS is frequently accompanied by ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression and learning disabilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control, children with the disorder- especially those living in cities- sometimes suffer from lack of clinical understanding of TS.
“The onset of TS usually occurs in childhood, around age 7,” said NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice, “Early intervention is critical to a child’s success in school, so that’s why we equip parents, teachers, doctors, nurses and social workers to recognize and initiate diagnosis and effective treatment methods.”
Through the NJCTS Education Outreach Program, expert physicians, psychologists, educators and volunteers with TS speak to community groups, schools, conferences and hospitals. To learn more about Tourette Syndrome, the work of NJCTS, or to request a speaker, please call 908-575-7350 or visit www.njcts.org.