“Red Flags” at Bergen Community College kicks off another round of NJCTS’ College Workshops Program

NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders Education Outreach Coordinator Melissa Fowler offers strategies and accommodations for special-needs students.

PARAMUS – The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS) kicked off the second half of its 2013 College Workshops Program with a bang on July 16, as educators from across North Jersey convened at Bergen County Community College for the “Red Flags: Recognizing Early Warning Signs” presentation by NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Melissa Fowler, MEd, MA.

The three-hour workshop, which was geared primarily toward early childhood and elementary educators, discussed 10 possible “red flags” – markers we look for that generally indicate a learning disability or learning difference in a student – that educators and parents might look for in a child with Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, OCD and/or other associated neurological disorders. Red flags include immaturity, trouble with transitions and following directions, sensory issues and impulse control.

“It’s wonderful to be able to share information about TS and the early-warning signs of the associated disorders in this setting,” said Fowler, who provided extensive strategies and accommodations that address students’ needs in the classroom and at home. “We can truly cover a lot in three hours. There’s time for questions and troubleshooting using relevant, real-life examples. We cover so much ground, and participants walk away noticeably energized and ready to take a fresh approach to these disorders in their classroom.”

Fowler spent considerable time discussing the symptoms and diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome – an inherited, misdiagnosed, misunderstood neurological disorder characterized by involuntary sounds and movements know as tics that affects 1 in 100 children. NJCTS will offer several more college workshops over the remainder of 2013. Five already are on the docket, with others to follow:

  • September 24 – “Red Flags,” 5 to 8 p.m. at Raritan Valley Community College in Bridgewater.
  • October 5 – “Red Flags,” 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bergen County Community College
  • October 19 – “Understanding Tourette Syndrome,” 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bergen County Community College
  • October 21 – A special presentation by Dr. Robert Zambrano, Psy.D, 9 a.m. to noon at Passaic County Community College in Paterson
  • December 12 – “Understanding Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders,” 5 to 8 p.m. at Raritan Valley Community College

For more information about Tourette Syndrome or the College Workshops Program, please call 908-575-7350 or visit www.njcts.org.