SOMERVILLE, NJ – New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and the State Legislature have proclaimed May 15, 2007, through June 15, 2007, as Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month in the State of New Jersey. Through the cooperation of 16th District Assemblyman Kip Bateman, the proclamation was received by Faith Rice, President of the Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey (TSANJ), and its affiliate organization, the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS). This is the tenth year in a row that a New Jersey Governor has proclaimed TS Awareness Month in New Jersey .
The proclamation addresses the need to broaden public knowledge of this much misunderstood condition, referred to as ‘the world’s most common unknown disorder.’ It further describes the mission of TSANJ/NJCTS, which is to support the needs of families affected by the disorder; offer medical, psychological and advocacy services for individuals with TS; educate the public, and train medical professionals and New Jersey’s educational community; spearhead scientific research projects, to assist in finding new treatments and, potentially, a cure.
“TSANJ and its affiliate, NJCTS, are flourishing due to the ongoing support of the State of New Jersey , the corporate sector, and the individuals and families who are impacted by this devastating disorder,” stated Mrs. Rice. “We represent the estimated 1 in 200 New Jersey residents, mostly schoolchildren, who show signs of Tourette Syndrome. That adds up to around 28,000 individuals. The fact is, Tourette’s is much more widespread than people realize and recent studies have shown the incidence of the disorder is on the rise,” added Ms. Rice. Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an inherited, neurological disorder characterized by repeated involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocal (phonic) sounds called tics.
“Parents of children diagnosed with Tourette or exhibiting symptoms of this disorder, need to be aware that through TSANJ, New Jersey leads the nation in providing supportive services and programs for families living with this devastating neurological disorder,” added Rice.
In celebration of TS Month, TSANJ is holding the fifth annual TSANJ Recognition Dinner on Wednesday, May 16, 2007, at Rutgers University in Piscataway , NJ . This year’s dinner will honor Senator and Acting Governor, Richard Codey and his wife, Mrs. Mary Jo Codey. The Codey’s are being honored for their humanitarian interest and support of New Jersey ’s Tourette Syndrome community and all persons dealing with mental health issues.
The dinner will also honor the 2006/2007 Student Scholarship winner, recognizing a student with TS who has a proven record of accomplishment and achievement despite the disorder; and the 2006/2007 Educator of the Year, an award presented annually to a New Jersey public or private school educator who has made a significant contribution to the education and well-being of a student with Tourette Syndrome.
TSANJ has been the voice for the thousands of New Jersey children and adults with TS and their families since 1994. The organization offers public awareness and education, advocacy on behalf of individuals with TS and their families and support for the creation of services such as the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders.
For more information contact: Faith Rice or Lisa Rongo, Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey, Inc., 50 Division Street, Suite 205, Somerville, NJ 08876. Phone: 908 575 7350, website: www.tsanj.org, email: email@example.com
Tickets for the event may be reserved by calling TSANJ at 908-575-7350.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an inherited neurological disorder that is manifested in involuntary physical and vocal tics. Symptoms generally appear in children at ages 6-7 years, but can manifest anytime before an individual is 18 years old. TS affects people of all ethnic groups with males affected 3 to 4 times more frequently than females. It is estimated that 200,000 Americans have full blown TS and that as many as 1 in 200 show a partial expression of the disorder. Commonly, people with Tourette syndrome also have co-occurring disorders, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Depression.
There is no cure for TS.
Tics can range from severe verbal and physical contortions to milder tics that are barely recognizable. Sadly, Tourette’s is sometimes represented by Hollywood as sudden outbursts of profanity, but in truth, that characteristic actually afflicts only about 5 percent of those identified as having the disorder. Perhaps because of this, TS sufferers are highly stigmatized, with those afflicted being shunned, misunderstood and left feeling ashamed. A horrible tragedy – since TS typically strikes individuals at the tender age of seven.
The mission of TSANJ is to support the needs of families affected by TS, to advocate for individuals with TS, and to educate the public and professionals on TS. Through TSANJ and NJCTS, New Jersey families can receive: school and peer in-service, intervention, family support programs, family education and advocacy, helpline, medical diagnosis and treatment referrals, psychological services, education and training for doctors, nurses, medical sciences students and educators.
New research programs, such as a stigma and biofeedback program and the TS Cell and DNA Sharing program are also part of NJCTS’ offering.
TSANJ relies completely on membership, corporations, government, and foundations to fund its work.