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The ins and outs to giving peer presentations on Tourette's

Hi, my name is Emily, I am 16 years old and I go to schools to speak about Tourette Syndrome. What I do is called a peer in-service presentation, and I discuss why you should not bully people for their differences.

I understand that some of you are interested in doing a peer in-service presentation at your local elementary school. Well, that is fabulous! More people need to be educated about Tourette Syndrome.

I went to Washington, D.C., in 2010 for the National Tourette Syndrome Association Youth Ambassadors Conference and learned Jenn Zwilling’s Tourette Syndrome presentation, which can be viewed here.

My presentation is similar. I discuss the same topics, but speak about them a little differently. Also, when I am with a larger audience, I use a power-point, which I blogged about in an earlier Teens4TS entry.

Before I get into the ins and outs of doing a peer in-service presentation, I should note that if you are from New Jersey and are interested in doing one, you should contact the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome (NJCTS) at 908-575-7350 or info@njcts.org.

Anyway, the steps to doing this are simple:

  1. You will need to download Jenn Zwilling’s power-point presentation and print the cards, then laminate them. If there is a projector in the classroom, then you can use the power-point. However, I think the cards make the presentation more personal.
  2. Write what you are going to say on the cards. NJCTS can provide you with a video copy of my presentation, along with the script of the cards.
  3. Next, you will need to write to the principal and/or guidance counselor of the school at which you wish to present. In the package, there is a sample letter. You will make this letter to your liking and drop it off at the school. Do NOT e-mail it! In the letter package, you should also put a brochure about NJCTS and peer in-service presentations, which also will be given to you. If the principal does not respond, do not worry — they are very busy people and rarely write back in e-mail to a letter. Just call the school to follow up and schedule an appointment to meet.
  4. At this meeting, you will do the presentation for the principal/vice-principal/nurse/guidance counselor and discuss what the presentation is about. Then, you will be able to schedule a time to present to classes.
  5. FINALLY, IT IS TIME TO PRESENT! On the day of the presentation, arrive at least 15 minutes early. Bring your cards and NJCTS pencils or candy to hand out. These are motivators so the students answer questions. Also, if you wish to bring candy, make sure it is OK prior to the day of the presentation (allergy-wise, Starburst or lollipops are usually good). If you wish to use a power-point, make sure the school has a projector prior to the day of the presentation. After the presentation, give the teachers brochures on TS. And say thank you.
  6. About one week, later send out thank-you notes to the principal (or guidance counselor — whomever was in charge of the presentation) and the teachers. A sample thank-you note is provided in the package.

That’s about it! Also, I usually present to fifth-graders, so next year ask if you can present to the new fifth grade. I hope this is helpful. Feel free to e-mail me at eaf_2@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

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