Sleep problems, heavenly naps and a new video!

I discovered something new lately: I often find it very hard to sleep at night because of my tics, and getting in bed and trying to fall asleep at night often feels too forced and doesn’t feel very good at all. But lately when I take a nap in the middle of the day, it feels amazing to get into bed and fall asleep!

I’m able to fall asleep within 10 minutes (an impossibility at night!) and take the best-feeling, 1-hour nap ever with no tics interfering or interrupting at all. Has anyone ever experienced this? Any clue as to why it’s so hard to fall asleep at night but so easy and enjoyable to take naps during the day?

On another note, I decided that I’m going to make a question-and-answer video on YouTube about TS/OCD/any of my other neurological conditions and about my life in general. You can ask me anything! It can be about TS, OCD, SPD, GAD, panic attacks, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, college, my childhood with these conditions, or you could even ask me what my favorite color is! Comment here or on my wall with your question, and if I get enough questions I’ll make the video! 🙂

Patient-Centered Medical Education helps doctors learn more about Tourette Syndrome

On Saturday, September 8, 6 teens, their parents, and my mom and I gathered in Bridgewater, N.J., for the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders’ Patient-Centered Medical Education Program (PCME) training.

PCME is a program in which children/teens and their families help educate pediatric and family practice physicians, residents and staff at hospitals across New Jersey about Tourette Syndrome. At the training, we reviewed a typical PCME program session.

Now that I have been through the training process, I will have the opportunity to speak at hospitals and medical centers throughout New Jersey. So far, PCMEs have taken place at:

  • Jersey Shore Medical Center
  • Goryeb Children’s Hospital
  • JFK Medical Center
  • Saint Peter’s University Hospital
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
  • Overlook Medical Center

New ones are planned for Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Cooper University Hospital. Hopefully, I get to do one of those! Continue reading

Teens4TS Showcase: NJ teen gets wish granted because of his TS advocacy work

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the debut of a periodic series that will feaure the community advocacy work of teenagers with Tourette Syndrome.

Tommy Licato has actively advocated for those with Tourette Syndrome on behalf of the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS). The hard work of the 14-year-old South Plainfield native hasn’t gone unnoticed. His friend, 18-year-old Cory Singer, also of South Plainfield, is the national spokesperson for Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism for the Wish Upon A Hero Foundation.

When the opportunity arose for Singer to sing the National Anthem on his birthday at a Somerset Patriots game, he wanted to include his friend. So he asked the Wish Upon A Hero Foundation to grant his request – allowing Licato to be present AND gift Licato one of his biggest desires: tickets to a Broadway show. On September 11, both of their wishes were granted.

According to the Wish Upon A Hero Foundation, the wishes were granted because both Licato and Singer have Tourette Syndrome, have strongly advocated for themselves and for the organizations which they represent, and, simply, because it would be special for both of them. Continue reading

Channeling energy, not suppression, can help Tourette Syndrome

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following post was entered on our Facebook page the other day. It’s from the leader of an online community called Collectively Conscious, who has Tourette Syndrome and associated disorders such as ADHD.

I would just like to share that I, myself, was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome as a child — kind of like a more intense case of what doctors term ADD or ADHD. And for years they tried to suppress it with medications like Valium, Clonidine, and eventually, when it was at its worst, Haloperidol (Haldol), an anti-psychotic.

The first two made me feel as if I was hardly alive, hardly present — like I was walking through some sort of dream. But the last one, Haloperidol, nearly killed me. I woke up one morning, a few weeks after being on it (age 12) and couldn’t move a single muscle in my body, except for my eyelids. Continue reading

Do you have online for PS3?

Herro der people of the interwebs, and welcome to a post made on Tuesday but most likely going up on the site on Wednesday. So, I have just finished my real second day of school, and I say that because the first week of school was really just getting used to the school. My friend from kindergarten goes to my school and has online for PS3, so now we can play online together. Also, if YOU have online for PS3, just comment your name on here. I have to end it here because I am going to sleep now. That’s all, folks!

Caring, understanding friends making college a blast so far!

This past weekend I has a blast! On Friday, I went to the balloon glow event in the park next to campus with a group of people from my floor. That evening required a lot of walking, and walking long distances or even moderate distances seems to set off my vocal tics especially.

I met another person who I think might end up being one of my good friends. I’m going to call her April. April is very nice and doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable with my tics at all since I’ve explained them to her. I explained to her that I have Tourette Syndrome and what it is when I was walking with her at the balloon glow, and she seemed pretty chill about it.

She and another girl I was walking with didn’t shy away from asking questions! I always appreciate when people ask questions rather than just saying “oh” and being awkwardly silent. They asked me if I can feel a tic coming, if it gets annoying sometimes, and generally seemed to be accepting and positive about it.

Since then, I’ve been hanging out with April and the other girl who I explained my tics to on the night of the balloon glow (who I will call Gretchen) quite a bit. They’re both very nice people who I can see myself being even closer friends with in the future. April also told me that her younger brother has a form of Asperger’s, and at one point he had some tics with his neck and pulling at his collar, so this is not her first exposure to tics and neurological differences — which always helps! Continue reading

My audition for the PHCC talent show

If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.

~Tom Peters

Hello everyone. This blog post is a special and possibly short one. A few days ago, I told you all that I was going to audition for a talent show at PHCC. For those of you who don’t know it, it’s a community college in Florida.

For a while, I thought the auditions were going to be last Monday. But then I found out that they were going to be today (Saturday). I was in two separate numbers. The first number I was in was a tap number. It was an Irish step, and I think we did a lot better than we thought we would. We were going a little faster than the music, but we did our best and had fun.

My second number was a singing number. I sang “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion — my idol. Again, I did and felt a LOT better than I thought I would. People I didn’t know told me I did well, and that made me feel good.

My grandmother was able to tape my tap performance, but she was so fascinated with my singing that she forgot to videotape it. So I apologize for those who wanted me to put my singing video up here. The people at PHCC recorded it on a professional-looking camera, but that’s about it. I will post up my tap performance, though, and I will tell you which one is me.

More than 70 people auditioned, and the real talent show is on September 29. The judges will pick 15 out of the 70 people to be in the finals. Third place gets $200, second place gets $300, and first place gets $500.

I am waiting to see if I get contacted to be in the finals. I am so excited, and thanks to my friends and those of you who wished me luck. Tomorrow, I will post of the Irish Step video. Hope you all have an amazing week! 🙂