Where Are They Now? – Adyan Khondker

Hi! My name is Adyan Khondker, a rising junior (class of 2026) at Rutgers University. I was formerly only scarcely involved in NJCTS as a high school scholarship winner, but am hoping to be a coach at this year’s Tim Howard Leadership Academy. 

I’ve grown up having TS symptoms for as long as I can remember, but only got diagnosed at the age of 13. Generally, my symptoms are limited to facial tics and minor vocal tics but I have symptoms of TS comorbidities such as ADHD and OCD despite never receiving a diagnosis. As many can relate to, growing up with tics consistently hindered my self-esteem, even in my own family where there is a general stigma towards mental disorders in the Asian immigrant community. Overtime, I had not only accepted this disorder, but grew to embrace it, and would eventually get to the point where I could crack a joke about it with friends. 

Although at the time of writing my main involvement through NJCTS has been as a scholarship recipient, I believe that attending that scholarship banquet has been one of the most pivotal moments in the last few years of my life; it was at that banquet I was introduced to the work of Dr. Jay Tischfield, a geneticist studying the etiology of TS at Rutgers University. I reached out to him following the banquet and have been a member of his and his son’s (Dr. Max Tischfield) research lab since. In the last two years as a member in this lab, I’ve developed a passion for research and hope to further my interest in it through the pursuit of an MD/PHD degree after graduating undergrad.

To celebrate 20 years of NJCTS we will be showcasing 20 stories of adults with TS who were once involved in the organization and now all grown up! Stay tuned as we share all of these incredible and successful stories!