Youth Advocate Jatin Speaks at Bound Brook Elementary School

NJCTS Youth Advocate Jatin Nayyar, 17, of Morganville presented an introduction to Tourette Syndrome to a group of elementary school kids during an afterschool program at Lafayette School in Bound Brook.

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by uncontrollable movements known as tics. As many as 1 in 100 people show signs of TS or other tic disorder which is frequently accompanied by mental health disorders including ADHD, OCD, and anxiety.

Jatin was diagnosed with TS at age 7.  Now a senior at Ranney School in Tinton Falls, Jatin is a varsity tennis and varsity soccer athlete and utilizes these sports as a method to reduce his tics. He has been a Youth Advocate with NJCTS for several years presenting at New Jersey schools to educate his peers about TS and what it means to live with this commonly misunderstood neurological disorder.

“Dealing with it every day is a lot sometimes. However, I never let it hold me back from fulfilling my dream,” says Jatin. Youth Advocates teach children to be accepting of everyone, no matter their differences. “I want to be the voice and speak out for those who cannot,” Jatin says about his inspiration for joining the program.

The NJCTS Youth Advocate Program trains children and teens, ages 10 to 18, to lead presentations to student groups about Tourette Syndrome and its associated disorders. Advocates are empowered by sharing their experiences in front of audiences of all sizes and attendees receive a strong anti-bullying message that promotes acceptance, tolerance, and self-advocacy for all. These presentations are given in classrooms or to full assemblies.

NJCTS, the nation’s first Center of Excellence for Tourette Syndrome, is a not-for-profit organization committed to the advocacy of children and families with Tourette Syndrome and its associated disorders. Dedicated to delivering high quality services to these individuals, the Center recognizes the importance of educating the public, medical professionals, and teachers about this disorder through programs and affiliations with public schools, health centers, and universities. To learn more about Tourette Syndrome and the programs available from NJCTS, visit www.njcts.org.