Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of the influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Lost and Found, and Raising Human Beings.  He is the originator of the model of care described in those books, now called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS). Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, and is now founding director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance, which provides a vast array of free, web-based resources on the CPS model. He has appeared in a wide range of media, including The Oprah Show, Good Morning America, The Morning Show, National Public Radio, Mother Jones magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe. Dr. Greene lectures and consults widely throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine.

Dealing with Employment

Presented by Karen Balk, Scott Loeff, Dave Brebner

Employment is a stepping stone for all young teens and adults. The transition to employment is slightly harder for people with Tic Disorders. Teens and adults with Tic Disorders often have motor, cognitive, and sensory limitations including issues with organization, time management, problem-solving, manipulation of objects, tolerance of environmental stim, and social skills. Many of these skills are prerequisites for jobs. This workshop will provide steps to use to prepare for employment and knowledge of resources in their community that help with this transition. Topics will include ways to identify strengths and weaknesses to know a job is a good fit, how to manage the interview process, how to disclose medical information, how to request ADA accommodations, and what community resources can assist with this transition. The workshop will include a short lecture from 3 specialists (occupational therapist, human resource professional, and vocational advocate) and a panel for attendees to attain information for their current employment needs.


The Diverse Experience of Living with Tourette Syndrome

Presented by Emily Ricketts, Ph.D. 

Join us for a panel discussion on issues of racial, sexual/gender, and religious diversity within the Tourette Syndrome community.  

Taking Control: Daily Strategies 

Presented by Karen Balk  

Management of tics and the comorbid diagnosis a daily task. Finding strategies to manage symptoms is a way of life for many Tic Disorder families. This presentation will provide patients and parents information on common limitations including memory, organization, task initiation, sensory seeking/sensitivity, motor planning, and fine motor. The presentation will also include motor, cognitive, and sensory person and environmental strategies to manage limitations and increase success in daily tasks. 


Tourette & Law Enforcement: How To Have Positive Interactions And Safe Encounters

Presented by Heather Ramsey

Learning how to interact with Law Enforcement to ensure positive outcomes does not come naturally for most, and if you have Tourette, one’s tics, impulsivity, and disinhibition may complicate the encounter. This interactive session will provide teens and adults with helpful tips for interacting with law enforcement, including understanding their own diagnosis, how to advocate for themselves, and how to educate law enforcement.   


Understanding Oppositional Behavior

Presented by Ross Greene, Ph.D. 

Dr. Greene’s compassionate approach has transformed the understanding of how to treat kids with social, emotional and behavioral challenges. Over the years, his method has dramatically reduced discipline problems and punishments for challenging kids and adolescents in countless families, schools, therapeutic facilities, and the juvenile-justice system. Join Dr. Greene as he reviews the specific challenges of oppositional behavior and the limits of traditional discipline.   


Research Symposium 

This year’s Tourette Research Symposium will feature in-depth scientific presentations by recent grantee’s of the TAA’s Young Investigator Award. This prestigious grant is annually awarded to scientists and clinicians whose research demonstrates exceptional promise for advancing our scientific understanding of the biological cause and/or treatment of TS/TD. In addition to presentations from these scientists, the featured speaker will be a keynote talk given by Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman. Dr Lichtman is a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University and has contributed major advances in the development of molecular tools to understand the brain.  The session will provide an inspiring overview of recent discoveries and a glimpse into the future direction of TS/TD research.

The Present and Future of Therapeutics in TS

Presented by Joohi Jimenez-Sahed, MD, Irene Malaty, MD, Rebecca Lehman, MD 

In this workshop, Drs. Jimenez-Shahed, Malaty, and Lehman will review the established treatment spectrum for tics in TS, will explore investigational treatments that are in the pipeline for treating tics, and will provide an update on the current status of cannabinoids and surgical treatments for TS. 


Tourettic OCD: Exploring the Tourette/OCD Interface

Presented by Charles Mansueto, Ph.D.  

This presentation will address the clinical features that often result when OCD and tic disorders exist comorbidly. This perspective goes beyond traditional descriptions that characterize the current literature. Appreciation of the interactive relationship of the disorders provides a more thorough understanding of common Tourette Disorder and OCD subtypes. Topics covered will include Tourettic OCD (TOCD), the "Alphabet Soup Syndrome" (multiple comorbidities), and, "Developmental Morphing" (how Tourette Disorder becomes OCD). The clinical implications of this perspective will be examined, and adjustments to standard treatment will be described that can lead to more effective treatment.


Integrating Creative Strategies to Enhance CBIT Treatment Engagement

Presented by Dr. Kenneth Phelps

While CBIT has a reputable and established evidence base, some children and adolescents may have difficulty engaging in treatment. Attentional concerns, disruptive behavior, or hopelessness related to depression may be a few barriers to engagement. This presentation aims to overview the art and creativity possible in the implementation of CBIT while still adhering to established treatment protocols.

Translating Evidence-Based Interventions into Clinical Practice

Presented by Erica Greenberg, MD, and Joseph McGuire, Ph.D. 

Although behavior therapy is recognized as the first-line intervention for tic management, it can be hard to find and/or implement these interventions in clinical practice. This presentation describes common challenges that clinicians and families experience and describes behavioral and pharmacological approaches to overcome common challenges that arise when providing evidence-based clinical care.


Tourette 101 for the Community Practitioner: Identifying Tic Disorders distinct from other conditions

Presented by Keith Coffman, MD

A session designed for general and community practitioners on proper diagnosis of TS, contrasted with conditions with some similarities. Will review various ways TS may manifest, and the ways common co-occurring conditions complicate diagnosis.


Newly Diagnosed Seminar

Presented by John Walkup

The “Newly Diagnosed Seminar” provides a comprehensive overview of what every person with Tourette, their loved ones, and friends need to know to live with Tourette’s and tic disorders. Getting the diagnosis is just the beginning; there is so much to learn about how to survive and importantly thrive after the diagnosis. The presentation will focus on core content knowledge, as well as hot topics and controversies that can lead to confusion in the diagnosis and treatment of the Tic Disorders and co-occurring conditions.  At the end of the presentation, the participant will be better prepared to navigate the often confusing first couple of years of life after diagnosis.  Breaks will be given.

Emotional Overload: Understanding Non-Tic Behaviors in Tourette Syndrome

Presented by Jan Rowe, Dr. OT, OTR/L, FAOTA, Heather Simpson OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Emotional Overload is a feature of Tourette Syndrome. This webinar will help with understanding why emotional overload happens and provide productive and positive ways to manage behaviors that can result from this overload.


Tourette Syndrome and Young Children

Presented by Wendy Wegman 

This session focuses on the Young Child from 3 years-8 years old. It can be a complex task to care for these children at home, preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school. This session will provide an understanding of Tourette Syndrome and possible co-occurring conditions at this age. We will discuss and work together to learn some strategies and accommodations for young children with Tourette Syndrome. We will explore why Early Intervention is key in helping young children overcome challenges through their early development.

What Am I Missing? IEP/504 Plan Process Simplified 

Presented by Kathy Giordano 

There is a wide-spread belief that grades are the only reason students may be eligible for an IEP or a 504 Plan. How do we, as parents and educators, determine if a child may need to be referred for an evaluation for these learning disabilities? We familiarize ourselves with the signs and symptoms to look for in the areas of concern and we observe. Discussion of this and other important Federal laws and rights of students will assist parents and educators be prepared for meetings to determine eligibility and appropriate supports. 


Raising Tourettes: A Family Perspective for Educators

Presented by Kate Mielitz, Ph.D., Kaden, Slade, & Slaeda Mielitz & Gretchen Cole-Lade, Ph.D. 

Join Kaden from A&E’s Raising Tourettes (2018) and his family as they talk about their experiences bettering communication in the classroom and providing direct training to new teachers.   


Oliver Sacks: His Own Life Filmmaker Talkback 

Presented by Ric Burns, Kate Edgar, and Lowell Handler 

Dr. Oliver Sacks was a best-selling author and neurologist who was deeply connected to the Tourette Association of America and the Tourette Syndrome community from its earliest days. He was an influential voice that helped raise awareness of the condition and humanize it to a broad public. The new PBS American Masters Film Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, explores his life and work and shares intimate details of his personal battles. The film features nearly two dozen deeply revealing and personal interviews with family members, colleagues, patients, and close friends. We are thrilled to announce that TAA conference attendees will have exclusive access to watch the film and join an extraordinary panel discussion including the film’s director Ric Burns, Kate Edgar, Executive Director of the Oliver Sacks Foundation, and Lowell Handler, who traveled the world with Sacks to report on Tourette during the 1980s when the condition was still relatively unknown.


Handwriting Deficits in Children with Tic Disorders

Presented by Jan Rowe, Dr. OT, OTR/L, FAOTA   

Handwriting is often an area of difficulty for children with tics and TS. In this session, you will learn about a research study that is being conducted to help improve handwriting legibility and speed in children with tics and TS. While technology is widely available to children and can be accommodation for poor handwriting it is more helpful to children’s learning if they actually write.  


Classroom Strategies and Accommodations for Students with TS

Presented by Jen Stenger, Ph.D. 

This session will cover strategies for the classroom to assist a student with Tourette syndrome. These strategies and accommodations, while simple to implement, can make a resounding difference in the success, and happiness, of a student with Tourette. Strategies will be suggested for both the student and teacher.

Instructional Teaching Strategies to Support Students with Tourette Syndrome and ADHD, Anxiety, and Executive Function Needs

Presented by  Kate Mielitz, Ph.D., Gretchen Cole-Lade 

This session will briefly describe how ADHD, Anxiety, and Executive Function needs can impact learning and social skills in a classroom. Instructional Teaching Strategies for educators to use and parents to advocate for will be shared.   








The Conference Launch will be opened by Amanda Talty, TAA President and CEO, to kick off the weekend's events. After Amanda, Ben Brown, host of Tourette's Podcast, will host an incredible panel discussion joined by Aidy Smith and Britney Wolf! 

Ben Brown

Host of Tourette's Podcast

Ben will be joined by an incredible panel including Aidy Smith, presenter and producer of the widely successful TV series on Amazon Prime, The Three Drinkers, and Britney Wolf, Tourette Syndrome advocate.

Musical Performance


Join us for a musical performance by Anilee List, a soulful contestant on the current season of American Idol, and James Durbin, a modern heavy metal singer and semifinalist on the 

tenth season of American Idol!