Saturday

Session 1: 8:30 - 10:00am

TS 101 & Intros

Youth

Wendy Wegman

Expressing TS through Art  

Youth

Jane Hamilton  

The Present and Future of Therapeutics for Tourette Syndrome

Everyone

Drs. Joohi Jimenez Shahed, Irene Malaty & Rebecca Lehman 

Little-Known Learning Challenges with Big Impact

Educators, Parents

Gina Schlicksup

Political Advocacy and You!

Adult, General

Diana Felner, Heather Ramsey & Olivia Woodrich

Making an Impact in the Workplace with Tourette

Adult, Teen

Britney Wolf

Highlighted boxes will be streamed

Sessions available as a CEU Credit

Saturday

Session 2: 10:30 - 12:00pm

When and Who to Tell

Youth

Nicky Bohm, Ziya Samy

Disorder in the Court! Chess & TS

Youth

Sophia Maier

Developing a wearable therapeutic device for suppressing the urge-to-tic in Tourette syndrome: recent progress and future plans

Medical, General, Parent

Dr. Stephen Jackson

Harnessing Your Strengths to Beat Your TS

Teen, Parent, Adult, General

Paul Depompo

IEP/504: Federal Education Laws Simplified

Parent

Kathy Giordano

Saturday

Session 3: 2:15 - 3:30PM

Understanding and Managing Tics at School

Educator, Parent

Wendy Wegman, Jan Rowe

Social Media and Tic-Like Behaviors

Medical, General

Dr. Jacklyn Martindale

College & Career Readiness

Teen, General

Michael Leopold

CHAO-Tic: Choosing Healthy Activities

Adult, Teen, General

Debi Hinerfeld, Shannon Floyd, OTR/L

Dating and Relationships with TS

Adults, Teens, General

Emma O'Connell & Dr. Kenneth Phelps

Saturday

Session 4: 4:00 - 5:15PM

Managing Coprolalia Day to Day: A Group Discussion

Adult, Teen

Apostos Christos Lianos

Beyond Treating Tics: Management of Co-Occurring Psychiatric Conditions

Medical, General, Parent

Erica Greenberg, Joseph McGuire

What I Wish My Parents, Teachers, and Doctors Would Have Known

Educators, Parents, General

Jackie Nau & Dr. Scott Nau

The Impact: Managing Relationships and Self-Care for Parents

Parents

Gina Schlicksup

The Intersection Between Tourettes & Culture

Adult, Teen, General

Michael Chichiocco

Saturday

Evening activities: 6:30 - 9:00 pm

TS GOES TO THE MOVIES: Mall of America (6:30 & 7:30 shows)

Everyone

Support group/meet up - Teens with TS? Adults with TS?

Everyone

XXX

Evening reception (Adults) - Performance by baritone Jason Duika

Everyone

Sunday

Session 1: 8:30 - 9:45AM

Managing Stress and Anxiety at School

Youth

Jen Stenger

Take the Wheel

Youth

Noah Schlicksup, Jason Duika

Intrusive-Destructive Behaviors

Medical, General

Erica Greenberg

Do the Impossible: Resilience

Adult, Teen, General

Jason Michaels

Encouraging Great Behaviors in Great Kids

Parents

Sharon Thetford

When Tourettes is Weird

Adults, Teens, General

Sophia Maier

 
Sunday

Session 2: 10:00 - 11:15AM

Living with OCD

Youth

XXX

Izzy Lieberman, Jen Stenger

20 Years of CBIT

Medical, General

Drs. Doug Woods & Michael Himle

Icebergs and Chisels: Navigating Tourettes, Tics, and Co-Occuring Conditions

Medical,Parent, Educator

Kathleen Kelava

Experience the World through Study Abroad

Teen, Parent

Justin Harford, Sara Hamilton, Jane Hamilton

Sunday

Session 3: 11:30 - 12:45AM

Wonderful Fully Awesome Amazing You!

Youth

Noah, Will, & Gina Shlicksup

Integrating CBIT with the DNA-V Model to Address Tics and Co-morbidities in Treatment

Medical, General

Dr. Kenneth Phelps

Tourette Science Study Hour

General, Adult, Parent, Medical

C.Conelea, E.Greenberg, S.Bennett, J.McGuire

To Tell or Not to Tell: Disclosure Panel

Adults, Teens

C.Conelea, E.Greenberg, S.Bennett, J.McGuire

Managing Stress and Anxiety at School

Parents, Educators

Jen Stenger

Intro to TS & Introductions

Wendy Wegman & Friends

Saturday 8:30am - 9:15am

Let's learn more about TS and, more importantly, each other! The Tourette Association's Education Specialist will lead this introductory session to help all attendees get comfortable with each other and start off a fun, informative day.

Wendy Wegman is an Education Specialist for the Tourette Association of America. In this role, Wendy provides knowledge, awareness and understanding of Tourette Syndrome by speaking with parents and school personnel around the country to help best meet the needs of students with Tourette Syndrome. Additionally, she presents nationally at school districts and education conferences. Prior to joining the Association, Wendy was a classroom teacher for over twenty years. Her passion and love for serving the TS community stem from her son’s personal challenges and successes with Tourette syndrome. Wendy has a BA and an MA in Education from Mills College

 
 

Expressing Tourette through Art

Jane Hamilton

Saturday 9:00 - 10:00am

 

This workshop will encourage participants to express their thoughts/emotions through art. Participants will be given sheets of paper, colored pencils:crayons, and collage materials and will be led through the process of creating an expressive self portrait. The discussion and artistic exercise will help kids get in touch with their feelings about TS and how to express those emotions artistically. Participants will be encouraged to illustrate how TS is just one part of who they are. The presenter/artist (a teenager/YA with TS) will provide examples and work with participants to develop their own creative ideas for expression.

Jane Hamilton is an active advocate for Tourette and Neurodiversity. Diagnosed with TS and other conditions at an early age, she learned to use art and music to cope with challenging symptoms and emotions. Jane became a TAA Youth Ambassador in 2017 and has given presentations across the country to increase awareness and acceptance of TS. Jane has also been profiled on news outlets and Inside Edition for her advocacy efforts. She has always been interested in other languages and cultures, and has traveled to many international locations, including spending a few weeks in Poland working with youth through Global Volunteers. Jane learned Japanese on her own in high school and participated in Youth for Understandings International Exchange Program in Hiroshima during the summer of 2018. She is currently a sophomore at Winona State University majoring in Psychology/Neuroscience, and she plans to continue working with Dr. Conelea at the University of Minnesota on Tourette research in the future. In a college painting class, Jane did a self portrait to express how her facial tics make her feel, and she thought the creative exercise might be helpful (and fun) for other kids and teens with TS.

Political Advocacy and You!

Diana Felner, Heather Ramsey, Olivia Woodrich

Saturday 8:30am - 10:00am

For better or for worse, politics can touch every sapect of our lives, and this is certainly true for Touretters. Join the Tourette Association's Vice President of Public Policy Diana Felner and two exceptional advocates who will share not only their stories, but what you can do through political advocacy to spread awareness and otherwise make life better for others with Tourette Syndrome.

Diana provides strategic direction for and ensures the implementation of the Tourette Association’s public policy activities. With 20 years of experience in government and regulatory affairs, she advances the Tourette Association’s mission of awareness, research and support with the federal government and key stakeholders in Washington, DC. Prior to joining the Tourette Association, Diana served as Director of Government Affairs for Bunge North America, Inc. and Head, Federal Government Relations for Syngenta. In these roles, she served as a Washington representative for these global multi-national corporations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Christian University.

 

CHAO-Tic: Choosing Healthy Activities to Optimize Tic Management

Debi Hinerfeld

Saturday 2:15pm - 3:30pm
This interactive short course is focused on current factors that trigger tics and aims to assist participants in understanding the principles of self-regulation for tic management. Through the use of healthy activities, participants will learn how to identify early warning signs for tic triggers and use evidence-based strategies that maximize emotional stability and improve quality of life.

 

Debi Hinerfeld, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA is CBIT certified and owns and operates Tic Tock Occupational Therapy Services in Roswell, Georgia. In her 30 years of practice, she has worked with children, adolescents, and adults, in private practice, in schools, and in hospital settings. Debi facilitates the Young Adult Support Group for the TAA and participates in a bi-weekly support group for adults with tic disorders in Georgia.

 

The Dos & Don’ts of Relationships, Disclosure, and Dating

Emma O’Connell & Kenneth Phelps

Saturday

The quality of our lives is often directly related to the quality of our relationships. Whether participants are searching for a partner, thinking about whether or when to disclose their diagnoses, or wondering if their relationship is meeting their needs, this presentation has something to offer everyone. The presenters will discuss longitudinal data about what makes relationships work, address how tics and comorbid conditions can impact close relationships, and share one way of assessing social health.

Emma O'Connell is the Marketing Manager for the Tourette Association of America. She has Tourette syndrome herself, and almost all of her hobbies revolve around advocating for the reduction of negative stigma and increase of awareness around tics. Emma has been creating content on YouTube for about a decade surrounding Tourette syndrome and its comorbidities. She is always passionate about advocacy and sometimes passionate about nacho cheese.

 

Kenneth W. Phelps, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychiatry and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatric Neurology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Phelps also directs outpatient child and adolescent psychiatry services and co-directs the Tic and Tourette Center of SC (TiC SC) within the Prisma Health – Midland’s system. Dr. Phelps specializes in the treatment of youth to young adults living with Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or anxiety disorders. He serves as a national supervisor and speaker for the Tourette Association of America's Behavioral Therapy Institute (TAA BTI), educating providers on the delivery of Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT). Dr. Phelps has presented locally and nationally on the systemic implications of illness and disability, as well as how to build resilience in the face of adversity. Dr. Phelps has been published in the Journal of Contemporary Family Therapy, Journal of Intellectual and Development Disabilities, Social Indicators Research, Academic Psychiatry, and Families, Systems and Health.

 

Intrusive-Destructive Behaviors

Erica Greenberg

Sunday 8:30am - 9:45am
Have you ever wondered why people act impulsively or compulsively? Have you ever been unsure whether certain behaviors are under someone’s control? Have you ever been frustrated when seemingly logical strategies to help change behaviors and emotional states are less effective than you had hoped? If you have, join Dr. Erica Greenberg who will provide insights into intrusive-destructive behaviors (IDBs), a newly characterized construct.

 

Erica Greenberg, M.D. is a child/adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Dr. Greenberg is the Director of the Pediatric Psychiatry OCD and Tic Disorders Program at MGH, a Co-Director of the MGH Tourette Association of America (TAA) Center of Excellence, and on the Medical Advisory Board of the TAA. Her clinical research interests include Tourette syndrome (TS), OCD, Tourettic OCD, ADHD and body-focused repetitive behavior disorders (BFRBs). She is the primary investigator on a study evaluating a behavioral treatment for those with tic disorders and ADHD, and on a survey-based study evaluating the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and adolescents with TS, OCD and related disorders. She has authored several peer-reviewed manuscripts on TS, OCD, and related disorders, and has given symposia on TS, OCD and BFRBs nationally and internationally.

 

The Impact: Managing Relationships and Self-Care

Gina Schlicksup

Saturday 4:00pm - 5:15pm

Parenting is hard, but raising a child with Tourette and comorbid conditions is much harder. Personal experiences, and conversations with other parents in this community, have revealed some of the greatest challenges caregivers encounter are practicing self-care, developing and maintaining friendships, finding community, and connecting with their significant other. 

 

Gina Schlicksup is an author, founder of Parent Empowerment Groups,wife, and mother of four kiddos. In 2016, her youngest son was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and her older son received the same diagnosis in 2019. She is raising exceptional kiddos with a variety of diagnoses and knows parenting children with special needs can be a tough journey.

 

 

Wonderfully Awesome, Amazing YOU!

Gina, Noah & Will

Sunday 10:15am - 11:00am


There is often a focus on how we need to improve, but what if we hit the pause button and celebrated how wonderfully awesome and amazing each of us already is? In this session, attendees will listen to the story, Be You, and engage in an activity that incorporates art, writing, movement, and/or music to create a finished product (using whichever modality(ies) chosen) that positively reflects how amazing they are. Completed projects will serve as a reminder of how awesome each individual is and can be used in times of feeling high, low, or anywhere in between.

 

Noah Schlicksup is a fifteen-year-old amateur sports broadcaster who got his start covering high school basketball in Iowa. Despite being diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, anxiety, ADHD, and OCD, Noah excels at delivering play-by-play commentary and engaging in thoughtful conversations with athletes and broadcasters. He currently covers multiple sports for Creekside High School in Florida and one day hopes to land his dream job broadcasting for the Chicago Cubs. Noah is a youth ambassador for the Tourette Association of America and uses his platform to raise awareness about Tourette Syndrome and its comorbid conditions. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys taking in as many games as his parents will agree to.

 

Will Schlicksup is an 11-year-old boy who loves music, gaming, coding, playing with his friends, and making people laugh. He was diagnosed with Tourette at the age of 6 and had a difficult time while attending public school in kindergarten and part of first grade. Because he was so terribly misunderstood, he works hard to educate his friends and others about Tourette Syndrome to help people better understand kids like him. He hopes to become an engineer or video game creator when he grows up. Though Will has endured a lot of challenges in his young life, he has a big heart and loves to create opportunities to gather people together and have fun. His mom and dad believe he would make a wonderful salesman or party planner when he is older.

 

Gina Schlicksup is an author, founder of Parent Empowerment Groups,wife, and mother of four kiddos. In 2016, her youngest son was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and her older son received the same diagnosis in 2019. She is raising exceptional kiddos with a variety of diagnoses and knows parenting children with special needs can be a tough journey. Prior to becoming a mom, she was a special education teacher in Texas and Illinois public schools. Now a homeschooling mom, she spends her days creating educational opportunities that meet her kids unique needs while coaching others to be an empowered, strong, informed voice for their child.

 

 

Social Media and Tic-Like Behaviors

Jaclyn Martindale

Saturday 2:15pm - 3:30pm

Since the pandemic, there has been a significant rise of functional tic-like behaviors often in adolescent females. Tic-related videos with hashtags have grown. Both social media and the psychological burden of COVID-19 have been implicated in the rise of tic-like behaviors, which may be the modern form of mass functional illness. Early recognition is essential for improved outcomes. 

 

Dr. Jaclyn Martindale is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Health who specializes in movement disorders. She has a passion and clinical expertise in tics, Tourette Syndrome and its related disorders. Dr. Martindale is the founder and director of the Comprehensive Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorder Clinic as well as the Pediatric Movement Disorders Clinic at Wake Forest. Her research is focused on understanding the stigma of Tourette Syndrome, predictors of persistent tics in adulthood and functional tics. She is also a medical educator and the Assistant Program Director of the Child Neurology Residency Program. Dr. Martindale is an active member of the Child Neurology Society, Professors and Educators of Child Neurology, American Academy of Neurology, Functional Neurological Disorders Society and the Tourette Association of America.

 

Managing Stress and Anxiety at School

Jen Stenger

Sunday 11:30am - 12:45pm

The baseline of stress at school seems to be higher than ever before. There are so many triggers for stress and anxiety during the school day. Our current pandemic has thrown new concerns into the already stressful lives of students. Now there is worry about family and loved ones getting sick, grief over losing people we know to COVID, stress from navigating the new world of remote learning, adjusting to wearing masks, changes in the cafeteria, and procedural changes throughout our school systems. While these changes have been put in place to keep people (both students and teachers) safe, change is not always easy. Even good change often produces stress of some sort. Add this to all the other stressors associated with being a student today—concerns over fitting in, having friends, social media; it is taxing just to think about all of it. Now, let’s add Tourette syndrome to the mix! Let’s face it: being a student these days is not easy. Effective techniques can be taught to help students manage stress and anxiety and enjoy their time in school! Jen Stenger, a school counselor with TS, will share effective techniques to help children manage school stress and anxiety and enjoy their time at school. 

 

Jen Stenger Ph.D. has been in public education for 20 years, first as a high school English teacher and currently as a school counselor.  She has also taught adjunct classes at two universities in Southern Illinois.  In 2011, she received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  Her dissertation research was based on other public K-12 educators who, like herself, have Tourette syndrome. After completing her doctorate, she self-published The Life that Chose Us: Educators with Tourette Syndrome, based on this work.  Since publishing in 2013, she has presented at multiple conferences and speaking engagements; she also meets with younger children with disabilities to promote positive self-image and self-confidence.  She is energized when working with and serving the TS community, as she is driven to help school-aged children succeed both academically and socially.  Jen has served on the Education Advisory Board since 2016.

 

The Present and Future of Therapeutics for Tourette Syndrome

Joohi Jimenez-Shahed,Rebecca K. Lehman, & Irene Malaty

Saturday 8:30am - 10:00am

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. 

 

Dr. Jimenez-Shahed is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Medical Director, Movement Disorders Neuromodulation and Brain Circuit Therapeutics. Dr. Jimenez-Shahed received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Neurology residency training at Duke University Medical Center. She then completed a fellowship in Movement Disorders at the Parkinsons Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinical (PDCMDC) at BCM. Her research interests lie in investigating the intraoperative neurophysiology of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) for movement disorders and the application of wearables and digital health technologies to the care of patients with Parkinson's disease. Dr. Jimenez-Shahed serves as Chair of the Functional Neurosurgical Working Group of the Parkinson Study Group, and is the lead investigator for a national quality improvement registry for patients undergoing DBS surgery for Parkinsons disease. She is also an investigator with the Huntington Study Group, Dystonia Coalition and TSA International Database of DBS Studies in Tourette syndrome. She currently serves as Chair of the Science Advisory Board of the Davis Phinney Foundation, member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Tourette Association of America, and is a past Chair of the Medical Advisory Board for the Houston Area Parkinson Society.

 

Rebecca K. Lehman, MD is Associate Professor of Neurosciences (Pediatric Neurology) and Director of the Pediatric Neurology Residency Program at the Palmetto Health – USC Medical Group in Columbia, SC. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and remained at the University of Rochester for her Pediatrics preliminary years, Child Neurology residency, and Movement Disorders fellowship. Clinically, she treats pediatric patients with a wide variety of movement disorders, including Tourette syndrome, dystonia, chorea, tremor, ataxia, Parkinsons disease, and Huntingtons disease. She was awarded the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008 and was nominated for the American Medical Student Associations and College of Medicines Golden Apple Award for excellence in medical education in 2011.

 

Dr. Malaty completed movement disorders fellowship at the University of Florida before joining the UF faculty. She devotes her practice to clinical care, research, and education across the movement disorders spectrum. She specializes in Tourette syndrome (TS) in patients of all ages and is director of the Tourette Association of America Center of Excellence at UF. She is a member of the International Tic and Tourette syndrome study group of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. She also specializes in the care of Parkinson disease (PD) and is director of a Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence at UF. Dr. Malaty is a primary investigator in a number of trials in movement disorders and helps direct the movement disorder trials at UF. She has authored multiple publications and chapters in movement disorders. In 2017, Dr. Malaty became the first female president of the Florida Society of Neurology. She currently serves as vice-chair of the movement disorders subsection of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and is an invited member of the AAN science committee. She was selected for the inaugural class of the prestigious Women Leading in Neurology program of the AAN.

 

 

Experience the World through Study Abroad

Justin Harford, Jane Hamilton, & Sara Hamilton

Sunday 10:00am - 11:15am
Studying or volunteering abroad in high school or college can be an amazing experience. You get to try new food, meet cool people, travel and even learn a new language, all while building academic and job credit. In this session a representative from the Department of State-sponsored National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange will share how you can land the experience of a lifetime. Then, A peer with TS who spent a summer in Japan and her mother, who is a dedicated volunteer and a member of the National staff at the Tourette Association of America, will share their insights.

 

Justin (he/him/his) is a Program Coordinator with the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, working to increase the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange by providing information and resources to both individuals with disabilities and international professionals. Previously, Justin worked for two years in disability community organizing and policy in the foothills of Northern California. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Latin American History and Spanish Literature from University of California, Berkeley. He studied abroad at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago Chile, where he researched and wrote a thesis on the history of the blind in Chilean society. In 2008, he spent 10 weeks immersing himself in the culture and language of Michoacan, Mexico.

 

Jane Hamilton is an active advocate for Tourette and Neurodiversity. Diagnosed with TS and other conditions at an early age, she learned to use art and music to cope with challenging symptoms and emotions. Jane became a TAA Youth Ambassador in 2017 and has given presentations across the country to increase awareness and acceptance of TS. Jane has also been profiled on news outlets and Inside Edition for her advocacy efforts. She has always been interested in other languages and cultures, and has traveled to many international locations, including spending a few weeks in Poland working with youth through Global Volunteers. Jane learned Japanese on her own in high school and participated in Youth for Understandings International Exchange Program in Hiroshima during the summer of 2018. She is currently a sophomore at Winona State University majoring in Psychology/Neuroscience, and she plans to continue working with Dr. Conelea at the University of Minnesota on Tourette research in the future. In a college painting class, Jane did a self portrait to express how her facial tics make her feel, and she thought the creative exercise might be helpful (and fun) for other kids and teens with TS.

 

Sara Hamilton has been a passionate advocate of the TS community since her daughter was diagnosed with Tourette in 2008 and chosen as a Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Association in 2017. As a dedicated volunteer for the TAA, Sara has presented at National Conferences and Education Workshops, and she has served as a strategic consultant and facilitator at Research Summits and Leadership Sessions. Sara has also been a Board member and volunteer for several nonprofits and educational institutions, including international service with Global Volunteers. Over the past 30 years, Sara has worked with innovative corporations and nonprofits across the country, gaining extensive experience in business development, research and strategy, branding and marketing communications, corporate and commercial video production, project and account management, team building and partnerships. She is also an award-winning film and video producer who has been involved in projects across the nation, including activist efforts for the film and TV industry. Sara joined the staff at the TAA in 2021 as director of the national network of Chapters and Support Groups for the organization.

 

 

Icebergs and Chisels: Navigating TS, Tics, and Other Moving Parts

Kathleen Kelava

Sunday 10:00am - 11:15am

Icebergs and Chisels: Navigating TS, Tics, and Other Moving Parts - in this dynamic, engaging, and transparent interactive session, Kathleen Kelava (Registered Psychologist) provides evidence-based content, along with lived experience (as a clinician and a parent navigating the realities of TS and Tic Disorders, along with commonly occurring conditions, such as ADHD, OCD, depression, and anxiety) to any and all who are, or have been, touched by these challenging conditions. 

 

Kathleen Kelava is a Registered Psychologist who owns and operates a private psychology practice in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She notes, “I am constantly amazed at the resilience we all show, as we navigate our lives amidst the challenges that invariably arise! Sometimes the demands on us outweigh the resources we have available at that moment. It takes a courageous person to recognize the need for, and to request and accept, support. I am honoured every time clients invite me to join them along their journeys toward improved insight, skill, interaction, and overall living. I explore change on individual and systemic bases both approaches are often beneficial. As a former police officer, and a mother to 3 children with some exceptional needs, I understand how tough life can get and how we can find the tough within ourselves to get going and rise above! Raise the bar and raise the roof!

 

The Intersection between Tourette Syndrome and Culture

Michael Chichioco

Sunday 10:00am - 11:15am

How does your cultural background impact your life? As a Filipino-American diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, I have experienced the impact of Filipino culture on my life with TS. In Filipino culture, the beliefs surrounding mental illness and neurological disorders are significantly different from the United States. This resulted in additional challenges such as explaining TS to family members who don't believe in neurological disorders, cultural isolation, and facing discrimination for both my disability and skin color. Through this workshop, you will learn about the intersection between culture and TS, allowing us to better support all members of the TS community.


Michael Chichioco is a 24 year old recent graduate from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Biochemistry, with a minor in Psychology. Michael is currently a process development engineer at Biogen, working on developing various therapies for neurological disorders. He is passionate about research for neurological conditions and hopes to pursue his interests in neurology further when he matriculates to medical school in 2022. Michael has been involved with the Tourette Association of America for many years as a Youth Ambassador (2014) and Rising Leader (2019). He is a passionate advocate for Tourette Syndrome, and has presented at numerous venues such as KQED Radio, various elementary/middle schools and universities across the country. Specifically, he is committed to raising awareness about his experience as a Filipino-American with TS. He hopes that by sharing his story, he can educate others about TS and the lived experiences of diverse individuals.

 

College and Career Readiness

Michael Leopold

Saturday 2:15pm - 3:00pm

Feeling stressed about your future college and career plans? Not sure where to begin? This presentation is designed for you. Join our 60 minute crash course on college and career planning, tailored to address the unique challenges for those with TS and co-occurring conditions. You will learn various tools and resources for applying to jobs and colleges, tips to help your applications stand out, and strategies for staying organized and optimistic. The presentation will be led by Michael Leopold, a Yale and Columbia educated career coach who also happens to have Tourette syndrome.


Michael is an HR consultant, career coach, and education advisor. He founded Leopold Talent Consulting, a people focused consulting firm offering college and career advising services to individuals and HR services to organizations. Before launching his consulting business, Michael held corporate human resources and HR consulting roles at Xerox, Two Sigma Investments, and Mercer. Michaels involvement with TAA began in 2008 when he became a youth ambassador and started speaking publicly about neurological conditions. Since then, he has mentored countless individuals with TS to ensure their continued success academically, socially, and professionally. He serves as a board member on TAAs Young Professionals Advisory Board and also as a TAA Education Volunteer. Raised in the midwest, Michael now lives in New York City where he is pursuing a M.S. degree in Human Capital Management at Columbia University. He holds a B.S. in Cognitive Science from Yale University.

 

Encouraging Great Behaviors in Great Kids

Sharon Thetford

Sunday 8:30am - 9:15am 
Your kids didn't show up with an instruction manual! But there are proven techniques for making child discipline easier. Learn how to spend less time disciplining and more time enjoying each other! Valuable Information You'll Discover at this Seminar-- How changing your definition of discipline makes a big difference to your approach. The formula for creating effective and enforceable consequences. How to sidestep manipulation and avoid guilt. One key element you must not forget. Effective discipline strategies, communication tips, self-esteem boosters and much more!

Sharon Thetford, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who chose her career while still in elementary school. Knowing the struggles having grown up with Tourette Syndrome, she knew from an early age that she wanted to help others deal with difficulties and help make a difference in their lives. Dr. Thetford received her doctorate degree in psychology at Florida Institute of Technology in 1990 and she has been in clinical private practice serving children and adults ever since. Dr. Thetford has helped countless families with dealing with Tourette Syndrome. Additionally, she is certified in EMDR working with patients who have experienced trauma, provides Neurofeedback for those with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and anger issues/emotional control and conducts 8-week parenting classes at her practice, New Objectives Psychology, Counseling & Neurofeedback Center in Altamonte Springs, where she serves as director

 

When Tourette's is Weird

Sophia Maier

Sunday 8:30am - 9:15am

Are people with Tourette syndrome (TS) 'otherwise normal'? Is it really possible to 'overcome' TS, or to reveal the "real" person behind the tics? Sophia Maier argues that not only is normalcy unrealistic, but also undesirable. In this presentation, Maier, a queer trans woman, encourages her audience to embrace the "weird" side of the disorder. Rather than an individual medical problem, Maier sees TS as a product of social conditions. Based on her personal experiences as well as her rhetorical analyses of old medical texts, Maier discovers that TS carries the potential for political critique and weird coalitions.

Sophia Maier is a PhD student at the Pennsylvania State University in the Communication Arts and Sciences department. Maier specializes in the field of disability rhetoric. In addition to having published an academic article on the principles of advocating for trans people and disabled people simultaneously, Maier has written her master's thesis on the rhetoric of Tourette syndrome, and will likely write her dissertation on a similar subject. A queer trans woman with Tourette syndrome, Maier is committed to advocating for marginalized communities, and hopes her scholarship will aid people with TS in their struggle for liberation.

 

Understanding & Managing Tics at School

Wendy Wegman & Jan Rowe

Saturday 2:15pm - 3:30pm
For many children, school is the environment that presents the greatest challenges to a ticcing child. TAA Eduation Specialist Wendy Wegman and Dr. of Occupational Therapy Jan Rowe will walk parents and educators through key challenges to best understand what these students face, with techniques to help them manage their tics through the trials of the school day.

Dr. Rowe is a retired faculty member from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). While on faculty she served in administrative, teaching and research positions, while continuing to practice in pediatrics. In 2004 she graduated from NOVA South Eastern University with her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy. In 2010, with an increased focus in pediatrics, program development and service to underserved populations Dr. Rowe was the first occupational therapist to develop and coordinate a comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics (CBIT) program for children with tic disorders. Following retirement from UAB in 2012 Dr. Rowe moved the CBIT program to Children’s of Alabama. In 2015 Children’s/UAB was part of the SE Center of Excellence Consortium with four other Universities in the southeast. As of 2019 Children’s/UAB has been an independent TS Center of Excellence, designated by the Tourette Association of America (TAA). In addition, Dr. Rowe serves on the Medical Advisory Board for the TAA and is the Co-director of the Children’s’ of Alabama/University of Alabama at Birmingham TS Center of Excellence. Rowe’s other activities include research in occupational performance areas of youth with Tourette syndrome and tic disorders, she is a trainer in CBIT for other occupational therapists and provides numerous presentations for medical professionals and educators in and around the southeast.

 

#DOTHEIMPOSSIBLE: Resilience

Jason Michaels

Sunday 8:30am - 9:45am

Excellence in our personal and professional lives is challenging. Being constantly challenged by outside forces is commonplace. Developing resilience empowers us and gives us the strength to handle stress on our way to becoming high performers. Enter Jason Michaels... Jason Michaels grew up with Tourette Syndrome. He defied the naysayers who claimed it would be impossible to become an entertainer. Today he is an award-winning magician who has performed for hundreds of thousands of people around the world. In this program, Jason uses his story and his award-winning magic to teach the skills of compassion, communication, perspective, courage, and mindfulness.

Jason Michaels is a professional speaker and entertainer with astounding expertise in the arts of deception. Diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome at age thirteen, Jason has overcome "the impossible" and become an internationally award-winning sleight-of-hand artist and professional speaker. He motivates audiences to see beyond their challenges and self-imposed limitations and inspires them to take action by living bigger, bolder lives with his programs #DOTHEIMPOSSIBLE: LIVE B-I-G and #DOTHEIMPOSSIBLE: RESILIENCE. Jason is the author of the book "You Can Do the Impossible, Too!" His book details his journey of overcoming the debilitating neurological disorder Tourette Syndrome to become a success in business and in life.

 

Harnessing Strengths to Beat Your Tics

Paul DePompo

Saturday 10:30am - 12:00pm

During CBIT, one can hit stuck points and become hesitant to engage in more difficult (but helpful) competing responses, inhibiting one's ability to win over their most difficult tics. Co-morbid conditions such as OCD or GAD, or urges that seem so intense they are difficult to hold accountable in competing responses can mame things worse. This workshop is designed for everyone wanting to overcome stuck-points in their CBIT work. Creative and practical tools such as utilizing client generated imagery and metaphors will be taught to maximize client strengths and progress while engaging in the CBIT process.

Paul DePompo, PsyD, ABPP a clinical psychologist board-certified in behavioral and cognitive therapy and a diplomate of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. I have been treating tourettes and its combination with ADHD, OCD, GAD, and Social Anxiety for over 15 years. Depompos center in Newport Beach, California has APA certification for training professionals where they provide trainings and workshops for professionals and the public. Experts such as Windy Dryden, PhD, Ann Vernon, PhD, and many other accomplished psychologists have facilitated training with Dr Depompo as well. He has been published in scientific journals, a regular on a morning television program, authored articles and has been sited in Huffington Post , Wallstreet Journal, NPR, and other mainstream media. He also consults with Hollywood studios regarding psychological matters.

 

Making an Impact in the Workplace with Tourette

Britney Wolf

Saturday 8:30am - 10:00am

Britney has brought Tourette Syndrome to the forefront of a global organization and will continue to make a difference in the lives around her by sharing her story in and outside of her work environment. Join Britney while she shares how she has opened up about her disorder, received accommodations, and used Tourette Syndrome as a way of connecting and networking throughout her career. While sharing her experiences, she will teach the audience how asking for accommodations is not something to be ashamed of, but something we can embrace.

Britney Wolf has one mission to create an environment in which every person in the room feels validated and cared about. After being diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at 7 years old, she made a promise to herself and to the entire Tourette Community that she would educate, spread awareness, and fight for the stigma of this disorder to one day be erased. Along the way, she discovered how to empower and motivate those around her because of Tourette Syndrome, rather than in spite of it. While sharing her story of living with this disorder she teaches her audiences how vital it is to have inclusion in every aspect of education, the workplace, and in our personal lives. She takes the idea of how a simple act, a question, a listening ear, or simply just looking beyond what the eyes and mind might see can lead to an entirely new outlook and way of life. She believes that surrounding yourself with people who are different can create an unstoppable team.

 

Managing Coprolalia Day to Day: A Group Discussion

Apostolos Christos Lianos

Sunday 11:30am - 12:45pm

 

In the midst of the COVID pandemic, patients, teachers, and parents are reporting record numbers of cases of coprolalia. This complex and misunderstood class of tics - and the range of social implications - are best understood by those who live with it everyday. In this session, attendees are encouraged to share both their challenges and their techniques for managing these tics and find a space where you can feel truly understood.

My name is Apostolos Christos Lianos aka M.C. Tic. I have Tourette’s Syndrome, a condition I was diagnosed with at a young age. I write and perform music as a way to release and cope with my tics that helps me with my anxiety. I am currently a graduate student getting my masters in adult education. My dream is to become a Tourette’s advocate and I see my music as way I can reach that dream. I want to show others that suffer from any sort of condition that your condition does not define you and to never let your condition, or anyone tell you or stop you from achieving your dreams. You can do anything you set your mind to. I don’t let my Tourette’s stop me from living my life the I want to. I see it as an opportunity to educate others and show people that there’s a meaning to life. To those reading this and to those listening to my music, thank you so much for your support and I hope this message can reach out to people in need.

 
 

Beyond Treating Tics: Management of Co-occurring Psychiatric Conditions

Erica Greenberg & Dr Joseph McGuire

Saturday 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Many children, adolescents, and adults with Tourette syndrome experience co-occurring psychiatric symptoms. Most common co-occurring conditions include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and disruptive disorders (e.g. intermittent explosive disorder) amongst others. In this presentation, Drs. Greenberg and McGuire will describe the most common co-occurring conditions and present guidelines for treating these co-occurring conditions based on empirical support and clinical expertise. The session will conclude with an interactive Q & A activity to answer attendee's questions.

Erica Greenberg, M.D. is a child/adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Dr. Greenberg is the Director of the Pediatric Psychiatry OCD and Tic Disorders Program at MGH, a Co-Director of the MGH Tourette Association of America (TAA) Center of Excellence, and on the Medical Advisory Board of the TAA. Her clinical research interests include Tourette syndrome (TS), OCD, Tourettic OCD,ADHD and body-focused repetitive behavior disorders (BFRBs). She is the primary investigator on a study evaluating a behavioral treatment for those with tic disorders and ADHD, and on a survey-based study evaluating the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and adolescents with TS, OCD and related disorders. She has authored several peer-reviewed manuscripts on TS, OCD, and related disorders, and has given symposia on TS, OCD and BFRBs nationally and internationally.

 

Dr. McGuire is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has over 10 years of research and/or clinical experience in the assessment and treatment of Tourette's Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, and related conditions. Dr. McGuire has received numerous national and international awards. He has co-edited three books with Elsevier, published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has given dozens of conference presentations. Dr. McGuire has gratefully received research support from the National Institute of Mental Health, Tourette Association of America, and the American Academy of Neurology.

3 Little-Known Learning Challenges with a Big Impact

Gina Schlicksup

Saturday 8:30am - 10:00am

Tourette is more than tics. We'll explore how Dysgraphia (a specific learning disorder in written expression), executive function deficits (which impact a childs ability to regulate emotions, focus, and complete tasks), and Sensory Processing Disorder (a condition that affects how your brain processes sensory information) can impact a child. Gina will share personal and professional experiences demonstrating how children in the classroom may struggle if these disorders/deficits go undetected and unsupported. Attendees will engage in simulation activities, learn about accommodations for the classroom, and tips for home and school that can put a child on a path to success.

Gina Schlicksup is an author, founder of Parent Empowerment Groups,wife, and mother of four kiddos. In 2016, her youngest son was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and her older son received the same diagnosis in 2019. She is raising exceptional kiddos with a variety of diagnoses and knows parenting children with special needs can be a tough journey. Prior to becoming a mom, she was a special education teacher in Texas and Illinois public schools. Now a homeschooling mom, she spends her days creating educational opportunities that meet her kids unique needs while coaching others to be an empowered, strong, informed voice for their child. Her familys journey with Tourette has been very challenging, but Gina and her husband will stop at nothing to give their kids the support they need to live their best lives. Her hope is her newly released book, Exceptionally Unordinary, becomes a tool that sparks much-needed tough conversations among those raising children with special needs and those working in the education system.

 

To Tell or Not To Tell - About Having Tourette Syndrome

Tara Lerman, Michael Chichioco

Saturday 4:00pm - 5:15pm

To Tell or Not to Tell - about having Tourette Syndrome. Whether you tell people that you have Tourette Syndrome is a personal choice that must be made by every person who has it. That choice can be difficult. Do you have a good support network, and what do they think? Will there be more stigma from acknowledging it, or hiding it? Will you be happy with your decision? This panel has three presenters who will discuss how they weighed the pros and cons of this decision and how it is working for them.

Tara Lerman is a writer and editor with Tourette syndrome. She uses her platform to educate people about Tourette and advocate for neurodiversity in the workplace. Tara currently serves as the Deputy Editor of Branded Content at GovExec, a media company that delivers news and insights to government leaders. She's also a founding member of GovExec's diversity, equity and inclusion) (DEI) council, where she's specifically focused on making the workforce more accessible for neurodivergent individuals and employees with disabilities. In her free time, Tara enjoys hiking, climbing, biking and writing.

 

Michael Chichioco is a 24 year old recent graduate from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Biochemistry, with a minor in Psychology. Michael is currently a process development engineer at Biogen, working on developing various therapies for neurological disorders. He is passionate about research for neurological conditions and hopes to pursue his interests in neurology further when he matriculates to medical school in 2022. Michael has been involved with the Tourette Association of America for many years as a Youth Ambassador (2014) and Rising Leader (2019). He is a passionate advocate for Tourette Syndrome, and has presented at numerous venues such as KQED Radio, various elementary/middle schools and universities across the country. Specifically, he is committed to raising awareness about his experience as a Filipino-American with TS. He hopes that by sharing his story, he can educate others about TS and the lived experiences of diverse individuals.

 

20 Years of CBIT

Doug Woods & Michael Himie

Sunday 10:00am - 11:15am

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Tics, or CBIT, was initially conceived only 20 years ago and is now the top recommended treatment for TS by the American Academy of Neurology. In this session, Drs. Doug Woods and Michael Himle will trace this therapy's development, including its challenges and unique path, and speak to the future of the therapy.

Dr. Douglas Woods is currently Professor of Psychology and Dean of the Graduate School at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. Prior to that he was Head of Psychology at Texas A&M University from 2013-2015, and a faculty member, Chair of Psychology and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1999-2013. Dr. Woods received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Western Michigan University in 1999 after completing his internship at Boys Town and the Nebraska Internship Consortium. Dr. Woods has authored or co-authored over 270 papers or chapters, and authored or co-authored 9 books on Tic Disorders, Trichotillomania, and other repetitive behavior problems. Dr. Woods has received over $6 million in extramural funding from the NIMH and other funding sources. Dr. Woods is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. He was the first non-physician to ever chair the Tourette Association of America’s Medical Advisory Board and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Trichotillomania Learning Center. Michael B. Himle, Ph.D. earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah. He is an expert in behavioral approaches for understanding and treating behavioral disorders of childhood, with emphasis on tic disorders and associated conditions. He is active in researching environmental factors and behavioral processes involved in the onset and course of these conditions and translating this information into more effective non-pharmacological treatments. He is also interested in dissemination strategies for behavior therapy. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and has given more than 80 conference presentations and invited talks on Tourette Syndrome and related conditions. His research has received funding from the Tourette Syndrome Association and the National Institutes of Health.

 

What I Wish My Parents, Teachers, and Doctors Would Have Known

Jackie & Scott Nau
Saturday 4:00pm - 5:15pm

Do you ever wish you could get inside your child, student, or patient's head to understand what is driving their tics and compulsions? You will hear from a woman who can finally articulate what she couldn't as a child. With refreshing honesty and humor, she will take the audience on a deep dive into her personal world of Tourette's and OCD. Jackie and her husband Scott, a pediatrician, will show how to ask insightful questions of children concerning their symptoms that on their own they may find difficult to articulate.

Jackie Nau works at the Center for Disabilities and Development at the University of Iowa. She is the Project Coordinator for Parents as Mentors, which is an integral part of the LEND (Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) Program. Her role is to connect families of children with disabilities with graduate students in healthcare to give them a better understanding of these families and increase their compassion and empathy. Ms. Nau has had Tourette Syndrome, OCD, ADHD, and anxiety since age 6 although she was not diagnosed until 22 years of age. After caring for her medically fragile child with disabilities for 12 years and then losing him, she has dedicated her life to working with and advocating for persons with disabilities. Ms. Nau is on the National Tourette Associations Adult Task Force and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Arc of East Central Iowa and is a former board member of Disability Rights of Iowa. Ms. Nau speaks at colleges about living with Tourette Syndrome and co-morbid disorders. Ms. Nau has a passion for meeting with newly diagnosed children with Tourette and their parents to help them navigate accommodations at school along with offering them insight and hope. Scott Nau is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Iowa. He has been in private practice in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for over 40 years. Dr Nau has extensive experience in the critical care of newborns and children as well as the management of children with multiple complex medical problems. He has a special interest in helping children with disabilities including those with Tourette Syndrome and related disorders.

 

Developing a wearable therapeutic device for suppressing the urge-to-tic in Tourette syndrome: recent progress and future plans

Stephen Jackson
Saturday 10:30am - 12:00pm

Stephen Jackson, lead researcher on the University of Nottingham/TourettesActionUK clinical trial, will share research to date on the new wrist-watch like device showing great promise for the treatment of tics. He will discuss the mechanism through which the device is approaching tic reduction, noting the research that informs the technology, and sharing information on the current state of investigation.

Stephen Jackson is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Nottingham, UK and has more than 30 years research experience in the field of human neuropsychology. He completed his PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge, UK and was then awarded a UK Medical Research Council Research Fellowship to study at the University of Oregon, USA, prior to his taking up a Lectureship in Neuropsychology at the University of Wales, Bangor in 1993. Stephen’s research has focused on using multimodal brain imaging and brain stimulation techniques to investigate human sensorimotor function in health and disorder. His current research utilises state-of-the-art MR imaging, MR spectroscopy, magnetoencephalography and non-invasive brain stimulation to investigate the neural antecedents of tics in Tourette syndrome (TS) and the neural correlates of premonitory urges in TS. His research funded by the TAA is currently aimed at developing novel therapeutic approaches for TS based on non-invasive brain stimulation. Stephen currently serves as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Federation of European Societies for Neuropsychology (FESN) and is the first recipient of the ‘Dirk Bakker Visiting Professorship’, awarded by the Stichting Neuropsychologie Nederland (Dutch Neuropsychology Society). He has previously served as President of the British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience, Treasurer of the British Neuropsychological Society, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuropsychology and chaired a multi-national European Research Network Programme on ‘Human Sensorimotor Function in Health and Disease’. From 2009 – 2012 Stephen was appointed a ‘Distinguished Overseas Professor’ at Korea University, South Korea under the National Research Foundation of Korea’s WCU (World Class University) programme to assist in establishing a new centre for research and teaching excellence in ‘Brain and Cognitive Engineering’. Stephen’s research is currently funded by the following: Tourettes Association of America (TAA); Tourettes Action UK (TA); the UK Medical Research Council (MRC); the UK Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC); and the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

 

Managing Coprolalia Day to Day: A Group Discussion

Apostolos Christos Lianos
Sunday 11:30am - 12:45pm

In the midst of the COVID pandemic, patients, teachers, and parents are reporting record numbers of cases of coprolalia. This complex and misunderstood class of tics - and the range of social implications - are best understood by those who live with it everyday. In this session, attendees are encouraged to share both their challenges and their techniques for managing these tics and find a space where you can feel truly understood.

My name is Apostolos Christos Lianos aka M.C. Tic. I have Tourette’s Syndrome, a condition I was diagnosed with at a young age. I write and perform music as a way to release and cope with my tics that helps me with my anxiety. I am currently a graduate student getting my masters in adult education. My dream is to become a Tourette’s advocate and I see my music as way I can reach that dream. I want to show others that suffer from any sort of condition that your condition does not define you and to never let your condition, or anyone tell you or stop you from achieving your dreams. You can do anything you set your mind to. I don’t let my Tourette’s stop me from living my life the I want to. I see it as an opportunity to educate others and show people that there’s a meaning to life. To those reading this and to those listening to my music, thank you so much for your support and I hope this message can reach out to people in need.

 

Integrating CBIT with the DNA-V Model to Address Tics and Co-morbidities in Treatment

Dr. Kenneth Phelps

Sunday 11:30am - 12:45pm

Approximately 90% of people living with Tourette Syndrome or another Tic Disorder also struggle with a myriad of other mental health diagnoses (ADHD, OCD, depression, anxiety). This leaves front line clinicians searching for ways to integrate our evidence based treatments. This presentation would identify strategies for finding a common language between Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), specifically the DNA-V model used for adolescents (Discoverer, Noticer, Advisor, and Values). 

Kenneth W. Phelps, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychiatry and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatric Neurology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Phelps also directs outpatient child and adolescent psychiatry services and co-directs the Tic and Tourette Center of SC (TiC SC) within the Prisma Health – Midland’s system. Dr. Phelps specializes in the treatment of youth to young adults living with Tourette Syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or anxiety disorders. He serves as a national supervisor and speaker for the Tourette Association of America's Behavioral Therapy Institute (TAA BTI), educating providers on the delivery of Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT). Dr. Phelps has presented locally and nationally on the systemic implications of illness and disability, as well as how to build resilience in the face of adversity. Dr. Phelps has been published in the Journal of Contemporary Family Therapy, Journal of Intellectual and Development Disabilities, Social Indicators Research, Academic Psychiatry, and Families, Systems and Health.

 

Tourette Science Study Hour (MED)

Drs. Christine Conelea, Shannon Bennett, Joseph McGuire, Erica Greenberg

Sunday 11:30am - 12:45pm

Are you a fan of TED Talks or The Moth Radio Hour? Are you interested in learning more about Tourette Syndrome science from the researchers doing the studies? Join us for a series of brief, TED talk style stories told by scientists in the Tourette field. They’ll share what the science of TS has taught us, give us a glimpse of their experiences doing this work, and spotlight what the future holds for their research.

 

Disorder in the Court!: Chess and Tourette's

Sophia Maier
Saturday 11:00-12:00pmNeed a break? Enjoy a Tourette-friendly chess session with Coach Sophia--an experienced chess player and teacher who is also a Touretter with coprolalia! Let the creativity flow and the pieces fall in this light-hearted workshop. I am an experienced chess teacher. If I can acquire a sufficient number of chess boards (perhaps the TAA can help out?) and a chess instruction board, young people can take a break from the conference presentations to learn some chess strategy from a Touretter who is also a coprolaliac!

Sophia Maier is a Ph.D. student in rhetoric studies who currently teaches public speaking, rhetorical criticism, and argumentation. In terms of research, Maier specializes in disability rhetoric--especially tics. In addition to having Tourette's (with coprolalia), ADHD, and a variety of other disorders, Sophia is also an experienced chess player. In high school, Sophia actually taught chess to young people professionally. She is excited to share her passion with young people once again!

 

Take the Wheel

Noah Schlicksup & Jason Duika
Sunday 9:30am - 10:30am

We've read about and talked with people who have Tourette Syndrome and they all seem to have one thing in common: something in their life they just seem to have a knack for. Their energy is channeled into their passion and has been a positive escape from everything that they've gone through, particularly challenges stemming from TS. In this session, Noah and Jason share how finding their talents helped me fight through dark times, how you can find what drives you, and how to create an action plan with goals designed to help you pursue your passion.

Noah Schlicksup is a fifteen-year-old amateur sports broadcaster who got his start covering high school basketball in Iowa. His work gained the attention of a local sports broadcaster, and the story he produced launched Noah into the public eye. Despite being diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, and a learning disability, Noah excels at delivering play-by-play commentary and engaging in thoughtful conversations with athletes and broadcasters on his YouTube channel, Schlick Sports, and Podcast, Schlick Sports, Made in the River City. He currently covers multiple sports for Creekside High School in Florida and one day hopes to land his dream job broadcasting for the Chicago Cubs.

 

To Disclose or Not to Disclose: We have the answers

Nicky Bohm & Ziya Samy
Saturday 10:15 - 11:00am

People that have been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome may feel very alone and need to learn how to cope with their disability. Nicky Bohm (Behavior Specialist with TS) and Ziya Samy (Tween with TS) are using The Integrated Self-Advocacy ISA Curriculum. Nicky Bohm and Ziya will use real life examples to enhance the experience. We'll watch clips from “Front of the Classroom” to talk about Brad's tics and how he should deal with them and if he should partially disclose, non-disclosure, and/or full disclosure. Then we will be making our own disclosure scale. To: Disclose or Not to Disclose: We have the answers. Young people with TS can discover challenges very early in who they should tell about their condition and what to share.

 

Nicky Bohm, a behavior specialist with TS, and Ziya Samy, a tween with TS, will utilize the Integrated Self-Advoacy ISA Curriculum to assist young attendees better learn how to communicate and self-advocate. Attendees will also work with presenters to make their own disclosure scale, so that they too will have the answers on disclosing their TS.

Ziya is a 10 year old boy who loves animals, plays Xbox games, and competes in gymnastics.  He loves to hang out with his older brothers and go camping in northern Minnesota.  He was diagnosed at the age of 9 and wants others to know about TS so that he and others with TS are better understood. 

 

Managing Stress and Anxiety at School

Jen Stenger
Sunday 8:30 - 9:30am

We all know school can be stressful, and managing your TS can add additional anxiety to your schoolday. Jen Stenger, a chool counselor with TS, will share effective techniques to help you manage your school stress and anxiety and enjoy your time at school.

 

The Dos & Don’ts of Relationships, Disclosure, and Dating

Emma O’Connell & Kenneth Phelps

 

The quality of our lives is often directly related to the quality of our relationships. Whether participants are searching for a partner, thinking about whether or when to disclose their diagnoses, or wondering if their relationship is meeting their needs, this presentation has something to offer everyone. The presenters will discuss longitudinal data about what makes relationships work, address how tics and comorbid conditions can impact close relationships, and share one way of assessing social health.

Emma O'Connell is the Marketing Manager for the Tourette Association of America. She has Tourette Syndrome herself, and almost all of her hobbies revolve around advocating for the reduction of negative stigma and increase of awareness around tics. Emma has been creating content on YouTube for about a decade surrounding Tourette syndrome and its comorbidities. She is always passionate about advocacy and sometimes passionate about nacho cheese.

 

Kenneth W. Phelps, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychiatry and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatric Neurology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Phelps also directs outpatient child and adolescent psychiatry services and co-directs the Tic and Tourette Center of SC (TiC SC) within the Prisma Health – Midland’s system. Dr. Phelps specializes in the treatment of youth to young adults living with Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or anxiety disorders. He serves as a national supervisor and speaker for the Tourette Association of America's Behavioral Therapy Institute (TAA BTI), educating providers on the delivery of Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT). Dr. Phelps has presented locally and nationally on the systemic implications of illness and disability, as well as how to build resilience in the face of adversity. Dr. Phelps has been published in the Journal of Contemporary Family Therapy, Journal of Intellectual and Development Disabilities, Social Indicators Research, Academic Psychiatry, and Families, Systems and Health.

 

Federal Protection and IEP/504 Eligibility Laws Simplified

Kathy Giordano

Saturday 10:30am - 12:00pm

Too often parents are misinformed or unaware of the Federal laws regarding IEP, 504 eligibility and discipline rights for students with Tourette Syndrome. This leads to inappropriate denial of IEP/504 Plans and discipline issues. This session will focus on critical laws for students with Tourette Syndrome which are too often misunderstood by parents and school personnel. I have spent the past 30 years supporting parents of children with Tourette. During 2021, I researched and wrote documents regarding federal laws specific to discipline and IEP's. I will share DOE quotes along with easily understood language.

Kathy Giordano was the national Tourette Association's Education Specialist from 2003-2020. She has a background in teaching Grade 7-12 English and was the part-time Coordinator for The Tourette Education & Support program from 1995 to 2014 at The Advocacy Center in Rochester, NY. Additionally, Kathy owned and operated Tourette Plus, which provided educational and behavioral consultant services to school districts and human service agencies. For over thirty years, she has presented internationally regarding Tourette Syndrome, Functional Behavioral Assessments and positive/proactive behavioral management plans. Kathy wrote a chapter entitled, Tourette in the Classroom: Support and Guidance on Education Issues for Clinicians, chapter 8 (pp. 155-176) in the book, The Clinicians Guide to Treatment and Management of Youth with Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders (Academic Press 2018), J. McGuire, T. Murphy, J. Piacentini, E. Storch, eds. Co-author of the article, The Impact of Tourette Syndrome on School Measures in a Nationally Representative Sample, in Journal of Developmental & Pediatrics, 39(4): 335-342 (May 2018) (Claussen, A.H.; Bitsko, R.H.; Holbrook, J.R.; Bloomfield, J.; Giordano, K.)

 

Conference Activities

Friday Night Kick-off Party

Friday Night : 6pm - 9pm

It’s our 50th Anniversary, and that deserves a party!  Join us as we kick start our Conference with an opportunity to connect with fellow attendees, jam and celebrate.  With Tom White, Amanda Talty, and more!

 

Kids’ Field Trip to Leonardo’s Basement (Youth Only)

Saturday 2:00PM - 5:30PM

 

The Youth Track includes a trip to Leonardo’s Basement, a fantastic and fun STEAM workshop.   Children ages 6+ find informal and playful environments at Leonardo’s Basement where curiosity, imagination and experimentation are encouraged; where creativity goes hand-in-hand with problem solving; where taking risks is a valued tool for learning and developing self-confidence and where personal responsibility is a central element to communication and teamwork.  Read more about Leonardo’s Basement here: Leonardo's Basement

 

TS Goes to the Movies

6:30 – Fantastic Beasts

7:30 – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Join us for private screenings of current releases.  Registrants can opt to obtain their free tickets as part of registration.

 

Film Screening

Friday 4:30pm

“Twitch & Shout” with filmmaker Lowell Handler

For those arriving early, be sure to join us for a special screening of the 1995 emmy-nominated PBS documentary Twitch & Shout, an important piece of TS history, and of National Conference history!

 

Twitch and Shout not only sheds light on the nature of TS, it also examines the way society all too often heaps scorn and abuse on those who stray, however involuntarily, outside the limits of conventional behavior.  Join us as we look back on this documentary, filmed 20 years ago largely at National Conference, and stay for a talkback session with filmmaker and narrator Lowell Handler.

Find out more about Lowell's book of the same name here.  Learn more about Lowell Handler himself here.

Evening Reception (adults only)

8pm –

Relax and mingle after a long day of conference sessions at this adults-only reception, featuring a performance by operatic baritone Jason Duika.