By Mandi Enger
Nevada State College was proud to partner with the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to host an on-campus Tourette syndrome (TS) lecture on Monday, Feb. 11.
Held in the Marydean Martin Library, the presentation titled Tourette Syndrome: In the Classroom and School, focused on the symptoms of TS, co-occurring conditions, and educational considerations for students affected by the syndrome.
Topics of discussion included personal management techniques for families and children as well as classroom strategies that can create the best possible learning environments for students with TS.
TS is often misunderstood by the public and even many professionals in both the education and medical fields, said Shirli Brautbar, assistant professor of history at NSC. This lecture was a step in the direction of providing our campus and community with up-to-date information.
Led by Judy Peterson, a nationally recognized expert in the field of TS, the event welcomed education and nursing students and faculty from NSC, local K-12 educators, school nurses, psychologists, and social workers.
Peterson is a mother of an adult son with TS. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Speech Communications and English-Language Arts and is a former high school teacher. She previously taught at Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado. In November 2000, Peterson received the National Tourette Syndrome Distinguished Educator Award.
An advocate of expanding TS education and peer training in schools, Peterson shared her family’s experiences in learning about TS when her son was diagnosed at the age of 9. According to Peterson, Tourette syndrome is more common that once thought it is likely that at least one child in every school has TS.
My goal is for kids with TS to be able to verbal about it, she stated during the presentation. It’s important to teach your child how to talk about his own symptoms and how he feels about himself. Open communication is the best thing we can do for our kids.
The speaking event was organized by Brautbar in collaboration with Roberta Kaufman, assistant professor of education. The event was made possible through a CDC grant designed to raise TS awareness in coordination with the TSA.