Summer 2009 Vol 3, Issue 1
  Bonne Nouvelle
Your "Good News" from TSA of Texas

TSA of TX:  Helping Children and Changing Lives 

Tourette's syndrome is a neurobehavioral (brain-based) movement disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics.  Beginning in childhood, it causes those affected to make movements and noises they cannot control.  Additionally, many are plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional behavior and other disorders.  Although medication may help control the symptoms, as of yet there is no cure.  TSA of Texas, one of the largest chapters in the country, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  We directly assist Texas area families and children in crisis, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

The TSA of Texas Community -- Join Us!

Cindy SacksBy Cindy Sacks, TSA of Texas Staff
 
     I discovered the TSA of Texas community in Houston about twelve years ago.  My two sons had been diagnosed with TS several years prior, and we were seeing the doctor and therapist regularly.  Nonetheless, at times I still felt alone, confused and unsure.  I muddled though ARDs, searched in vain for helpful information, and struggled to explain TS to family, friends, teachers, and even to my sons themselves.  At our therapist's repeated urging, I finally attended a TS support group meeting.  What a life-changing experience for us all!  
     At the meeting, I found a group of parents dealing with the same issues as we were - from tics to obsessive compulsive disorder to teachers who insisted this was all a sham.  I met Sheryl Kadmon, TSA of Texas Executive Director, and suddenly had an ally at our ARDs - a thoroughly knowledgeable ally who knew how to cut to the chase and get my kids what they needed and deserved.    Additionally, I met a supportive group of people, full of empathy and understanding, willing to share their insight and their errors - as well as a laugh, a hug or a shoulder to cry on. Adult meetings turned into family swim parties, outings and sleepovers for the kids, and my boys finally had a social group!  As for me, I am happy to report that many of the people I met at that very first meeting are still among some of my dearest friends.  
     And this is why I invite you to be a part of the TSA of Texas community, whether through monthly support group meetings, the amazing du Ballon Rouge children's camping weekend, or other free events like summer pool parties, November Museum Day visits, baseball games or Brad Cohen's recent appearance in Houston.  Fundraising events like our January gala or October golf tournament are also fun ways to meet other families dealing with TS while helping raise money for a good cause.  TSA of Texas wants to provide you with information, support, camaraderie, knowledge and more.  Communicate with your support group leaders or with the TSA of Texas office to let us know what you need or to share your ideas for other fun community activities.  There truly is strength in knowledge and strength in numbers, so join us today!
In This Issue
Join the TSA of Texas Community
Texas Support Groups
Save These Dates!
Kids Enjoy du Ballon Rouge
Tics, Tourettes and ADHD
Recent Amendment to ADA
Important Changes to IDEA
Emmy Award Winning Documentary on HBO
Brain Imaging Research Studies
San Antonio: Insider's View of TS
Houston: Brad Cohen
Support Group Spotlight
Update Your Kroger Card
TSA Liaison Opportunities
Tee-Off for Tourette
TSA Summer Writing Campaign
Thank You Supporters!
A Story of Giving: Public Auto Sales
"Bonne Nouvelle"
Join our Mailing List!
Texas Hotlines
Houston:  281-238-8096
Toll Free:  866-894-8686
Emergency Pager: 800-209-0796
Quick Links
Texas Support Groups
TSA of Texas has support groups in Austin, Channelview, Dallas, Fort Worth, East Texas/Golden Triangle, Katy, North Houston and San AntonioLearn More>>To start a support group in your area, please contact us toll free at 866-894-8686.   

Save These Dates!

  • July/August - Summer Fun parties throughout Texas.  Watch for details in your area at www.tourettetexas.org.
  •           Austin - Pool Party on July 31
  •           Dallas/North Texas - August 9 at Main Event
  •           East Texas - watch www.tourettetexas.org
  •           Fort Worth - Pool Party on July 18
  •           Houston/Katy - Pool Party on August 8
  •           San Antonio - Pool Party on July 11

 

  • September/October - Back to School In-Service Programs throughout Texas by Sheryl Kadmon, TSA of Texas Executive Director.  Watch for details in your area at www.tourettetexas.org.
  •           Austin - October 6
  •           Dallas/North Texas - September 12
  •           East Texas/Golden Triangle - October 11
  •           Fort Worth - September 12 
  •           Katy - September 9
  •           San Antonio - September 1

 

  • September 8, 2009 - Austin will hold its first "Adults with TS" meeting at 7:00 pm at Mangia Pizza on Guadalupe.  Please contact Shelley to RSVP or for more information.
  • October 10, 2009 - The 8th Annual Run/Walk to Cure Huntington's Disease presented by HCSS is scheduled to start at 8:30 am and 9:00 am in Oyster Creek Park, Sugar Land, TX.  Huntington's disease (HD) is a hereditary brain disease which disrupts thinking, mood, behavior, and movement.  For more race/walk information, visit http://www.runtocurehd.com or call Alicia Palao at 713-798-3974.
  • October 19, 2009 - Tee-Off for Tourette Golf Tournament.  Click here for more information.
  • January 28, 2010 - TSA of Texas Annual Gala.  More information coming soon
  • January 29 & 30, 2010 - Sue Conners will be giving a free presentation in Dallas on TS in the classroom.  More information will be coming soon.   
Kids Enjoy du Ballon Rouge
 red balloon release at camp   
     Almost 80 kids with TS had an awesome experience at the 7th annual du Ballon Rouge Children's Camping Weekend last March!   We graciously thank the individuals and organizations whose generosity allows us to increase the confidence and success of kids with TS. 
      Here are just a few of the comments received on this year's camp:

From Parents
My son has been going to camp since 2006 and he loves every minute that he is there. He had to miss the 2008 year because he got the chicken pox the day that camp started and he was so upset. He says that camp is so much fun and he gets to spend time with kids just like him and adults that don't treat him bad or judge him. He comes home so happy after camp that I hope he can continue to come for years and years. 
 
My son Anthony has been attending camp for the last four years.  Each year is a learning experience for him in some way.  Even at 14 years old, he looks forward to camp - this proves camp is even fun for the teenagers!

From Campers
This was my first year at camp. I enjoyed it very much and I am glad that I can go to a place where I can be me and not have to worry about the stares and ugly looks of others when I am just trying to be myself.  I wish I could go to camp every weekend.
 
I love being with my friends.  I love the food there.  I love the activities they plan for us.  I wish camp was for the whole week.  Nobody there cares that you have TS, because everyone has it.
 
I think camp is fun and cool and the counselors there are great.  We have a good time and we have fun activities such as horseback riding, boat riding, fishing, petting zoo, paint balling, kick ball, basketball, arts and crafts, rock climbing, bike riding and the ZIP LINE!!!!!!!  After we our done with our activities we go back to our cabins and go to sleep.  Then we wake up go munch out on food that is out of this world because it was made by the great and awesome counselors.  The reason I am using the WE is because its not about me.  Its about everyone.  I want to be a good role model to the first timers and show them a good time.  Who knows, you might make new friends.  I did and I love it!  Help us to go back next year. 

From a Counselor
Camp is not only a fun experience for both the kids and adults that attend, but it is a time when you can really be yourself, and where there are no social limitations for anyone.
 
Watch the TS web site in early fall for dates of the 2010 du Ballon Rouge camping weekend.
Tics, Tourettes and ADHD (Part 1)

Dr. Gary BergmanBy Gary J. Bergman, M.D., F.A.A.P.

      This article is the first of a two part discussion regarding the diagnosis and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in individuals with tics and/or Tourette Syndrome.  This first article will discuss some of the issues, controversies and misunderstandings about treating children who have tics with ADHD medications. The traditional "stimulant" drugs will be discussed. In the next newsletter, some of the other medications and alternative or complimentary therapies will be reviewed.
     As a pediatrician for over 30 years, I have frequently evaluated, diagnosed and treated many children with ADHD.  I have also diagnosed many children with tics and Tourette Syndrome.  Until recently, when children were evaluated for attention and hyperactivity, they were diagnostically labeled as having either Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) respectively.  Currently, the proper designation for both is ADHD.  Then, the diagnosis is further differentiated as the predominantly "Inattentive" type, predominantly "Hyperactive/Impulsive" type or "Combined" type. 
     The treatment of ADHD in children with tics and Tourette Syndrome is widely misunderstood both by the general public and the physician community.  Many are still under the mistaken impression that the use of stimulant medications, such as the methylphenidates (ex.Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, Focalin, Metadate) and the amphetamines (ex. Dexadrine, Adderall, Vyvanse), is absolutely contraindicated in individuals with tics or Tourettes.  Additionally, this misconception is sometimes still being taught in some of our medical schools.  There is an overstated concern that these drugs will increase the severity of the tics.  One reason this misconception still exists is that years ago the FDA required such a warning based upon, what we now know, was incorrect information.
     Subsequent studies and a review of the literature revealed that, with careful monitoring and supervision, physicians could prescribe stimulants to children and adolescents with Tourette Syndrome or tics.   The presence of tics is not an absolute contraindication for treatment with stimulant medications because, in most instances, the tics will not increase.  Some experts in the field of Tourettes unofficially speak of the 1/3 rule.  That is, in children with Tourettes who are treated with stimulant medications, 1/3 of the time the tics get worse, 1/3- the tics get better and 1/3 -the tics remain the same.  In some observations, even if the tics initially worsen, if the individual remains on the medication, over time the severity of the tics often go back to baseline or even improve.
     One hypothesis is that the drugs initially "stimulate" the neurological "tic" pathways (i.e., dopamine and dopamine receptors in the brain).  However, over time, as these pathways accommodate to the drug, the tics diminish.  Another thought is that when the ADHD symptoms improve on medication, the child's self-esteem improves, stress and mental fatigue decreases, resulting in fewer tics.  Having said all this, over the years, have I treated children where their tics increased so significantly that I had to discontinue a stimulant?  The answer is yes, but rarely. 
     In summary, in most instances the stimulant medications remain the most effective medication to treat ADHD symptoms in children, adolescents and adults without having an adverse affect on their tics.  When contemplating an evaluation and possible treatment for ADHD, one must ensure that the professional being considered has the knowledge and experience with tics, Tourettes and ADHD to provide well-founded recommendations.  This will be further discussed in the next newsletter, in addition to a discussion of other medications and alternative or complimentary treatments.
    
     Please note that the views and opinions expressed above are Dr. Bergman's, not those of TSA of Texas, and are intended for informational and educational purposes only.  The information is not intended to replace professional advice from one's own physician.  With respect to treatment, you should contact your own medical provider(s).  There are no express or implied warranties or representations of any kind regarding any of the information above.  Dr. Bergman and TSA of Texas disclaims all liability of any kind for the content of any information transmitted to or received by any individual or entity in connection with such individual or entity's use of this article and does not endorse or recommend in any way any such information.
2008 Amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Kathy Giordanoby Kathy Giordano, National TSA Education Specialist
 
     On September 28, 2008 the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 was signed into law and included a conforming amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that affects the meaning of disability in Section 504. 
     This new amendment "emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA and generally shall not require extensive analysis.  .......The effect of these changes is to make it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the ADA."
     Two items below are addressed in this Amendment that may be helpful for parents of children with TS to be aware of when having their child found to be eligible for a 504 Plan.  It is important that parents know that school personnel may not be aware of these changes and it may be helpful to bring a copy of this article to the 504 meeting or to send this article to the 504 Chairperson when requesting the meeting to determine eligibility.  
 
1.      Episodic and Inconsistent Symptoms
 
     The 2008 Amendment "clarifies that an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active."
    This speaks directly to issues regarding the inconsistency and the waxing and waning of symptoms of TS. It could be helpful for parents to provide this article to the 504 committee with documentation stating how symptoms interfere with the students' access to education when symptoms are active.  Parents would need to be prepared to demonstrate that their child's symptoms "substantially limit a major life activity".
 
2.      Addition to 'Major Life Activity' List
 
      2008 Amendment has added "reading, bending and communicating" to the list of major life activities. 
     This can significantly assist parents when preparing to demonstrate the specific 'Major Life Activity' that is impacting their child's life and makes the student eligible for a 504 Plan.  As an example, many students have symptoms that interfere with reading and therefore the student would be eligible for a 504 Plan under 'reading'.  Additionally, many students have difficulties verbally (vocal tics) and/or with written communication which would make them eligible for a 504 Plan.

Important Change to IDEA - Parental Right to Revoke Consent

by Kathy Giordano, National TSA Education Specialist
 
     New regulations for the federal IDEA became effective Dec. 31, 2008. One of them dramatically impacts how parents can discontinue special education and related services:
        
        a parent's right to revoke consent for special education and related services. 
    
     Schools are required to contact parents so that they may sign a consent form that gives permission to the child's school to conduct initial evaluations and to provide special education and related services. 
     Parents have always had the right to withdraw their consent; however schools were able to contest their decision.  This amendment requires that the school abide by the parent's written decision to remove their child from special education and will not be able to challenge a parent's decision through either mediation or impartial hearing as they have been able to do in the past.
      This new regulation does not require that schools remove references to special education in a student's school records.  As in the past, parents may request that the records be amended in order to remove inaccurate or misleading information.
      It is important to note:
     1.  This does not allow a parent to selectively discontinue services.  If a parent revokes consent, all special education services will be discontinued and the child will be a regular education student.
      2.  The child will need to meet all state requirements and no accommodations for state testing will be allowed.
      3.  All the rights and protections that are provided under IDEA (discipline protection, accommodations, and modifications) will no longer apply.  This is an important consideration as behaviors that are not subject to disciplinary actions under IDEA would now be responded to in the same manner as a regular education student.  The protections that IDEA provides from suspensions and expulsions would no longer apply. 
      4.  Consent for evaluation and special education services may be re-initiated by the parent at any time.  However, the process will begin as a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the student is eligible for special education services or a 504 Plan.
     This change may be helpful for some parents who believe that the services their child is receiving are detrimental and all attempts at having the IEP changed have been unsuccessful.  
See Emmy Award Winning TS Documentary on HBO
Brenton Brister & Team     I Have Tourette's But Tourette's Doesn't Have Me received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program!   This insightful family documentary takes a candid look at the lives of more than a dozen American children who have TS. The film explores what it is like for them, what measures they are taking to control it, and the challenges they face in their efforts to be accepted into the social mainstream as 'normal' kids.  Click here to see the complete schedule of showtimes on HBO.  Click here to download a FREE Teacher's Guide.

Brain Imaging Research Studies

Johns Hopkins     Researchers are currently conducting two brain imaging studies to learn more about the roles of two brain chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome. People with OCD, people with Tourette's syndrome, people with OCD and Tourette's syndrome, and healthy people without OCD and without Tourette's syndrome, ages 18 to 70 years are needed to participate in this study performed at The Johns Hopkins University and supported by the National Institutes of Health.
     Participants will be asked to take part in 1) comprehensive physical, psychological, psychiatric, and neurological examinations, 2) positron emission tomography (PET)
scans and 3) a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.  Participants will receive compensation for participating in the study.
     To learn more contact Dr. James Brasic at 410-955-8354 or brasic@jhmi.edu, or Mr. Stephen Condouris at 410-955-8501 or scondou1@jhmi.edu.
 
Note: By contacting the investigators, you are in no way obligated to participate.
Principal Investigator: Dean F. Wong, MD, Ph.D.
IRB Protocol #s: 98-11-29-04 and 94-06-21-05
            
    NIH logo
An Insider's View of Tourette's Syndrome Presented in San Antonio
       conners 1    conners 2
 
     The May 5th meeting of the San Antonio Support Group was a special, informative event for families.  Sue Conners, M.Ed., Education Specialist for the National Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) and former middle school French teacher for 33 years, provided an "Insider's View of Tourette Syndrome."  Sue has lived with TS since age 6, but wasn't diagnosed until age 36. In her talk, Sue spoke movingly and inspiringly, both as an educator and as someone living with the disorder.  Thank you, Sue, for your abundant wit, knowledge, expertise, personal insight and years of experience with TS!
    
     The information provided during Ms. Conner's presentation was supported by grant/cooperative agreement #U38 DD000343 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.   Materials were provided through the program partnership of National TSA and the CDC.
Conversation and a Movie with Brad Cohen in Houston
      Nearly 100 people attended a special appearance in Houston on April 25th by Brad Cohen, author of "Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had."  Brad spoke movingly of being a child with Tourette's, suffering ridicule, abuse and misunderstanding.  Other children, teachers, and sometimes even family members shunned Brad, but his mother's encouragement and his brother's support were key elements that kept him going. College and job hunting brought new challenges, but Brad continued to strive toward his goal to be a teacher and was rewarded when he was named Georgia's First Class Teacher of the Year.
     A spirited question and answer session was followed by a screening of the Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie of the same name, complete with popcorn and drinks.  Attendees also had a chance to have Brad sign a copy of his book. 
     Even today Brad is ejected from movie theaters and restaurants. However, nothing has ever stopped him from taking leadership roles in a variety of settings and being a role model for others. Brad's story of personal challenge and unwavering determination shows anyone can make their dreams come true - and proves the power of a positive attitude.
     The "Front of the Class" DVD is available at Hallmark stores and a free Teacher's Guide may be downloaded here.  For more information on Brad, visit his website at www.classperformance.com.  Special thanks to Memorial Hermann/HBU Wellness Center for sponsorship and providing our location for this event.  
Cohen1        cohen2       
Support Group Spotlight:  Dallas / North Texas 
Evening of Jazz Poster
 by Emily Stark, North Texas Support Group Leader
 
     The North Texas Support Group in Dallas kicked off Tourette's Syndrome Awareness Month with its first fundraiser "An Evening of Jazz - I Groove to My Own Move" on Saturday, May 16th.  At first it looked like the weather was not going to cooperate (we were plummeted with heavy thunderstorms and darkness during the afternoon), but by 6:00 pm the storms cleared away.  There was still a chance of more bad weather to come, but the forecasted storms never arrived.  Unfortunately, neither did our music goers!  The band was great and the acoustics in the R. L. Turner High School Performance Hall were fantastic.  We just wished we had more people in the seats to enjoy the show.  Luckily, we still managed to come out ahead!  Our deep appreciation to all those who supported the North Texas Evening of Jazz, and to our volunteers and helpers that night!  
     On May 19th, I met with officials from the Carrollton Farmers Branch Independent School District to begin the Texas Education Agency campaign for "Neurological Disorders in the Classroom".  The purpose of this campaign is to get TS (as well as other other neurological disorders) included as part of a study guide for Kindergarten through 12th Grade.  I am still gathering information, but will share more details as things progress.  
     On May 23rd, we held our first "Adults with TS" meeting.  We met at Luby's Cafeteria on Midway Road in Dallas.  The conversation was great and we laughed and talked for over two hours.  Any adults who would like to participate in future Adult Meetings, please contact me at edss60@msn.com and put TS Adult in the subject line.
     On June 13th, Debi Aquino hosted our "Ice Cream Social."  This family event is always a big hit.  We met at Foxboro Park (which borders Richardson and Plano).  We flew kites, played croquet, bocci and frisbee, made crafts, visited and made ice cream sundaes.  Everyone got sticky and had lots of fun!
     Join us on Sunday, August 9th, for our summer party at Main Event.  RSVPs required, though the event is free.  Contact me at edss60@msn.com.
Don't Forget to Update Your Kroger Plus Card Every Year
Kroger logoEvery time you shop at Kroger and use your enrolled Kroger Plus Card, Kroger will contribute a percentage of your eligible purchases to TSA of Texas through the Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Donation fund.  Your Kroger Plus Card can be linked to TSA of Texas using a special barcode at check-out.  Once your card is linked, it will be active for the remainder of the program year.  You must re-register your Kroger Plus Card each program year.  Simply print out the new TSA of Texas barcode here and give it to the cashier the next time you check-out to update your card for this year. 
TSA Liaison Opportunities

     We need you!  Please consider volunteering to become a trained liaison and help us broaden our mission to provide awareness, education and advocacy for TS!    

Educational Liaison
Train to introduce TS to teachers, school districts and more.  Please contact Barbara for more information.
 
Government Liaison
Become a trained TS advocate to help us maintain contacts with elected officials.  Please contact Emily for more information.
 
Speaker's Bureau
Train to speak knowledgeably and effectively to groups about TS.  Please contact Emily or Barbara for more information.
 
Youth Ambassador Program
This program is specifically designed to train kids and teens to talk about TS.  Training and support provided through National TSA.  Please contact Cindy for more information.
Save the Date for Tee-Off for Tourette

     The 15th Tee-Off for Tourette Charity Golf Event will be held Monday, October 19, 2009 at The Woodlands Country Club Arnold Palmer Signature Course.  Pre-registered and pre-paid golfers will receive 2 tickets to attend any single day at the Champions Tour Administaff Small Business Classic, played on October 16-18, 2009 at The Woodlands Country Club Tournament Course.  For more information on the tournament, sponsorships, or to donate auction items and door prizes, please contact Daryl or Barbara Brister, Tee-Off for Tourette Chairpersons, at darbar4@comcast.net or (281)-395-5392.  And if you are interested in hotel accommodations for Sunday, Oct. 18 or Monday, Oct. 19 at a discounted rate, please let us know as soon as possible so we can ensure that enough rooms will be reserved.                                              

TSA Summer Writing Campaign - You Make a Difference!

     National TSA is looking for information on YOUR experiences.  This information will be used to make sure the appropriate federal agencies know what they should about TS when implementing new laws.  The more input we receive from you, the more specific our comments and recommendations can be.  Please let us hear from you on three important issues:
 
Mental Health Parity
Under a new law, insurance providers must offer equal physical and mental health benefits.  Although TS is an inherited, neurobehavioral disorder, it has historically been classified as a mental health disorder in the reference lists used by many insurers.  If you have experienced any  situations where TS treatments have been denied insurance coverage, or situations where you were provided a lesser benefit than for a physical health issue, please share them with us.  This will help TSA make specific comments on how the new regulations to implement this law should be written.   
 
Social Security
National TSA continues to lobby the Social Security Administration to add TS to its list of "compassionate allowance" conditions.  This action would likely improve the prospects of individuals who apply for Social Security disability benefits because their TS symptoms are so severe they cannot work or hold a job.  If you or someone you know has attempted to apply for such benefits, but has been denied or encountered major obstacles during the application process, please share those experiences with us.    
 
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
This new law prohibits health insurers and employers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of genetic information gathered during clinical trials or through other methods.  This would include denying coverage or charging higher premiums.  If you or your family have encountered any such discrimination related to TS, or if you have general thoughts about what protections you expect GINA to provide, please share those with us.  
 
Please send your letters directly to the addresses provided below:
 
Elridge Proctor
Vice President of Public Policy
1301 K Street NW, Suite 600 East Tower
Washington DC 20009
Facsimile 202-408-3260
 
National Tourette Syndrome Association
Attn:  Public Policy Subject (i.e.  Mental Health Parity)
42-40 Bell Blvd. Suite 205
Bayside, NY 11361-2820
Facsimile 718-279-9596
Thank You to our Supporters!   
     Our deepest thanks to all of the individuals and organizations that allow us to continue our mission of education, support, advocacy and direct client services.  Your generosity truly make a difference in the lives of children and families struggling with the challenges of Tourette's syndrome.  
 
Marcie Kirkpatrick Lipsitz and Melvin Lipsitz,
   Underwriters for the North Texas Evening of Jazz
Mark Adams
Amir Ansari/Vintage Lounge
Anonymous
Deborah and Victor Aquino
Mr. and Mrs. Jude A. Armstrong Jr.
Andrea Bordelon
Suesan and Daniel Creacy
Irene Fincher
Shari Gary and Bruce Wasinger
Dylan Gautreaux/CrossFit FX TX
Stacy and Timothy Gayan
Walter C. Gray, Jr.
William L. Grissom Jr. Family Trust
Mary and Jim Harris
Mr. and Mrs. George Helmstetter
Debbie and Michael Jones
Sheryl Kadmon
Sherri and Tom Kingsley
David Lewis/DSL Properties
Genny and Chris Mantzuranis
Maria Martinez
Shelley and Steve Matcha
Mark Mathews/State Farm Insurance
Brenda McClain
Ryan McCuller/Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Deborah and Richard McKim
Robin Morse
Marcy Norton
Rita Norton
Suzanne and Ed Pellegrini
Theresa and Bill Powell
Marlene and Dr. Anthony Riela
Cindy Sacks
Lynette and Matt Schnitzius
Pat Schnitzius
Karen and Daniel Sell
Rick Sperandio
Joe Sims/Joe Sims and Associates
Chris Spicer
Emily and Ron Stark
Greg Steiner
Evelin Tager
Diann Taylor
Connie Williams

Lakeside Country Club Charitable Bingo
Public Auto Sales
Van Kampen Investments 
 
A Story of Giving:  Thank You to Public Auto Sales in Dallas
jar of money     Everyone in the Public Auto Sales office in Dallas always gives up something for Lent.  This past year they decided to give up cursing and agreed that if you slipped up, you would pay the "Lent Jar" 50 cents per word.  Knowing the difficulty of this challenge, one employee even decided to pay $5 in advance this year!   It was also decided that the amount collected in the Lent Jar would be donated to TSA of Texas.  After hearing this, many employees donated extra to the jar even if they did not slip up.  At the end of Lent, they had collected over $100 for TSA of Texas!  Our sincere thanks to Alba Heston and all of the employees at Public Auto Sales for your generosity.  It is much appreciated and we will make sure every penny is put to good use! 
"Bonne Nouvelle"
Greg DominguezColten Balentine of San Angelo (age 17) graduated from Central High School and has been accepted to Tulsa Welding School in Oklahoma to pursue a Master Welder Program.  He received a $1500 scholarship from the Tom Green County Shooting Sports Club.  Barbara Brister, Katy TS Support Group Co-Leader and Tee Off for Tourette Golf Co-Chair, was recently honored with the Community Angel award from Houston Woman Magazine.  Lauren Buffolano of Houston graduated from Dulles High School.  She is an accomplished photographer and has been accepted at The Art Institute of Houston for the fall.  Edouard-Olivier Chaput of Montreal (age 12) will begin his first year of high school next September.  His proud mom Ginette, who works for the Association Quebecoise du Syndrome de la Tourette, thanks him for being the great son he is.  Greg Dominguez (age 17) has done an outstanding job in his Varsity ROTC Drill Team at Madison High.  His team placed in the Top Ten in 2 national competitions.  Greg also placed 9th nationally in the Tandem competition.  Sarinna Garcia (age 17) Sarinna Garciagraduated from GP High School with a 3.2 GPA.  She is also a great tumbler and was captain of her varsity cheerleading squad.  Jarred Krumm successfully completed 1 years of college at Alvin Community College and was just accepted into the ACC Police Academy.  Jonathan Lang of San Antonio (age 12) received an A average in all of his classes for the 6th grade.  Jonathan also swims on the AAAA swim team.  Chase Matcha of Round Rock (age 8) was just accepted into the Talented and Gifted program at his school.  Colton Matcha of Round Rock (age 11) received straight As and was commended on all 3 TAKS tests he took this school year.  Connor Matcha of Round Rock (age 8) worked hard to improve his reading by more than two grade levels this school year.  Even though he has dyslexia, this soon-to-be third grader is already reading on a fourth grade level.  Garrick Nichols of Austin (age 12) was recently accepted into the National Junior Honor Society at the Kealing Magnet School.  Rachel of Plano was one question away from a perfect score on her 4th grade TAKS test.  Kaleb Ronning of Santa Fe, Texas (age 10) scored 95 on his math TAKS test and 97 on his reading TAKS test.  Landon Rosenbrock of Port Lavaca (age 13) received commended performance on his math TAKS test and also received a first place medal for a solo he sang.  Trish Rubio of San Antonio won first place for her cream cheese sugar cookies at the First Annual Bake-Off for the Methodist Healthcare System Office.  Co-Editor Cindy recently stuffed herself with Trish's cookies -- they are fabulous!  Meghan Scott (age 14) was just inducted into the National Junior Honor Society and is also a member of the Varsity Choir.  Alex Taylor of Garland (age 14) successfully completed his middle school years at a gifted and talented magnet school.  He was also recently confirmed in the Episcopal Church.  Austin Weber of Katy (age 13) was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society on May 20. It capped a year in which he competed on the football, basketball, track and golf teams at WoodCreek Junior High.  Austin's dad, Rick Weber, recently completed a book called Pink Lips and Fingertips and is also published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Golf BookDaniel Werner of Austin (age 11) was recently the "game winner" for his Little League team. Not only did he bring in the tying run with a great hit to the outfield, but he scored the winning run with only minutes left in the game. After the game, all of the other players were chanting his name and the coach gave him the game ball.  
 
Congratulations to all of these hard working superstars!  
    
     Please send us your "Bonne Nouvelle!"  Has your child received straight A's?  Recently graduated from college?  Are you, as a person with TS, successfully juggling home and family?  We would love to hear about your "good news" for future issues.  Please send your information to TouretteTexas@aol.com.
Physician Referral List
TSA of Texas maintains a list of Texas physicians who are experienced with TS.  To receive a PRL for your area, please email TouretteTexas@aol.com with your city location.  We are also seeking to expand our list, particularly in smaller cities, so if you have a physician who does a great job dealing with TS, please email us his or her contact information.  PHYSICIANS:  if you are interested in learning more about TS or being considered for our PRL, please contact Sheryl Kadmon, Executive Director, at 281-238-8096 or 866-896-8484.
How Can TSA of Texas Help You?
TSA of Texas is here to assist families dealing with TS throughout the state.  We offer:
  • EDUCATIONAL PRESENTATIONS for physicians, school districts, students, parents and the community.   
  • INFORMATION DISSEMINATION via packets, brochures and telephone conversations.  
  • LIBRARY of DVDs, videotapes and books. 
  • REFERRAL to physicians, therapists, community services, and state and county agencies.  
  • ADVOCACY through assistance with ARDs, IEP, 504 or OHI classification.  
  • SUPPORT GROUPS throughout the state.  
  • CHILDREN'S WEEKEND camping program "du Ballon Rouge."
  • FAMILY ACTIVITIES such as baseball games, museum visits, swim parties, and more. 
  • SPECIAL FUNDING sources such as the Kenneth H. Davis Family Assistance Fund and Fund A Need. 
  • ...and much, much MORE! 

Call TSA of Texas at 281-238-8096 (toll-free 1-866-894-8686) or email TouretteTexas@aol.com for more information.  If you have needs other than those listed above, please let us know and we will do our best to help. 

How Can You Help TSA of Texas? 

TSA of Texas funds its services through private donations, fundraising events and grant support.  We receive no state or federal funding.  You can help TSA of Texas and support Texas families dealing with TS by:

  • ATTENDING our fundraising events (e.g., our major Gala held each January and our Tee-Off for Tourette in October)
  • DONATING items or gift certificates for Silent Auction at Gala or Tee-Off 
  • ORDERING a tribute card sent in honor of someone's special event,  
  • CONTRIBUTING via cash, check or credit card to our general fund or a support group of your choice,
  • LINKING your Randall's Remarkable Card to charity #2493, or 
  • REQUESTING a Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor bar code to link to your Kroger Share card..

All donations are totally tax deductible.  Learn More>>  

Bonne Nouvelle is published quarterly by TSA of Texas.  It is edited by Shelley Matcha and Cindy Sacks.