Spring 2011Vol 5, Issue 1

Bonne Nouvelle

Your "Good News" from TSA of Texas

TSA of TX:  Helping Children and Changing Lives 

     Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a chronic neurobehavioral movement disorder that begins in childhood.  Those affected make motor movements and vocalizations they cannot control.  Additionally, many are plagued by obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dysgraphia and behavioral issues.  Today's estimates indicate up to 3 percent (1 in 33) of all children may have Tourette's syndrome.  In spite of its high incidence, TS continues to be greatly misunderstood.  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. 

 A Message from the President
Daryl Brister     Well, it's hard to believe 2010 has been closed and the yearbook put on the shelf. For the TSA of Texas, 2010 was a tough year financially. Given the greatly decreased donations in 2009 and into 2010, we found ourselves having to manage the money in new ways.  Thankfully, we were able to keep our budget balanced without cutting services to our families.  So a big thank you to all who were able to give of your time and money to help out this organization.

     2011 has started off well:

  • Our January Gala was one of our best over the last several years.
  • We've added a couple of new support groups across the state, so that means we'll be able to help more families struggling with TS.
  • Our spring TS camp, du Ballon Rouge camping program, is almost here, so everyone is making preparations to have a great and fun filled weekend up in the hill country of Burton, Texas.

     I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize a very long time friend of the TSA of Texas family. Randy Waldman, who has been a member of the TSA of Texas Executive Board as its treasurer, has stepped down after 23 years of service. Randy has given more hours than my calculator can add up. Words are hard to find to tell of all that he has done to help grow the organization from meeting in a home and a small support group to supporting families across the whole state of Texas. Randy - we love you and can't thank you enough for your giving to all of us and letting us be a part of your life.

     I would also like to let you all know that we have two new Executive Board members who have recently been appointed by the board. A big Texas welcome to Mrs. Debby Posso and Mrs. Shelley Matcha. Debby and Shelley are both long time friends of TSA of Texas and they both have a Texas size heart for our children with TS. Both have already spent countless hours volunteering their time in this organization and helping to make a difference in our children's lives. Debby and Shelley both bring their skills and abilities to bear on the efforts we are driving to help us to grow our organization. Thanks to Debby and Shelley for stepping up to help us with the challenges we have ahead.

     Well, as I close, I just wanted to let you know that we look forward to working with our TS families across this great state of ours and to that end, we have launched a new TSA of Texas website (see article below) and hope that everyone will make a visit to the new site and let us know what you think. I'll end by saying, out of the two major fund raisers we have each year, our Gala is in the books, but our Tee-Off for Tourette Golf Charity Event will be coming up on October 17, 2011. Please see the announcement below and our golf page on the new website and tell your family and friends to come out and play or make a donation to help support us. We are looking for sponsorships, so if you can help us, please pass on the golf information and I hope to see some of you at the golf event in October.


Until next time,



President of TSA of Texas

In This Issue
A Message from the President
New Website
Du Ballon Rouge
Alley Theatre Outings for Adults
Help Your Procrastinator
American Idol's James Durbin
2011 Gala Sends 100 Kids to Camp
Thank You Supporters!
Nourishment Author Melissa Binstock
Help Find the Genes for TS
Brain Imaging Research Studies
A Poem About Life with TS
"Bonne Nouvelle"
Join our Mailing List!
Texas Hotlines
Houston:  281-238-8096
Toll Free:  866-894-8686
Emergency Pager: 800-209-0796
Quick Links

Find us on Facebook 

Texas Support Groups
TSA of Texas has support groups in AustinDallas, Fort Worth, East Texas/Golden Triangle, Gulf Coast, Katy, Lubbock, North Houston and San AntonioLearn More>>To start a support group in your area, please contact us toll free at 866-894-8686.   
Has TSA of Texas Helped You or Your Family?

     We would love to hear it from you!  If you could take a few moments of your time to let us know how TSA of Texas has impacted you or your family, we would be very grateful.  Please send your story to tourettetexas@aol.com.

Save the Date!
  • March 20, 2011- Application deadline for du Ballon Rouge 2011.
  • March 25 - 27, 2011 - TSA of Texas' annual children's camping weekend, du Ballon Rouge.  See article below for more information.
  • April 2, 2011- Adult Theatre Outing to see Amadeus at 2:30 pm at the Alley Theatre in Houston.  RSVP now to reserve your FREE tickets.  See article below for more information. 
  • May 15 - June 15, 2011 - National TSA Awareness Month.  What will you do to help others understand Tourette's syndrome?  Please send your ideas to tourettetexas@aol.com
  • May 21, 2011 - Adult Theatre Outing to see Pygmalion at 2:30 at the Alley Theatre in Houston.  RSVP to reserve your FREE tickets now.  See article below for more information. 
  • July - August. 2011 - TSA of Texas Summer Swim Parties throughout the State.  More information coming soon. 
  • October 17, 2011- 17th Annual Tee-Off for Tourette Charity Golf Event.  See below for more information.
Check Out Our New Website

     Our new site is streamlined to make it easier to navigate and easier to access important information.  Its faster, more intuitive and a whole lot nicer to look at!  Take a look around and let us know what you think.  If you run into any problems, please email tourettetexas@aol.com.




Du Ballon Rouge Children's Camping Weekend  


              Red Balloon     

     Send your wish, by red balloon, into a clear, blue Texas sky with hopes that it will come true - anything is possible at du Ballon Rouge!

     Du Ballon Rouge (dBR) is a unique time and place.  Held annually in the hill country of Texas, dBR provides a setting for children with Tourette's syndrome to experience events and activities that can change the quality and outcome of their life.  "To enrich the lives of children diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, through a unique outdoor experience that offers acceptance, provides hope, promotes discovery, and creates the opportunity to establish relationships with others afflicted by TS" - that's our mission!

  • Acceptance.  Campers can relax, have fun, and not be concerned about hiding their symptoms.  They feel accepted because of who they are and not excluded because of their disorder.
  • Hope.  Campers express hope, through challenging activities, interaction with others, and a supportive staff, that their lives can be successful and fun.
  • Discovery.  Campers are exposed to activities and situations they may not have previously experienced.  Smiles of accomplishment and understanding fill the weekend as campers discover unknown talents and interests. 
  • Relationships.  The weekend provides the setting for participants to make new friends.  New campers may be shy and uncomfortable with their new surroundings.  However, new friendships can begin to develop immediately and continue to grow throughout the weekend.  Many campers have shared similar experiences, remained in contact, and do things together once the weekend has ended.

The Program

     The program, founded in 2003, is designed for children between the ages of 6 and 18 whose primary diagnosis is Tourette's syndrome (TS).  Many participants exhibit other TS related conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD).  We are able to accommodate the needs of most campers, but the weekend outing has some limitations in accepting children whose needs are beyond the scope of its resources.  Campers must be able to handle daily routines such as dressing and personal hygiene.

     Campers are assigned to cabins based on their age and gender.  They experience activities both as a cabin and as a group.  Weekend activities include fishing, horseback riding, canoeing, arts and crafts, ropes challenge course, swimming, and team sports.  The environment is fun, safe, and positive, and campers, while challenged to reach their individual potential, are not required to participate. 


The Facility

     DBR is held at Camp For All, a unique camping and retreat facility located in Burton, Texas, which is about 90 miles from Houston.  Camp For All (CFA) works together with many special needs groups in providing programs that are "recreational, therapeutic, and educational". The CFA staff is professionally trained and is compassionate and supportive of each special needs group.  You may access their website, www.campforall.org, for more information.


Counselors and DBR Staff

     The staff of dBR are volunteers dedicated to providing the best experience for our campers.  Our staff includes adults with Tourette's syndrome, outdoor experience, and medical training.  The majority of the staff attended the first four years of dBR.  Staff members attend training sessions and are prepared for the weekend.  With proper executed parental authorization (where required), the medical personnel will handle all medications and medical issues for campers.


Du Ballon Rouge 2011

     The 9th Annual du Ballon Rouge Weekend will be held Friday, March 25 through Sunday, March 27, 2011. Activities for campers begin with a campfire on Friday evening and conclude with our Red Balloon Ceremony on Sunday morning.  

     Click here for 2011 application forms.  ALL campers - including returning campers - must complete new application forms each year.  New campers are accepted on a first come - first served basis.  All required forms must be received and approved by our medical staff before an invitation is made.  CAMP APPLICATIONS CLOSE 3/20.  PLEASE RESERVE YOUR CHILD'S PLACE NOW! 


     Currently, thanks to support from our wonderful donors, there is no cost for campers to attend dBR.  Transportation, to and from the Camp For All facility, is not provided for campers.


Should you wish to help sponsor a child at camp, please send $100.00 for a virtual red balloon to:       

Du Ballon Rouge

                        c/o TSA of Texas

                        3919 River Forest Drive

                        Richmond, TX  77406


All donations are tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.

Alley Theatre Outings for Adults

     TSA of Texas has a limited amount of FREE tickets available for the next two AlleyWays plays, Amadeus and Pygmalion.  Tickets are first come, first served, so reserve yours now (limit of 2 per person at this time).  After the performance, we generally grab some pizza and discuss what we've seen.  Reserve your tickets for either play - or for both!


Please note that these outings are for ADULTS ONLY.


 Please arrive no later than 2:15pm for each play.


Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX  77002


A Tale of Obsession

Saturday, April 2nd, 2:30 pm

Peter Shaffer's Tony Award-winning play is a riveting tale of obsession and vengeance. Loosely based on the lives of Viennese court composer Antonio Salieri and his young rival Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Amadeus follows a murder plot that shocks and fascinates. After committing his life to God in order to be blessed with the ability to create the world's most sublime music, Salieri believes that God graced the rebellious Mozart with greater inspired creativity. Envious, Salieri schemes to destroy Mozart and, in so doing, rebukes God. 
Profanity, violence, adult situations. Recommended for mature audiences.


Dazzling Romantic Comedy

Saturday, May 21st, 2:30 pm

A unique masterpiece, Pygmalion is one of George Bernard Shaw's most popular plays.  It is the story of phonetics professor Henry Higgins who bets that he can transform Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a lovely lady and pass her off in high society. Pygmalion is a modern myth and also a strikingly contemporary view of sexual politics and the science of romance.  The story inspired the well-known Lerner and Loewe musical My Fair Lady (1956). 


RSVP with your name, play or plays desired, cell or phone, and number of tickets desired to Cindy at TouretteTexas@aol.com.

Best Things Parents Can Do to Help the Procrastinator

by Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed.


     There are many students who put off work until the last minute. Although their reasons vary, one thing is for sure - procrastinators underestimate the time it will take to complete their work and overestimate how much time is available to do it. When procrastination impacts academics, students need parental intervention in order to change the behaviors that are limiting their success.

Procrastination was a real issue for Julie, a second grader, and her seventh grade brother, James. Their parents came to see me because the issues surrounding homework were causing a serious divide in their parent/child relationship. The suggestions I gave to the Anderson family can work for your family, too.

Tip # 1 - Establish a Start Time Routine

     The most significant problem facing Julie's family was a lack of routine. Mom and Dad had few expectations for when, where, and how homework would be done. We discussed easy ways to establish routines, including the time at which the children would start homework.

The first step in setting up a routine actually begins with an after-school break. Most students, regardless of age, need some downtime after school. About a half hour is usually sufficient time to grab a snack and relax, but it's not enough time to become overly involved in another activity. Beginning homework after this break is often a good idea for younger children. This way, if they have after-school activities, their routine is the same. They are still allowed a break following the activity, and then, homework is to begin. Older students may want flexibility, and for them, consider giving a choice of beginning homework after school, before dinner, or right after dinner.

Once you've established a start time, put it in writing, and for even more reinforcement, color code it. Visual reminders are far superior to verbal ones and also allow students to adhere to a routine more independently. Review the schedule and post it in a prominent place (the refrigerator, homework area, or desk). The Andersons found that a written schedule alone helped to take the emotion out of their requests to begin homework. Now, it was the posted schedule that conveyed the start time, not just Mom and Dad.

Tip #2 - Play Beat the Clock

Another easy and entertaining way to curb procrastination is a simple game that has been around for a long time - Beat the Clock. It works especially well for procrastinators. I encouraged Julie and James' parents to introduce the game by saying, "This game is a fun way to get homework done so that you have more time to play." They first determined how long it would take them to complete an assignment and then set the timer. They said, "If you can get this worksheet finished before the timer goes off, you earn a token. If you collect four tokens this week (Mon-Thurs) then you can trade them in for additional screen time, pizza dinner, or additional allowance." Both kids thought Beat the Clock was a great idea. It motivated them to start homework on time without argument.

Of course, each child's reward will be different. You may find that tokens and a larger reward at the end of the week do not motivate your child. Sometimes, daily rewards are more effective. Discuss this openly and then negotiate a compromise if the ideas suggested are too lofty.

Tip #3 - Try the Tolerable 10

     Timers are excellent tools for older students as well. My middle and high school students frequently lament that they just can't muster the energy to get started. Enter the Tolerable 10. By setting the timer for only 10 minutes and sitting down and getting to work for this short amount of time, these students often realize that the task isn't so overwhelming after all. They often find that once they start, they can keep on going.

     At first, you may have to set the timer for your child, but after awhile simply leave it in the study area as a visual reminder to use it independently. There are many timers available on the market, but my favorite is the Time Timer (www.timetimer.com) shown here. Julie and James liked this timer better than the traditional kitchen timer because it provides a visual depiction.

Tip # 4 - Order Assignments Easy to Hard and Then Repeat

     Some procrastinators are more than willing to start and complete their easy homework assignments, but put off the work they dread until late in the evening. For these students, a different approach to prioritizing daily assignments may be necessary. If your child has only one or two simple assignments, agree on the time at which she'll begin and insist that the work be done before anything else. Homework, typically an unpleasant task, is rewarded with free time, the pleasant task.

If your child has multiple assignments, coach her to start with a tough task followed by an easy one, and to repeat this sequence (hard, easy, hard, easy). Prompt her to label the order in which she will do the homework (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) next to the assignment in her planner. Following something particularly challenging, encourage your child to take a short break by grabbing a snack, playing with the cat, or shooting some hoops. Avoid anything with a screen, such as video games, because they tend to pull kids into another world and the momentum will be lost.


     By providing a posted schedule, an easy to hard list of tasks, and a few interesting strategies like Beat the Clock and Tolerable 10, most child will be on their way to an on-time start!


Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed., is the founder and president of Educational Connections, Inc., a comprehensive provider of educational services in Fairfax, VA and Bethesda, MD. In her new book, Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework, Dolin offers proven solutions to help the six key types of students who struggle with homework.  Learn more at anndolin.com or ectutoring.com.

American Idol Contestant James Durbin Has Tourette's
     But Tourette's does not have him!  Be sure to watch James Durbin on this season's "American Idol."  After auditioning and successfully making it past several rounds, he is now a finalist about to compete on the highly popular TV singing competition show.  The Santa Cruz rocker has wowed the judges with his passionate performances, but wowed America even more with his personal story about living with Tourette's syndrome as well as Asperger's.
     With an average of over 23 million viewers per episode and millions more who watch online, "American Idol" has created unprecedented national awareness of Tourette Syndrome through James' appearances and openness about his disorder.
     If James continues through to the final top 10 (announced March 24) then he will be part of the highly popular nationwide tour which will bring him even more success and exposure, creating extraordinary awareness and understanding about TS.  So don't forget to tune in and watch James' next performance and vote as many times as you can to help him advance to the next round!  Check out his audition below:              
James Durbin - American Idol - Season 10 -
James Durbin - American Idol - Season 10 - "You Shook Me"/"Dream On" - Audition - Feb 09, 2011 - HD

 2011 Gala Fundraiser Sends 100 Texas Kids to Camp and More

    A heart felt thank you to everyone who participated in our 2011 Gala fundraiser, Taking Wing:  Celebrating 25 Years of Helping Texans with Tourette's Syndrome.  Like all non-profit organizations, TSA of Texas has struggled in the current economy.  But thanks to all of the generous Texans who opened their hearts and their pocketbooks for our 2011 Gala fundraiser, we will be able to send 100 kids to du Ballon Rouge as well as continue all of our existing programs!  Held on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at the Houston Country Club, the evening was hosted by Honorary Chairmen Dede and Connie Weil and Co-Chairmen Dr. Shelley-Sekula-Gibbs, Robert Gibbs, Elysse Greenberg and Adam Borestky.   Honorees Renee Hawkins, Christine Hunter, R.N. and Janet Jacobs were celebrated for their many years of support and service to TSA of Texas.  Attendees were treated to a premiere screening of "Tourette's Up Close," a Cut-To-Create film by Zach Jankovic about the TSA of Texas du Ballon Rouge camping weekend for children.  After the screening, the dining room was awash in red balloons, as guests helped send children to dBR Camp by purchasing red balloons at $100 each.  Many thanks for everyone's generous support of our children!  Live auction items included a fabulous wine cellar and an adorable Shih Tzu puppy, while the silent auction featured trips, fine dining, sports memorabilia and more. 

Honoree Christine Hunter, R.N.


Honorees Janet Jacobs

& Renee Hawkins 

Honorary Chairmen

Dede and Connie Weil 
















Co-Chairmen Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs &

Robert Gibbs 

Co-Chairmen Adam Borestky & Elysse Greenberg


Live Auction Shih Tzu Puppy with New Owners - The Jankovics




Selling Red Ballons to

Send Kids to dBR Camp

Festive Table Decorations 













Many thanks to our Chairmen, Honorees, guests, sponsors, auction donors, and volunteers!

To be included in next year's invitations, please send your name and mailing address

 to TouretteTexas@aol.com.

Thank You to Our Supporters!   


     Thank you to everyone who supports TSA of Texas.  You have helped to accomplish a lot for the community we serve, and we very much respect your contributions and desire to be good stewards of your hard-earned money.  Only because of you can we continue our mission of education, support, advocacy and direct client services.  Your generosity truly makes a difference in the lives of children and families struggling with the challenges of Tourette's syndrome. 


Gala Underwriters

Renee and John Hawkins

Janet and Mark Jacobs


Gala Benefactors


Elaine and Marvy Finger

Sherrill and Kevin Garland

Sheryl and Dr. Dov Kadmon

Betsy and Hunter Nelson

Edlyn and David Pursell

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC

Sutherland Asbil & Brennan LLP


Gala Sponsors

Alvarez & Marsal

Bracewell & Giuliani LLC

Cathy and Dr. Joseph Jankovic

Stedman West Foundation

Dede and Connie Weil, Jr.


Gala Patrons

Yaell and Jo Agar

Cathy and Robert Binstock

Jyl and Keith Calcote

Sharon C. Clutter

Suesan and Daniel Creacy


Celia and Cornelius Dupre'

Michelle and Greg Elliott / Mollie and Kent Wallace

Friends of Renee Hawkins & Janet Jacobs

Friends of Janet Jacobs & Renee Hawkins

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, M.D. and Robert Gibbs

Presbyterian School 4th Grade Parents

Isla and T.R. Reckling, III


Gala Individual Underwriters

Beverly and Dan Arnold

Holly and John Brennan

Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Elliott

Hildebrand Fund

Paula and Steve Letbetter

Joan Schnitzer Levy

Barbara and Barry Lewis

The Melvin Lipsitz Family Foundation

Rosalyn and Barry Margolis

Dianne and Donnie Migl

Shirley and Bruce Stein

Phoebe and Bobby Tudor


Gala Individual Benefactors

Joan and Stanford Alexander

Susan and Jim Boone

Rose and Harry Cullen

Sue and Jerry Deutser

Nancy and Bill Drushel

Sarah and Doug Foshee

Forest Oil. Inc.

Warren Harris

Barbara and Charles Hurwitz

Karen and Mark Johnson

Joan and Marvin Kaplan

Saranne and Livingston Kosberg

Max and Rochelle Levit Family / Milton and Lee Levit Family

Rita and John Madden

Suzanne S. Miller

Carrin F. Patman

Yvonne Ward-Hughes

Erla and Harvey Zuber


Gala Individual Sponsors

Jerry Johnston Andrew

Bernice Feld

Aileen Gordon

Suzette and Evan Harrel

Paula Jarrett

Nina and Jake Kaplan

Jack Lapin

Frann C. Lichtenstein

Dr. Rita and Cookie Muthappa

Patricia and Dee Osborne

Paula and Irving Pozmantier

Joyce and Ambassador Arthur Schechter

Marilyn and Christopher Winters


Gala Individual Patrons

Tori Adams / Jim DuBose

Carmen and Bill Bagby

Marilyn Biles

Ginger and Jack Blanton

Loretta Blasser

Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Boretsky

Barbara and Daryl Brister

Dr. Ricque Brister

Jean and Dr. Gene Burke

Lydia and James Chao

Julie and Casey Doherty

Caroline and Stephen Esses

Marlene and Alan Finger

Nannette and Jerry Finger

Linda K. Finger

Patsy and Greg Fourticq

Paula and Alfred Friedlander

Lauren and Dr. Jeff Friedman

Veda and Morris Glesby

Carolyn and Carlos Hamilton, Jr., M.D.

Bernadette Heintz / Scot Jackson

Peggy and Glenn House

Dr. Joohi Jimenez-Shahed and Ernesto Jimenez

Drs. Shelena and Ayeez Lalji

Johnetta Lallinger

Maxine and Dr. Herman Lapin

Debbie and Dr. Stephen Lapin

Susan and Jack Lee

David Mathiesen

Kris McGee

Gerald Miller

Stephanie and Michael Mitzner

Lisa and Mark Morris

Nancy and Lucian Morrison

William O'Donnell

Drs. Vera Hashem and William Ondo

Rochelle and Sheldon Oster

Jay Plotkin

Deborah and Doug Posso

Nicole Postolos

Minnette Robinson

Kathleen and Dick Rogers

Regina Rogers

Leah and Dr. Josh Rotenberg

Henry Sekula

Evalyn Shea

Maria and Marion Spiers

Gail Stillwell

Dr, Amber and Marcus Stocco

Shannon and Nicholas Swyker

Allen Tanner

Jay Tarnow, M.D.

Sheryl Johnson Todd

Carey and David Walsh

Pam and Roy Weaks

Shelley and Andrew Weathers

Bobbie and Stanley Weinstein

Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff


Gala Individual Donations

Wendy and Philip Bentlif

Katherine Brady

Elizabeth and Rodger Brown

Dorothy E. Caram

Sharon and Tom Copper

Suzanne and Robert Craig

Frank Dimaria

Martha N. Erwin

Ellie Francisco

Leila Gilbert

Lea and Richard Goodman

Punkin and Walter Hecht

Helen and Donald Hodges

Grace Ison

Liz Jameson

Jennie Karotkin

Joan E Lyons

Judy and Rodney Margolis

Mary Catherine Miller

George P. Mitchell

Loretta Muilenburg

Frances Nussbaum

Ione and Robert Reder

Marlene and Dr. Anthony Riela

Deborah and Bernard Roan

Mary Rose Sekula

Donna and Harold Selke

Carol and James Tindall

Susie and Hobby VanZandt

Lisa and Barron Wallace

Joanne Wilson


Gala Fund A Need

Celia Dupre'

Linda and Dr. Michael Eisemann

Mary Frappier

Janet and Mark Jacobs

Deborah and Doug Posso


Gala Red Balloons

Katherine Amandes

Stacy and Ron Anderson

Beth and Sean Barton

Julia and Adam Besetzny

Cathy and Bob Binstock

Elysse Greenberg and Adam Boretsky

Sharon and Dr. Daniel Brener

Holly and John Brennan

Jyl and Keith Calcote

Sharon C. Clutter

Kate and Keith Cooper

Suesan and Daniel Creacy

Debra and Cle Dade

Matt Edwards

Linda and Dr. Michael Eisemann

Colleen Elliott

Sarah and Matt Fornea

Patsy and Greg Fourticq

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, M.D. and Robert Gibbs

Bailey and Simon Haidamous

Suzette Harrel

Renee and John Hawkins

Cathy Hawley

Laurie and Dr. Ace Holley

Pat Holmes

Christine and Branson Hunter

Elizabeth and Ben Jackson

Bernadette Heintz and Scot Jackson

Janet and Mark Jacobs

Cathy and Dr. Joseph Jankovic

Shirley and Trevor Jeffries

Anna and Tim Jones

Katherine and Sean Keenan

Emily and Stewart Kennedy

Jodie King

Don Kyle

Drs. Shelena and Ayeez Lalji

Angela and Gary Landowski

Maxine and Dr. Herman Lapin

Debbie and Dr. Stephen Lapin

Angie Lutz

Dr. Vivian and Doug MacDonnell

Lisa McCollam

Rene' and Dr. Brian Miles

Isabel and Chris Murphy

Dr. Rita and Cookie Muthappa

Drs. Vera Hashem and William Ondo

Jen and Dan Pickering

Rev. Rachel and Dr. James Poysky

Edlyn and David Pursell

Judith and William Pursell

Carlin and Damon Putman

Alice Rohrman

Leah and Dr. Josh Rotenberg

Kirby and Stephanie Shanks

Kevin Six

Bobbie and Barry Snowden

Richard Snowden

Trini Mendenhall Sosa and Frank Sosa

Gail Stillwell

Sheryl Johnson Todd

Sara Jane Wilson

Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff

Teri and Travis Wylie

Melinda Yee


Gala Auction Donors

Alexander's Fine Portrait Design

Alley Theatre

Auntie Pasto's

James Avery Craftsman

Lisa Avery

Avon - Jeanette Morgan

Bath Junkie - River Oaks

Carol Baumgartner

Nancy Benevides - ReMax SW

Barbie and Bill Benton

Beyond Beaute' Day Spa


Blue Bell Creameries

Jyl and Keith Calcote

Campers of the du Ballon Rouge


Charlotte's Saddlery

Cheesecake Factory

Children's Museum of Houston

Da Camera of Houston

Sandra Davis

Disney Corporation

Doubletree Hotel Houston-Downtown

El Tiempo Mexican Restaurant

The Empty Vase


Tammy Eyring

Robert Flatt

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

Fondren Five Star Kennels

Tom Forestier - Winstead

Fort Worth Sheraton Hotel & Spa

Lauren Friedman

Friends of TSA of Texas

Mary Nelle Gehle

Elysse Greenberg and Adam Boretsky

GreenScences Toys

Greenway Plaza Renaissance Hotel

Michele Hart

Homewood Suites by Hilton

Houston Astros Baseball Club

Houston Ballet

Houston Grand Opera - Anthony Freud, General Director

Houston Symphony

Houstonian Golf and Country Club

Houstonian Hotel

Christine Hunter

Cathy and Dr. Joseph Jankovic

Devin Jones - Bar None Kennels

Vicki Jones, LCSW

Sheryl Kadmon

Carmen Kamas, D.D.S.

Esta Kronberg, M.D.

La Columbe d'Or Hotel

Lady Bling Design


Le Mistral

Allison Levine / Stella and Dot

Dr. Vivian MacDonnell

Magnolia House


Mamacita's Mexican Restaurant

Man's Best Friend

Mariposa Miche

Kaye Marvins Photography

Shelley and Steve Matcha

Deborah and Richard McKim

Mercury Baroque

Messina Hof Winery and Resort

Dianne Migl

Stephanie Mitzner

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

National Oilwell Varco

Neiman Marcus Galleria Houston

Linda Noble, DVM / Tanglewood Animal Hospital

Susan Palacios

Wendy and Dr. Richard Perez

Deborah and Doug Posso

Edlyn and David Pursell

Carlin and Damon Putman

Ray's Gourmet Country

Rice Epicurean Market / Phil Cohen

Sandra and Scot Riddle

Randy Roach

Lori Robertson

The Round Top Collection

Nolan Ryan Foundation

Cindy Sacks

Saks Fifth Avenue

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, M.D.

Sensia Studio and Japanese Day Spa

Susan Slocum

Wayne Smith Jewelers

Bobbie Snowden

Sorrento Ristorante

Star Cinema Grill;

Eliza and Stuart Stedman

The Strip House

Sweetwater Country Club

Taste of Texas

Theatre Under the Stars

Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre

Debbie West

West U Fitness

Whipple Tree Farms / Dianne Gallatin

Willow House

Sara and Bob Wilson

The Woodlands Country Club - John Schoenbeck

Tammy Zegarelli


Other Donors

Houston Hash House Harriers

Mary Harris / United Way

Trish Rubio / HCA



Cindy and Thomas Adzema

Natalie and Alonso Armendariz


Tour 18 Golf Mulligans:

Regis Ferriera



Linda and Larry Blumenfeld

Marcia and Samuel Lewis

Janis and Albert Taube

Nourishment Author Melissa Binstock Holds Houston Book Signing

Melissa Binstock

     Over 200 people turned out for author Melissa Binstock's book signing on March 12 at Barnes and Noble in River Oaks, Houston.  Melissa's newly released memoir, Nourishment: Feeding My Starving Soul When My Mind and Body Betrayed Me, was published by Health Communications earlier this year.  It recounts Melissa's struggle -- as well as her ability to thrive -- in the face of Tourette's syndrome and numerous psychological disorders including OCD, ADHD, dyslexia, and anorexia.  Melissa was the featured speaker at the Tourette Syndrome Assocation of Texas 2010 Gala, sharing her moving story and inspirational attitude.  To find out more about Nourishment, visit www.nourishmentthebook.com.  You can purchase the book at your local Barnes and Noble and Borders bookstores, or online at www.barnesandnoble.com, www.borders.com or www.Amazon.com.                                     


Help Find the Genes for TS
The Tourette Syndrome Association International Consortium for Genetics (TSAICG) has identified several chromosomes that may contain genes for TS.  The TSAICG is collaborating with the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS) and TSA to continue genetic studies and confirm these findings.  But to do so,

We need to enroll 3,000 people who have TS.

Taking part in the study involves answering questions about your tics and related symptoms.  Or, if you are the parent of a youth with TS who is 6 to 17 years old, answering questions about your child's symptoms.  If your answers to these questions qualify you for the second part of the study, you will be asked to donate a sample of blood for genetic analyses. 

To learn more about this research, please visit  www.findTSgenes.org.

Brenton Brister & Team

Brain Imaging Research Studies
We are currently conducting two brain imaging studies to learn more about the roles of two brain chemicals (dopamine and serotonin) in Tourette's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

People with Tourette's syndrome (TS), people with TS and OCD, people with OCD, and healthy people without OCD and without TS, ages 18 to 70 years are needed to participate in brain
imaging research studies 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 their time. Travel expenses to Baltimore, MD and accommodations will be covered. 

To learn more and have your questions answered, contact: Dr. James Brasic at 410-955-8354, Dr. Vanessa Raymont at 410-955-0255  or Mr. Stephen Condouris at 410-955-8501
Note: By contacting the investigators, you are in no way obligated to participate.

Principal Investigator: Dean F. Wong, M.D., Ph.D.
JHM IRB Protocols #s: 98-11-29-04 and 94-06-21--05                             


In Thinking Back About My Life....Tourette's

a poem by Doug Soderstrom


In thinking back

about all those days

when so many of the

boys and girls of my youth

would make fun of me

for no other reason

than the fact that 

I was somehow different

that I was perhaps crazy. 


At the time I didn't know 

that I had a neurological disorder

referred to as Tourette's Syndrome

in fact, at that point in time

no one had even heard of such a thing

but that didn't keep the other kids

from making fun of me

and often making me

the butt of their jokes. To make things worse

since I didn't reach my growth spurt 

until the last two years of high school

I spent the first sixteen years of my life

terribly afraid to strike back

for fear that I might get beaten up

and therefore developed a horrible habit of

allowing others to pick on me.  



what others saw was

the good guy

the nice young man

who was

always smiling

as if their shenanigans

didn't bother me

but, deep down

the painful feelings

the disrespect

the ridicule

the insults

the rejection

all of it

slowly but surely

began turning into anger

and at times even rage

but unable

at least psychologically

to defend myself

I often ended up

"crying" deep down within

trying to find a place to hide

hoping that the world

would simply go away

and just leave me alone.


And yes

even though I had hoped

that things might change

once I became an adult

the assaults continued


at least in that of

my own case

the extremely embarrassing

symptoms of Tourette's

blinking eyes

twitching nose

moving mouth

head jerks

the sniffs and the snorts

the occasional inappropriate comment

along with the constant shoulder shrugs

those things referred to as tics

did not subside with age

as they did for

the vast majority of folks

suffering from Tourette's

but the disorder

as I moved on in years

continued its downward spiral

and took an even

greater toll on my life

as I struggled "to perfect"

the art of self-defense

that constantly  

fluctuated between the poles

of being way too passive


much too aggressive 

and the rare occasion of

finding the "magic mark"

of being able to respond

in an assertive manner

until at age sixty-seven

when I was fortunate

enough to find a neurologist

able to treat the disorder

but even in adulthood

there were those

who by that age

should have known better

yet for whatever reason

did not seem

to understand

or perhaps even care

that such symptoms

were not that of a "crazy man"

but merely the earmarks

of an inherited

neurological disorder!


But now that I have entered

the eighth decade of my life

and yes, still attempting to make sense

of so many things

that have gone on before

it has become rather clear to me

that life hasn't changed very much

that life is a continuum

every decade sharing

its "own particular load"

with those that follow

weaknesses and limitations

like a shadow

attached to the

underbelly of our lives

continuing to plague us

at every stage

each and everyone

his own particular cross

to bear

a choice

an opportunity

to curse God

for saddling us

with so many

crushing problems


on the brighter side

even though

the road might be rough

and the journey long

an opportunity

to thank God

for a chance to prove

that we will not give up

that we have what it takes

for in having assured us

that He will be with us

until the end

the strength to carry on

toward the goal

of achieving the prize

of fulfilling

our purpose

at long last

our mission

in life.


Doug Soderstom is a retired Professor of Psychology living in Wharton, Texas.  He has been writing poetry for the past ten years.  Having lived with Tourette's syndrome for the past seventy years, this piece sums up his long term struggle with the disorder.

Free to Good Homes

     A dear friend of TSA of Texas, a young woman of only 25, recently passed away.  A devoted lover of animals, she had several pets.  Although her family has accommodated as many animals as possible, there are still three cats looking for new homes.  All the cats are male, neutered, up to date on shots, and ready to cuddle and play.  For more information, please email Cindy at TouretteTexas@aol.com.  The boys are all In the Houston area. 

     Maverick and Goose (any "Top Gun" fans out there?) are brothers and only 3 years old.  Maverick is black with long hair and a little white and while he looks like he would be a rascal, he actually is calm and loves to lounge. If you can't find him, check in the laundry basket or on the tv for a fluffy tail!  He likes playing "alpha" cat and struts around.  He secretly thinks he is the coolest cat in town.  Goose is a good old boy, with short black  hair and a little white. He is a casualcat and walks around as if he is looking for something - most likely for someone to pet him. He likes attention and is always pleasant and no trouble.  The brothers would like to stay together, if possible.

     Oscar Wildcat is not a "wild" cat at all; he is instead sweet and kind. Because he is partially sight impaired, he walks around very carefully and will occasionally walk into something. He is amazing in that he uses all his senses to find the kitty litter or food. He is very polite and waits his turn. An orange and white one year old tabby, Oscar has packed a few extra pounds from his middle, but the vet said this is not a problem, just "la vita loca" -- living a good life. A home with no other cats or a few kind cats would be appreciated.

Oscar Wildcat




Korbin Finds a New Interest at du Ballon Rouge

by Korbin's mom, Michelle


     Last year at du Ballon Rouge, Korbin came home with a chicken egg.  Well, when it never hatched, Korbin developed an obsession with chickens that would not go away.  So we finally found a place and purchased four chickens.  We live in a residential area so luckily no one has noticed!  We recently came home from a trip and found our first ever chicken egg!  Hopefully, this year at camp Korbin will not want a cow or something, LOL!

"Bonne Nouvelle"

Kaity Bellis of Amarillo, age 10, has been on the All A Honor Roll all year.  Tim Brennan started his own lawn service, Dodenhoff Landscape Maintenance, in 2009 and merged this year with another lawn service company.  He is also an artist with a BFA from UT Arlington,  1979.  Isaiah DeAnda of Lubbock, age 10, placed 2nd in his school spelling bee. He also has made straight As for the 5th six weeks in a row.  Adam Farris of Houston, age 22, is juggling  2 part time jobs while going to college.  He will graduate in just over a year an Office Skills certificate from Houston Community College.   He lives independently and was recently accepted into a leadership group for young adults with challenges and is even a committee chair.  Daniel Maloney of Houston, age 25, has recently lost eighty pounds in eight months through, gastric bypass, eating healthier, and exercising.  Tyler Morris has participated in a Destination Imagination team for the past 8 years with his closest friends who are also his biggest supporters.  The team recently won 1st place in the Regional tournament and will progress to the State Tournament in Lubbock in April. They also participated in "DI Extreme" for their first time and took home a DaVinci award for innovation in their impromptu performance.  Anthony Ruyle, son of Fort Worth Support Group leader Sherrie Ruyle, recently returned from an educational trip to Washington, D.C. sponsored by "National Youth Leadership Forum for National Security."  He toured the CIA headquarters, the Pentagon, the Department of State and other parts of the D.C. area.  He also attended discussions on North Korea, WikiLeaks, China, Russia and modern day espionage.  Anthony will be leaving soon on another educational trip to Germany, Luxembourg, and France.  Anthony was chosen for this trip via recommendation and personal interviews to Fort Worth's "Sister Cities" program.  Pablo Thiel of Austin, age 12, is part of a robotics team, the Saber Robotics.  His team  just won first place at both the State & Regional levels, and is now going on to compete in the Nationals.  Their robot uses "nano-bubbles" technology and is to be implanted the human blood stream of people with cardiac problems & senses if/when that person is having a heart attack.  The nano-bubbles then release medication to slow or stop the attack.  The team conducted their research with physicians from Dell Children's Hospital & nano bubble scientists. Pablo also received straight As.  Leigh-Andrea Zegarelli, age 17, a junior,  recently received awards for B Honor Roll and Highest Grade Point Average for English lll,  American Literature, and  Geology.   She also received an award for Newcomer of the Year and 2nd Team All District for Varsity Volleyball. She has been selected as a Texas Youth Ambassador for TSA of Texas and is a finalist in the Miss Texas Teen National American Miss Pageant.

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 or Tom Thumb 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.