Summer 2011

Volume 5, Issue 2



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
25 Things - Are You Sure You Want to Know?

Daryl Brister     Did you know that Facebook lets you post "25 Things About Yourself" - things like:  "I was fat in middle school; I can't grow hair on my arms; I got pooped on by a monkey."  Now - I don't know about you, BUT I couldn't have gotten through the remainder of my day without knowing these amazing facts about people I've never known. And I'm not sure I want to know them!

     Did you know there are "25 Things You Can Do With Used Wine Corks" - things like:  recycle them so they can be used to make floor tile, automotive gaskets or sports equipment; cut them in half, make a small slit in the top, write a person's name on paper and slide it into the slit for name places at your table for dinner; or you could make a beautiful wine cork wreath for the door. Not sure what you prefer, but I'm going with the place card holders for the dinner table... I always forget where to sit!

     How about "25 Things Men Love About Women" or "25 Things Women Love About Men"?  Wait a minute . . . you mean women could find 25 things to love about men?  How come I'm always the last to find these things out???

     Well - did you know this year, 2011 is the 25th year of the Tourette Syndrome Association of Texas?  Who can tell us "25 Things about TSA of Texas"?


1.    The organization is in Texas.

2.    The amazing, one and only, Sheryl Kadmon is the

       Executive Director.

3.    Children with TS across Texas have an organization that

       loves them and works to help them improve their lives  

       each and every day.

4.    ... (your turn)


     My precious wife and I were talking yesterday in reference to where the time has gone in regards to our boys and our personal TS journey.  We talked about how at one point time just moved in slow motion, but today, we look back and truly wonder where the time has gone and we can't believe we've come so far.  I'm sure many of you reading this can tell the same story.  I wouldn't know where to start with listing 25 key milestones that TSA of Texas has made over the last 25 years.  From the first meeting in Sheryl Kadmon's living room, to starting the first FREE camp for kids with TS, to the thousands of ARD meetings, etc...  Needless to say or print, TSA of Texas, its volunteers and representative families have passed up "25 Things" long ago - a measurement larger and longer than this old boy can compute.

     As we celebrate 25 years of "Helping Children & Changing Lives," let's not forget to continue to take it one day at a time.  BIG things happen by taking little steps. The trick is to continue taking one step, and then another, and so on until you look back in wonder at how much you've accomplished in such a short time.  If you haven't started making a difference in the lives of children and families with TS, today is a good day to start!  Volunteer, tell others about TS to create greater awareness, donate to a great organization doing "25 Things" over and over again to pay it forward.      Thanks to all of you for being a part of TSA of Texas and we look forward to serving those with TS across Texas for the next 25 years.    


Until next time,

Daryl Brister

President of TSA of Texas

In This Issue
A Message from the President
Campers Enjoyed du Ballon Rouge
Start Now for a Good School Year
Tee-Off for Tourette
How TSA of Texas Helped Me: One Mom's Story
Youth Ambassador Tyler Morris
Cut-a-Thon Raises $1,000
Accommodations for Professional Licensing Examinations
Help TSA of Texas Every Time You Shop for Groceries
eBay Giving Works
Thank You to Our Supporters
Help Find the Genes for TS
Brain Imaging Research Studies
Bonne Nouvelle
Physician Referral List
Join our Mailing List!

Texas Hotlines

Houston:  281-238-8096

Toll Free:  866-894-8686
Emergency Pager: 281-932-0632

Quick Links


Find us on Facebook

Support Groups

TSA of Texas has support groups in AustinDallas, Fort Worth, East Texas/Golden Triangle, Gulf Coast, Katy/Sugar Land, Lubbock, North Houston / The Woodlands and San Antonio  Support groups are coming soon to Tyler and Corpus Christi.  To be placed on our list for updates, please email tourettetexas@aol.comTo 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
Did You Know.....

     All TSA of Texas support groups are FREE of charge and have supervised fun for kids with TS and their siblings while the adults meet separately!

Save the Date!

  • July/August 2011 - Summer Parties - The whole family is invited and there is no cost to attend!  Please RSVP with the number of adults and children attending.  Click here for more information. 
    • Austin - Look for information on our website soon
    • Dallas - August 13th, 9:00 am at Main Event in Lewisville. 
    • Fort Worth - Look for information on our website soon.
    • Houston Area (including Gulf Coast, Katy, Sugar Land and North Houston) July 28th, 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Cinco Ranch Water Park in Katy.  Bring a snack to share.
    • San Antonio - July 23rd, noon to 3:00 pm at the Vineyard Community Pool.  Bring a snack to share.    
  • August to October 2011 - Back to School Preparedness Meetings with TSA of Texas Executive Director Sheryl Kadmon.  Open to families dealing with TS as well as teachers, therapists, and physicians.  Click here for more information.
    • Austin - October 4th, 6:30 - 8:00 pm at Seton Medical Center.
    • Dallas - October 1st, 10:00 am - noon at Brookhaven College in Farmers Branch.
    • Fort Worth- October 1st, 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Baylor All Saints Medical Center.
    • Gulf Coast- August 24th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital.
    • Katy/Sugar Land - September 14th, 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Christus St. Catherine Hospital.
    • Lubbock - August 14th, 2:00 to 3:30 pm at Covenant Neuroscience Institute
    • North Houston/The Woodlands - August 11th, 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands
    • San Antonio - September 6th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Methodist Healthcare System.
  • August 2011- Texas Rangers baseball game, FREE to families dealing with TS.  Look for more information on our website soon.  
  • August 3, 2011- Astros Baseball Game at 7:05.  First of 2 dates you may choose from.  FREE to families dealing with TS.  Limited number of tickets available.  Click here for more information.  Email to reserve your tickets now.   
  • August 10, 2011- Next Katy Support Group Meeting from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Christus St. Catherine Hospital.  Click here for more information.
  • August 27, 2011- Macy's Shop for a Cause.  Make a $5 donation to TSA to Texas and receive a special Macy's shopping pass.  Click here for more information.
  • September 12, 2011- Astros Baseball Game at 7:05.  Second of 2 dates you may choose from.  FREE to families dealing with TS.  Click here for more information.  Limited number of tickets available.  Email to reserve your tickets now. 
  • October 17, 2011 - 17th Annual Tee-Off for Tourette Charity Golf Event.  Click here and see article below for more information. 
  • January 26, 2012 - TSA of Texas Fundraising Gala at the Houston Country Club.  More information will be available on the website soon.

Campers Enjoyed 9th Annual du Ballon Rouge Weekend  

              Red Balloon     

     Another successful and FUN du Ballon Rouge Weekend was enjoyed by 90 children from Friday, March 25 through Sunday, March 27, 2011.  The program, founded in 2003, is designed for children between the ages of 6 and 18 whose primary diagnosis is Tourette's syndrome (TS).  Weekend activities include fishing, horseback riding, canoeing, arts and crafts, ropes challenge course, swimming, and team sports. It is a great opportunity for kids with TS to feel accepted, not worry about tics, meet others who share their symptoms and just have fun being kids.  


Here are just a few of the comments parents posted on Facebook after this year's camp: 


I AM SO GLAD I FOUND YOU!  My son went to camp and made friends and realized there are others like him... THANK YOU!  I cannot wait to join the support group meetings.  ~ Tiffany G.


We just cannot say enough about TSA and all that it does for all Tourettes families.  Thank you again to all the staff at camp this year.  Michael and Sheryl are true gifts from God.  We are so blessed to have this organization in our lives.  :)  ~ Allison S.

Y'all did it again!  Nicholas said: Camp du Ballon Rouge was GREAT again this year!  He tagged up with Brandon, a cabin buddy from last year; they had a BLAST!  Thanks to the many, many volunteers who make it all possible! And thanks to Camp For All!  Love this place!!!!  ~ Tracy H.


Thank TSA of TX for the du Ballon Rouge camp. My son had the BEST time. This was his 1st time and he said he can't wait til next year. What a blessing!!!! ~ Jocelyn M.


Campers and Parents -- relive the 2011 Camp du Ballon Weekend through pictures!  Just click here.


And be sure to check out this video from the 2010 camp by Zach Jankovic of Cut to Create.  It recently won a big award at WorldFest!

Tourette Syndrome: Up Close

Tourette Syndrome: Up Close from Cut to Create on Vimeo.

2012 Camp dates will be Friday, March 23 through Sunday, March 25.  Applications will be available on our website in January 2012.  New campers are accepted on a first come - first served basis.  


Currently, thanks to support from our wonderful donors, there is no cost for campers to attend dBR.   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.


Many thanks to all our physicians, nurses, counselors and other volunteers at du Ballon Rouge.  We appreciate all you do for our kids!

Start Now to Get the School Year Off Right

Communication is essential to starting the school year positively.  As a parent, there are several things you can work on now to help the next school year get off to a good start.


Make Information Folders for Teachers

It is always a good idea to provide concise information to every teacher your child has contact with before the first day of the school year.  You may also want to provide information to administrators, cafeteria personnel, coaches, and bus drivers.  An easy way to do this is to prepare a folder for each teacher .  Start with an eye-catching, colorful pocket folder.  Then consider adding the following items for an effective packet:


  • One or two short fact sheets about TS.  You may consider using these from the TSA of Texas website:  Facts About Tourette'sTeacher Letter and TS Q&A.  Information sheets and pamphlets are also available at local support group meetings. 
  • A one page synopsis of your child entitled "All About (Your Child's Name)."   Use colorful paper to be easily distinguished from other papers the teacher receives.  Briefly describe your child's academic and non-academic strengths and weaknesses - capitalizing on his strengths.  Include a list of your child's symptoms and effects of any medications, especially as they affect school performance.  Be sure to offer suggestions on helping your child cope.  Keep this short so it is an easy reference for the teacher.   You want to avoid information overload. Click here for samples.     
  • A picture of your child will help the teacher identify your child on the first day of school.
  • A "Have a Great School Year" card to the teacher.  Let the teacher know you will encourage your child to do his best in school.  Offer to provide more information on TS or anything else that will help the teacher.  Don't forget to include all of your contact information so it is easy for the teacher to reach you.
  • You may want to personalize your packet by adding a snack size candy bar or a favorite poem such as: The Animals Inside Me by Justin Packer-Hopke.

Make Teacher Care Packages

If your child may often arrive at class without supplies due to intrinsic disorganization, put together a container filled with pencils, pens, Kleenex, stickers, paper, glue, candy, etc. for each of your child's teachers. 


Before School Starts

Be sure to make early contact with all teachers prior to the start of school through email or notes to introduce yourself and offer support.


As Soon As School Starts

Arrange an informal meeting with all teachers to reinforce your child's needs as early as possible in the school year. Remember that you must be the expert and know specifically what your child needs and why.  Bring a positive and supportive "attitude".  Most educators truly want to help your child.  Express your appreciation and offer your assistance.  It never hurts to bring snacks with you. MOST IMPORTANTLY, remember the greatest success is achieved when the parents and the school work as a team.


And be sure to attend one of TSA of Texas's Back to School Preparation Meetings for even more suggestions (see dates above).

17th Annual Tee-Off for Tourette Charity Golf Event


Monday, October 17, 2011


Canongate at The Woodlands - Panther Trail Course

2311 North Millbend Drive

The Woodlands, TX 77380



                              $150 each player                            Four Person Scramble

                         $560 per 4-person team                       Best Ball and Contests


Lunch Donated by Texas Roadhouse




Not a Golfer? Join Us for Evening Awards Dinner and Silent Auction beginning at 5 PM.

Tickets Available for $25 each person (dinner is included for all golfers).




2011 Tee-Off for Tourette Sponsorship Opportunities 


Get involved:  become a sponsor, participate as an individual golfer, organize a 4-person golf team, donate items or collect donations for golfer goodie bags, door prizes or the silent auction.



Title Sponsor.............................$10,000.00                         Raffle Sponsor.................................$500.00 - Limit 3

12 golf tournament participants                                               Listing on Raffle Sponsor Sign

Title Sponsor Sign                                                                    Recognition at Awards Dinner

Special Recognition at Awards Dinner


Dinner Sponsor..........................$6,000.00                           Beverage Cart Sponsor ...............$500.00 - Limit 2

8 golf tournament participants                                                  Only 1 Remaining

Dinner Sponsor Sign                                                                 Golf Cart Sign

Special Recognition at Awards Dinner                                     Recognition at Awards Dinner


Shirt Sponsor ......SOLD.............$5,000.00                          Beverage Station Sponsor ...........$400.00 - Limit 1

4 golf tournament participants                                                  Beverage Station Sign

Logo on Shirts                                                                          Recognition at Awards Dinner

Listing on Major Sponsor Sign

Recognition at Awards Dinner


Eagle Sponsor.............................$2,000.00                          Putting Contest Sponsor..............$400.00 - Limit 1

2 golf tournament participants                                                  Sign at Contest Location

Listing on Major Sponsor Sign                                                  Recognition at Awards Dinner

Recognition at Awards Dinner


Birdie Sponsor............................$1,000.00                          Hole Sponsor....................................$100.00

1 golf tournament participant                                                    Sign on Tee Box

Listing on Major Sponsor Sign                                                  Recognition at Awards Dinner

Recognition at Awards Dinner


Awards Sponsor.........................$600.00 - Limit 1

Listing on Awards Sponsor Sign

Recognition at Awards Dinner

How TSA of Texas Helped Me:  One Mom's Story
The Matcha Family

by Shelley Matcha


     Seven years ago, like most people in this world, all I knew about Tourette Syndrome was what I had seen on television.  Then one day, out of nowhere, my adorable, bright, athletic, well-behaved and loving 6-year-old son started blinking his eyes - hard.  I didn't think much of it at first - probably just allergies.  But as it went on, I began to notice it more and more.  It just didn't look right.  After school one day, I actually counted them - over 30 blinks in one minute.  I instantly knew something was terribly wrong.  I was terrified.  I didn't know it at the time, but this was the beginning of our journey with TS. 

     I made an appointment with our pediatrician, and did my best to hold myself together until Colton and his little brothers went to bed that night.  Then I got on the internet to try to figure out what could be going on.  For some reason I can't explain, I wondered if it could be TS.  I read about the symptoms online - how symptoms often begin with eye blinking or small noises around the age of 6 or 7.  Then I remembered how Colton sometimes made small noises - like little hiccups - when we were reading together at night.  Could that be a vocal tic? 

     Our pediatrician suggested we see a pediatric neurologist, so I called the neurologist's office expecting to get in right away.  No, it didn't work that way - we had to wait three whole months.  I couldn't believe this wasn't considered more urgent and I didn't know how we would get through until then. 

     I felt so lost.  I worried all the time.  I spent hours every night researching TS on the internet.  Many of the things I read scared me so much I couldn't sleep.  But I had to keep reading, trying desperately to find something to make me feel better. 

     I had so many questions.  How much longer did he have before everyone would stare at him everywhere he went?  When would he start cussing or barking like a dog?  How much longer could he play sports?  Would he be placed in a special classroom at school?  Would he have any friends? Did he have any chance of a normal life?  At least it's not cancer, friends and family tried to reassure us.  He won't die from this.  I just wondered if he'd want to. 

     Luckily, my internet research eventually led me to TSA of Texas.  I called the hotline and left a message, and someone called me back within a couple of hours.  Sheryl explained to me that she was not a doctor, but the symptoms I was describing did sound like they could be TS.  Surprisingly, I was actually relieved to have more of an answer.  She went on to say that if it was TS, it was no worse than having something like asthma.  She reassured me that most kids with TS had mild to moderate symptoms - not what I had seen on television.  Only 15% of kids with TS could not control using bad words.  There was no reason Colton would ever need to stop playing sports, and he would most likely remain in a regular classroom at school.  She talked to me for a long time, and I finally felt like I had some answers.  My husband is still grateful that after learning about the many hours I was spending on the internet, Sheryl cautioned me to be careful when looking online since so much of it is about the most severe cases, and she gave me a list of trusted websites.    

     Unfortunately, there was not a support group in our area, but we knew Colton had tics, and we needed to talk to parents who knew how to handle them.  My husband and I drove three hours to the nearest TSA Support Group meeting in Katy.  I braced myself for the worst as we walked in the door. I was certain it was going to be very depressing.  After all, what was there to be happy about if your child has TS?

     I could not have been more wrong.  Everyone was so warm and welcoming.  I met several kids with TS - or at least I was told they had TS.  Really, they just looked like any other group of kids.  And they were laughing and having fun with each other.  This was so reassuring.  The parents were relaxed and laughing, too.  I was laughing!  Several parents gave us some great advice that I remember word for word to this day.  As we left, for the first time since I counted those blinks, I felt like we were going to be okay.  Our family was going to make it.  We could be happy.  And most importantly, Colton could be happy.     

     With the help of TSA of Texas, I learned much more about TS over the next several months.  This made it a little easier for us to accept when Colton was officially diagnosed with TS and one of our 4-year-old twins began showing TS symptoms just 4 months later.  But I must admit we were still thrown for a loop when our third son was diagnosed with TS just 6 months after that.  As Chase so aptly put it, "You mean we all have tics???!!!"  How could it possibly be that all three of our beautiful boys have TS?  We had not even known to be worried about this.  TSA helped us figure out how to explain all of this to our boys, start a support group in our area, find a neurologist best suited to help our family, and most importantly gave us hope that our children could not only survive, but lead productive and happy lives.

     Over the last 7 years, we have had to deal with all kinds of tics, such as eye blinking, eye rolling, eye rubbing (to the point of making sores), lip biting (more sores), facial grimaces, head turning, neck jerking, shoulder shrugging, toe dragging, rubbing against things, repeating words at the end of a line when reading, squeaking, spitting, humming, sniffling and making other odd sounds.  One of the boys has ADHD and several learning disabilities, and one of them has some OCD.  Yes, of course, there have been some bad days and some tears (mostly mine), but most of the time this is just background noise and our lives are pretty "normal" in spite of it all.

     I wanted so desperately to be able to do something to make it better, but as you know, there still is no cure for TS.  Medications can sometimes help reduce symptoms, but they do not eliminate them, and they all have side effects.  But working through TSA to help other families, changing the public perception of TS symptoms even in small ways, advocating in the schools for my children and others with TS, and developing relationships with tutors and doctors who are knowledgeable and supportive has helped me to feel like I am fighting the good fight, that I am "doing something," and this gives me some comfort.

     Through our Austin support group meetings (yes, I started a group here!), my boys have met so many kids with TS that they really don't see themselves as that different from any other kids.  It's "not a big deal."  They see their symptoms only as annoyances and don't let TS slow them down.  They get good grades and have rooms full of trophies and ribbons from various sports.  They all take music lessons and they have plenty of friends.  And yes, they are happy.

     We still don't know exactly what the future holds, but I know my boys will be okay.  And I continue to be thankful every single day for the life-changing support my family receives from TSA of Texas.   


Has TSA Helped Your Family?  We would love to hear it from you!  Please help us spread the word about the difference TSA of Texas makes in the lives of those dealing with TS.  Please send your story to

How to Cope When You Have Tourette's Syndrome
Tyler and Sheryl
Tyler with Sheryl Kadmon

by TSA of Texas Youth Ambassador Tyler Morris


     Tyler is 15 years old and will be a sophomore at Elkins HS Engineering Academy in Sugar Land.  He was diagnosed in 5th grade at the age of 10, but prior to that he had experienced many TS symptoms such as throat clearing, coughing and more, that were mis-diagnosed as asthma. He enjoys doing anything outdoors -- waterskiing, fishing, and hunting. He hopes to become an Electrical Engineer just like his Dad.

     TSA's Youth Ambassador Program trains kids and teens to talk about TS. The program gives young people with TS, their siblings, friends and classmates the preparation they need to speak about TS before their peers at school, sports leagues, scout troops, camps and after school programs.  Tyler gave the following speech at a support group meeting in June 2011. 



     Hello, Ladies and Gentlemen.  I am Tyler Morris and I have been diagnosed with TS for six years now.  I have lived with it for much longer.  Despite having this syndrome, I have managed to get along pretty well.  I am an officer in my high school's FFA program.  I am active in Destination Imagination and have been with the same team for over eight years.  Last year at my school, I was in PALS (Peer Assistance, Leadership & Service).  I managed to get good grades in my pre -AP classes this year.  I also had the wonderful pleasure of training to be a TSA of Texas Youth Ambassador; it is a trade I am willing to teach others how to do as well.

     Elementary school was a little bit tough because I did not know exactly what TS was.  I wasn't able to tell people what was going on.  I remember thinking that I was helpless, just an ant for people to step on.  It was very tough. But here are a few ways to deal with it:

  • Breathing Techniques.  These help me to relax when I get wound up.
  • Medications.  I do take medicines, but this is not the only thing that helps me to cope with my TS.
  • Routine.  OCD seems to occur with TS, so having a routine to keep you in order can really help.
  • Know What It Is.  When you know what TS is, you feel more comfortable with it and talking to others about it.
  • Let People Know What TS Is.  Typically, when people know what is happening and become comfortable with it, they will forget tics are even there.
  • Distract yourself.  If you can be distracted by something that you love, you will be under a little bit less stress and your tics may go away for a little while.
  • Do research.  This will help you with knowing what TS is and get to know it. There are always new studies and things going on, and by learning about these you can give out more accurate information and be more comfortable in talking about it.
  • Five minutes.  If at all possible, ask for five minutes to talk to your fellow classmates sometime during the first week of school.

     In elementary school it always helps to have friends, but beyond that it really helps to have a few friends that you know will always be there.  Also, you might want to consider getting a 504 plan or modifications to your education program.  This helps you get into separate testing rooms and things like that.  I personally know that with testing comes apprehension and guilt for distracting others.  When you are testing by yourself, you don't have to worry about disturbing other people. This helps to raise test scores, as well as just to do generally better in school.  Like I said earlier though, eventually your classmates do not mind that you have tics, so they do not get distracted. 

     The thing that has helped me most in the classroom is the ability to use a computer to write.  This helps because when I'm writing, I mess up when my hand twitches.  But the machine does not mess up very often.  It is particularly helpful for timed writings.  Timed writings are writing where you synthesize an information source and have one class period to write it.

     When your classmates don't mind you have tics, you don't seem to mind either.  This means you are under less stress to hold in your tics.  When I told my class about TS, I felt they were much more comfortable with me as a person, too.  People are afraid of change,  and that is why they react the way they do when we announce that we have Tourette's.  So when you tell them what it is, it isn't new anymore.  It also helps to answer questions and misnomers about Tourette's syndrome.

     Substitute teachers can add stress to your day.  You see, you are not around them seven hours a day like you are with your regular teachers.  They do not even know what is going on with you.  I have had to leave the room before because of them!  I learned to cope with this by just going up and telling the substitute I have TS.  Most of them see a lot of kids so they know what it is. The ones that don't are very empathetic. You just have to explain it to them and tell them what your tics are. The principal knowing can help as well.  They are in charge of the school so they can help if things should get really rough.  The thing that has proven time and again to help the most would be to get to know the school Nurse. She can give you a five minute pass for days that happen to be particularly troubling.  Even now, I finish my math tests and I go to the nurse's office to make sure I do not disturb other students.

     So to sum it up, I guess I would have to tell y'all that you can have TS and still be very successful.  You can do whatever it is that you want to do.  There are people who do BMX with it, sing with it, and public speaking with it.   TS cannot hold you down unless you let it. 

 Salon Avante' Cut-a-Thon Raises $1,000 for TSA of Texas
Salon Avante Stylists
Stylists Paige Gernander, Cynthia Miller, Brenda Olivarez & Melissa Rodriguez
Brenda Olivarez' son, Brandon Michael Sanchez, was diagnosed with TS when he was 7 years old.  Since then, she has seen him suffer when others make fun of him, stare at him, and just don't understand him.  As a mother, she feels it is her job to advocate for him and for other kids with TS. 

"I will stop at nothing to make sure that Tourette's is no longer a closet disorder but rather just as known as autism and even cancer.  People who have to live with this may not be dying on the outside, but they are inside because people just don't understand them.  I hope to continue to play an even bigger part in TSA of Texas because I truly believe in what you all do. TSA of Texas has helped me as well as others so much. You all do such a great job!!  Whatever I can do to make it that much better for the kids and adults that live with Tourette's, then I will do just that..."

As a Master Stylist and the Salon Manager at Salon Avante' in La Porte, Brenda decided to hold a Cut-a-Thon in honor of Brandon to raise money for TSA of Texas.   For a minimum $10 d
onation, customers could gain a great new look AND support a great cause.  Between 5:00 and 9:00 pm on June 14th, three stylists gave 52 haircuts!  Customer donations and proceeds from t-shirt sales (designed by Brenda and a friend) raised over $1,000 in just 4 hours!  This is enough to fund a support group for a year or to sponsor 10 kids attending du Ballon Rouge in 2012!
The Cut-a-Thon was such a success that Brenda is already planning next year's event!  She wants it to be even better than this year's event, and plans to include other salons in the area to raise even more money. 

A huge thanks to Brenda, everyone at Salon Avante' and their clients for their tremendous support of TSA of Texas!
Accommodations for Professional Licensing Examinations
     A press release issued by the US Department of Justice on February 22, 2011, may prove helpful to students with TS. The Justice Department settled with the National Board of Medical Examiners over its refusal to provide testing accommodations to a Yale Medical School student with dyslexia. The student did receive the appropriate accommodations under the settlement. The student did not have TS, but similar to many TS symptoms, dyslexia is often considered a "hidden disorder."  Click here to see the full press release. 
Help TSA of Texas Every Time You Shop for Groceries
logosAll you need to do is print out any or all of the cards below and take them to your local Tom Thumb, Randall's or Kroger store.  Ask the cashier or the courtesy desk staff to link your Remarkable Card or your Kroger Plus Card to TSA of Texas. The stores will then donate a percentage of your eligible purchases to TSA of Texas.  How easy is that?!  Please ask your friends & family to link their cards as well.

And remember, Randall's and Tom Thumb Remarkable Cards are permanently linked unless you change them.  However, the Kroger Plus card must be linked again every year in June.  So - it is NOW time to take the Kroger barcode available below and have the cashier re-link it to your Kroger card - or we won't receive any funds from your shopping. 

Click here to print the Kroger barcode card.

Click here to print the Randall's barcode card.

Click here to print Tom Thumb barcode card.


If you have questions or any trouble printing these cards, please email

Thanks for your support of TSA of Texas!

Buy and Sell on eBay for TSA of Texas
logoTSA of Texas is part of the eBay Giving Works program (  You can support our mission when you buy and sell on eBay.  Here's how:
Sell:  You can support TSA of Texas when you sell on eBay.  Just designate our organization to receive 10-100% of your final sale price the next time you list something. 
Buy:  When you shop for items on eBay, look for those listings that support Tourette Syndrome Association of Texas. 
Visit:  the TSA of Texas eBay Giving Works Page
Thank you for supporting TSA of Texas!
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 2011

Patti and Dr. Gustavo Ayala

Catherine and Larry Buck

Cindy Cook

Dianne and Randy Fadrique

Norma and Dr. Jon Hyman

Nancy Talkington

Debbie Thompson

Helene & Dror Zadok


Tee-Off 2011

Brilliare Consulting

Edlyn & David Pursell



Elaine and Marvy Finger

Eugene Gutweiler

Sheryl and Dr. Dov Kadmon

Stephanie & Doug Meuth

Connie Williams


In Memory of Lee Weaks:

Aaron & Company, Inc.

Advanced Drainage & Hancor

American Pipe & Supply

APR Supply Company

Edwin Atkins & Family

Bemis Manufacturing

Gene and Marilyn Burt

Collins Pipe & Supply Co.

Columbia Pipe & Supply Co.

Karen Condren

Cooney Brothers, Inc.

Justin Dunscomb


Pamela Frederick / Affiliated Distributors

Helene & Stuart Holden, Jr. / United Plumbing Technologies

Ideal Supply Company

Jones Stephens Corp.

Wally and Jean Jordan

Josam Company

Sheryl and Dr. Dov Kadmon

Keeny Manufacturing Co.

Law Childrens Partnership

Clements and Margaret Richards

Jerry Rogers and Family

Chip Roska

Cindy Sacks

Peter Shillingford / Giant Plumbing & Heating Supply

Sloan Valve Co.

Star Mechanical Supply

Ward Manufacturing

Jim and Nancy West

Howard and Christine Wolff


General Donations:

Mary Harris / United Way

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor

Scott Napoli / Capital Group

The Round Top Collection

Trish Rubio / HCA


Salon Avante' and all our Cut-A-Thon participants

Rick Sperandio / Grainger Group


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   
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


"Bonne Nouvelle"
Caden Bishop of Katy, age 8 made straight A's for the 2nd grade!  Stewart Clutter's  baseball team won the Post Oak Minor's Little League Championship this year.  Stewart, age 10, is from Houston.  Hunter Courts of Port Neches won his talent show at school - he sang "Memory" from "Cats."  He also played Danny in his school play "Grease."  Isaiah DeAnda  of Lubbock, age 10, was commended in all 3 sections of the TAKS test.  He only missed 2 questions on the entire test.  Ian Henry of Tomaball, age 9, earned straight As all of his third grade year.  He also recently earned his green belt in Tae-Kwon Do.  Samantha Lopez of Dallas won the Heart of a Lyon Award at her
school.  This award is given to one female and one male 7th grader who most exemplify perseverance and grace in the face of obstacles. 
Joshua McCain of Lake Jackson, age 14, competed in the 2011 International Taekwon-Do Goodwill Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 11th.  Josh is a 2nd degree recommended Black Belt, and he received 3rd place in Sparring in his division.  Tristan Perez of Corpus Christi, age 10, is in the school ru nning club and was on a mixed Elementary school team for the recent 'Beach to Bay Marathon' in Corpus Christi where his team placed first.  He has been competing in Triathlons since he was 7, and just completed his first Iron Kids Triathlon.  He finished 5th which qualifies him for the National Iron Kids event later this year. Tristan is also a straight "A" student and was commended on his recent TAKS testing.  He is in the gifted and talented program at his elementary school.  David Perry of Leander, age 13, achieved a straight A average in school this year, was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society and qualified for the Leander ISD QUEST program.  He is also active in Boy Scouts and achieved the rank of Life Scout this year.  He served as both the Troop Chaplain Aide and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and was also chosen for the role of Troop Guide to help the new scouts transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.  David was also elected to the Order of the Arrow by his scout troop.  Evan Sweezey just graduated cum laude from Trinity University in San Antonio.  He is now working in San Antonio with a company called Soccertime.  Tyler Vest of Cypress, age 8, received straight As again this year and had perfect attendance for the third year in a row. She also just landed her back handspring all by herself.  
Tristan Perez
Joshua McCain
Hunter Courts
Hunter Courts
Stewart Clutter








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

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 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 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.