Spring 2013

Volume 7, 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

Michael Conway MichaelConway



  Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month has just begun (May 15) and will end on June 15. 


    Reading that statement really doesn't trigger much excitement - at least not for me.   An "Awareness Month" sounds like a time when there would be celebrations, parades, and other events to highlight and educate the public about a particular cause.  However, unless I go to a Tourette Syndrome (TS) related website or function; I really don't see any additional information during this 'claimed' month of awareness.  Do you?

     I have realized the reason that Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month seemed no different, than any other month of the year, is because I wasn't doing anything special to bring awareness to it.  I realized it was not only my opportunity, but my responsibility, to be the source of awareness.  I was supposed to be, essentially, the promoter of the celebration, the leader of the parade!

     Most of us, including me, don't have the opportunity to host a televised event or parade to educate more people about TS and its related conditions.  So I started to think of a creative way to bring focus to TS, and, more directly, what amazing services our Chapter provides to our TS families throughout Texas.

Naturally, I focused on my favorite service that our chapter provides - Camp du Ballon Rouge - our weekend camp for children who have been diagnosed with TS.  But what talent did I have that would provide an avenue that would cause people to notice?  I found that talent and researched a way to bring 'light' to my cause.

     I would enter a voting contest in hopes of earning a race entry slot in the Kona IRONMAN World Championship on October 12 in Hawaii!  In the IRONMAN's Kona Inspired program, individuals may submit a 90-second video explaining how their story represents the IRONMAN mantra - "Anything is Possible!"  Entering a video was a 'no-brainer' as this mantra alone represents what we strive to instill in our campers at du Ballon Rouge!

     This quest is the path to my parade, my celebration.  As you will see, in the video, my primary purpose is to be an example to children, living with TS, that they too can accomplish great things.  I also reference our amazing camp as well as a new fundraising project I have just begun - Tri for Tourette.  Tri for Tourette will be a way for us to raise funds for our camp through competition in triathlons. 

     An IRONMAN race, which must be completed in 17-hours, consists of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, and finishes with a marathon.  This Saturday, I will be competing in my first IRONMAN in The Woodlands.  I am nervous, I am just starting to feel overwhelmed, and I will be ticcing the entire time - but isn't that what our children with TS go through everyday?  The campers at du Ballon Rouge are what will keep me strong and thinking of what they endure, every day, is what will push me through to finish what I started!

     During the next month, challenge yourself to discover what celebration or parade you will 'throw' to bring awareness to TS and/or our Chapter! I know every one of us has a talent that can be used to educate others about TS.  Take the time to discover that talent!

     To the campers of du Ballon Rouge, and all of us with Tourette Syndrome, I am looking forward to crossing that finish line with you this Saturday night!





  YOU can help Michael & TSA of Texas in this quest by viewing and VOTING for his 

KONA Inspired video.  



Watch Michael's video HERE.

Or -- watch via Facebook HERE


Simply click on the "VOTE FOR THIS" button at the bottom left of Michael's video. You do not even have to wait for the video to finish before you vote. AND -- you can vote MULTIPLE TIMES!!!!   



The initial round of voting for KONA Inspired runs through May 31. PLEASE VOTE EVERY DAY SO THAT WE MAKE THE SECOND ROUND to help raise awareness of TS in general AND our TSA of Texas children's du Ballon Rouge in particular.  Share or forward to your friends and family.  


 Let's cross the finish line together!

In This Issue
Message from the President
Tourette Syndrome Awareness Events
Ask the Medical Expert
Summer Survival Strategies
Friday Tic Clinic
Camp du Ballon Rouge
Save the Dates
Helpful Product LInks
TSA Youth Ambassador
Hoops for Hope
Tee-Off for Tourette's
Info from PATH Project
Good News!
Help Find the Genes for TS
Physician Referral List
How Can TSA of Texas Help You?
How Can You Help TSA of Texas?
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

All support groups are FREE of charge and have supervised fun for kids with TS and their siblings while adults meet separately.  TSA of Texas has support groups in:

To start a support group in your area, please contact us toll free at 866-894-8686. 

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month 

Dirty Word

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month
May 15 through May 16

Help us inform others about TS.  Watch Facebook for special events or download an Awareness Month Event Kit  here.  Download information about TS from our Library.


Friday, May 17
Denise Rite, TSA of Texas Tyler-Longview Area Support Group leader, will provide information about Tourette's at the East Texas Center for Independent Living, 4713 Troup Highway, Tyler, TX  75703.  Contact Denise at  tourettetyler@gmail.com for more information. 

Saturday, May 18
Michael Conway, TSA of Texas President and Camp du Ballon Rouge Director, is participating in 
this Saturday's (May 18th) IRONMAN Texas event at The Woodlands.  Michael is hoping to bring 
more awareness to TS, TSA of Texas and Camp du Ballon Rouge, not only via this race, but with 
other upcoming Triathlons.  
IF you have the time, please consider encouraging Michael by watching him along the race route in 
The Woodlands. Probably the best time to do this would be around 4pm on, when we could catch site of Michael as he starts the MARATHON.  The route loops 3 times around, so we have the potential to catch sight of Michael several times!
See Marathon route HERE.


Sunday, May 19
Sheryl Kadmon, TSA of Texas Executive Director, will share information about Tourette's syndrome at the Friendship Circle mini health fair, in conjunction with a city-wide walk for individuals with special needs.  Health Fair from 3-5pm at Congregation Beth Yeshuran, 4525 Beechnut St Houston, TX 77096  

Saturday, May 25

Amy Lopez, North Texas/Dallas TS Support Group Leader, will host a TS information booth at the Stars & Stripes Car & Bike Show, 11am to 3pm, Dallas Harley Davidson, 1334 W. Centerville Road, Garland, TX.

Through May 31
The initial round of voting for KONA Inspired has been extended through May 31. VOTE EVERY DAY SO THAT WE MAKE THE SECOND ROUND to help raise awareness of TS in general AND our TSA of Texas children's du Ballon Rouge in particular. 
Please click on the "VOTE FOR THIS" button at the bottom left of Michael's video. You do not even have to wait for the video to finish before you vote. AND -- you can vote MULTIPLE TIMES!!!!  
Saturday, June 1
Learn about Tourette's Syndrome at HOOPS FOR HOPE, chaired by Crystal Moreno in honor of her son Leonard.  Saturday, June 1 at the Bay City Middle School Gym, Bay City, TX.  Basketball tournament, moonwalk, train, raffle, balloon release, delicious food, as well as TS information. Donations of any size are welcomed and sponsorships are available! Contact Crystal at ac_cm@att.net or the TSA of Texas office at TouretteTexas@aol.com

Ask the Medical Expert

Dealing with Problem Behaviors          By James Poysky, Ph.D.

Dr. James Poysky   

Kids with TS are at increased risk for having significant problems with arguing, not following directions, temper tantrums, or refusing to do what they are asked. Our first inclination is to jump to the conclusion that they are doing these things because they are trying to manipulate others, because they are "immature", or because they derive some pleasure in making life difficult for the rest of us. 


Sometimes these explanations may be sufficient.  However, I often see kids with TS who keep demonstrating these behaviors over and over, EVEN WHEN IT IS NOT WORKING OUT FOR THEM.  Everyone is angry with them, they are in trouble all the time, they are failing in school, etc., but they keep on doing it.  When we see this kind of ongoing pattern, we need to consider the possibility that these behaviors are occurring because the child has weaknesses in certain kinds of specific problem-solving skills.  For example, their oppositional and argumentative behavior may be happening because they have a deficit in their mental flexibility.  In this regard, they are overly "rigid" in their thought process and expectations, and get "stuck" when things don't turn out like they wanted or expected.  To put it another way, they have an inability to be adaptive in their thinking, and when they are put in a situation that taps into this weakness they resort to less effective and/or counterproductive behaviors (arguing, refusing to comply, etc.). Or they may have difficulty with other kinds of mental skills, such as effective communication, controlling their emotional reactions, delaying gratification, or making decisions based on what might happen in the future - rather than on how they feel in the immediate moment.  The ironic thing is that the parts of the brain that appear to cause tics are the very same parts that are usually responsible for these kinds of cognitive skills.  Weaknesses in these areas can happen even when the child has normal or above normal intelligence.


When thinking about how to address these behaviors, you have to keep in mind that the child's behavior may be due to a weakness, and navigating the situation is difficult for them.  Adopting an overly punitive approach (i.e., mostly focused on punishment) with children who have these types of cognitive weaknesses usually results in escalation of conflict, power struggles, and an increase in negative behaviors. Basically, everyone is mad and upset and trying to "win".  Thus, it may not be only be about teaching the child who's the boss, and forcing them to "learn it the hard way".  While there is still a place for them, simply relying on rewards and punishments may not be enough.  A better way to look at these kinds of situations is to see them as opportunities to help the child develop better problem-solving skills, so that the next time this situation comes around they will be better equipped to deal with it.  Plus, this kind of mindset prevents parents from viewing the situation as "me against you", and instead focuses on teamwork.  As a result, there are more positive interactions between the parent and child, which leads to better relationships, closer emotional connections, improved self-esteem, and less resentment and bitterness.



1)     Be extra patient.  How can we expect them to control their temper if we can't control ours?

2)     Talk in a quiet, calm voice.

3)     Use humor when possible, but don't use inappropriate humor. Even though it quickly gets their attention, they can have difficulty knowing when to stop.

4)     Give multiple advance notices of transitions ("10 minutes until...", "5 minutes until...", "1 minute until...", etc.).

5)     Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Be concrete and specific in your communication, and do not assume that they will make inferences or "read between the lines" when things are not stated clearly.

6)     Give one direction at a time, use praise and encouragement when they follow-through.          

7)     Do not engage in arguing and power struggles. "Because I said so!" rarely works.  Try to re-direct / change subject (which lets them disengage).

8)     Focus on the positive and look for opportunities to say "Yes" instead of "No" ("Yes, you can have ice cream as soon as you...").

9)     BE FLEXIBLE, and willing to negotiate, compromise, and problem-solve.  It doesn't help the situation if the parent is being just as hard-headed as the child.  This does not mean that you should just give in to the child's demands.  Being a rigid disciplinarian doesn't usually make the situation better, but being a push-over doesn't teach the child better coping strategies either.




1.     Only use rewards for the one or two things that you really want to target (i.e., the things that routinely cause the biggest problems).

2.     Make sure the expectations that need to be met are clear and specific.  The more specific the better.  Then it will be clear what exactly needs to happen, and there is no room for uncertainty or disagreement about whether or not the expectations has been met.

a.     Vague: "Clean up your room."

b.    Specific: "Pick up your clothes and put them in the dirty clothes bin. Put your books on the book shelf.  Throw away all garbage, including food wrappers, soda cans, and old papers.  Take dirty dishes to the kitchen sink."

3.     Expectations should be based on what the child needs to do TODAY, not long-term.  Think about what it takes on a daily basis to reach those long-term goals.

a.     Bad: "Earn all A's and B's on your final semester report card."

b.    Good: "Work on your math problems, numbers 1-15, from 5:00 to 5:30 without complaining, arguing, or getting out of your seat.  If you get them all done without more than one mistake, you earn the reward."

4.     Expectations should be realistic, not ideal.  Nothing tanks motivation faster than an un-achievable goal.

5.     Rewards need to be GOOD (which is another reason to not use rewards for everything).  Rewards need to be good enough to:

a.     Help the child remember and keep in mind what they need to do.

b.    Over-ride any negative feelings they have about doing what they have to do.

6.     Rewards should be given IMMEDIATELY after the expectation has been met.



1.     Reserve punishment for malicious, purposeful behaviors, done with intent (stealing, breaking someone's toy just to get back at them, physical aggression, lying).

2.     Try to use natural consequences for lesser infractions.  The goal is not to focusing on "catching" them when they mess up; rather, the goal is teaching them that when they make a mistake they need to take responsibility and try to make things right.

3.     Example:  There is a household rule of no bouncing, throwing, or kicking balls inside the house.

  • The child disregarded the rule, bounced a basketball, and broke a lamp.
  • Explain that this is why the family has this rule.
  • Inform the child that he/she is not in trouble, but he/she needs to try to correct their mistake.
  • Help the child clean up the broken lamp.
  • Go get money from the child's piggy bank to pay for a new lamp.
  • Go with the child to Target and buy a new lamp.
  • If they do not have money, then assign two chores for the child to do in order to earn money to pay for a new lamp.
  • If he/she refuses to do the two chores, that is fine and does not need to be a point of contention.  Emphasize that it is their choice and up to them.  However, if they choose not to do this, then the parent has the right to go into their room, pick two toys of the parent's choice, and sell them in order to get money to pay for a new lamp.  It is then up to the child to decide what they want to do.


In situations where the child becomes "stuck", upset, frustrated, angry, oppositional, etc., use active listening skills to de-escalate the situation and promote problem-solving:

10)  Validate how they are feeling ("Wow, I can see you are really frustrated...", "Gosh, I can understand how that could make you mad...").  You can validate how they are feeling, even if you don't agree with them.

11)  Paraphrase back to them what you are hearing ("It sounds like you thought it wasn't fair...")

12)  Ask questions or encourage them to say more:

a.     "Tell me more..."

b.    Open-ended and non-specific questions are better ("What happened?", "What was the most frustrating part?")

c.     Some kids have a hard time describing things and need more specific questions ("Were you upset when he said...")

13)  Invite them to be a "team" ("I'll bet we can figure this out together, what are some solutions that might make both of us happy?")

14)  Try to come up with a solution and/or compromise that makes everyone satisfied.

a.     Have the child try to think of some solutions before you offer your own.

b.    Don't just give in to what they want, because this doesn't teach them anything.

c.     The parent should be flexible and willing to compromise as well.

d.    Don't be too quick to jump to this step.  They have to be heard and validated first, or else they will just feel like you are telling them what to do.

15)  DON'T do the following things, as they will escalate the camper's frustration:

a.     Ask them "Why?" ("Why are you mad?", "Why did you do that?").  It is perceived as judgmental.

b.    Don't point out how they are wrong ("Yes, I know you're upset but..."

c.     Don't give them advice ("Why didn't you just...")

d.    Don't try to change behavior with criticism ("Why can't you just grow up?")


Helpful Books:

"The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene

"No More Meltdowns" by Jed Baker


James Poysky, Ph.D. is a neuropsychologist in private practice at Katy Child Psychology Associates in Katy, TX.  Among other services, he provides testing for school problems and parenting strategies for oppositional & argumentative children.  Dr. Poysky is on the TSA of Texas Executive Board and he also volunteers frequently at the Texas Camp du Ballon Rouge as a camp psychologist.

Summer Survival Strategies

     School is finally almost finished for the year --  no more rushed mornings, no more homework fights, no more bedtime meltdowns -- right?  But, what DO you do during the summer?  

For our next newsletter, we want to provide you with some "Super Summer Survival Strategies" and would like your help!  What have you and your child discovered makes a great summer and helps you both relax and unwind, but still keeps everyone on target for the next school year?


Send us your cool ideas for things to do in Texas.....

Email TouretteTexas@aol.com or fax to 281-238-0468.

NEW -- Friday Tic Clinic in Clear Lake

     The Friday Neurology Clinic at Texas Children's Hospital Tic and Tourette Syndrome Clinic in Clear Lake is now designated solely for children with Tourette's syndrome and TicsThis new Clinic is exclusively designed to better meet the needs of children with Tourette's syndrome and will focus on medical management of tics; address concurrent conditions associated with Tourette's Syndrome, such as ADHD, anxiety, migraines, etc.; and provide family education and proactive measures for school and home issues associated with tics and TS.

     Please call 832-822-1250 to book appointments at for the Friday Tic Clinic.  Do NOT use the central TCH scheduling number as they will not have access to book these spots. 


The Friday Neurology Clinic is managed by Amber Stocco, M.D.  

11th Annual Camp du Ballon Rouge - Huge Success!

Girls Tree Turtle

The 11th annual TSA of Texas Camp du Ballon Rouge was held April 19 - 21, 2013, at Camp For All in Burton, TX.  Children with a primary diagnosis of TS from all over Texas enjoyed a phenomenal fun-filled weekend and found acceptance, self-assurance and support.  One hundred twenty-eight children were approved for camp -- a new record!
As always, we could not host this weekend without the support of our many volunteers -- physicians, nurses, art barn staff, counselors and more.  Thanks to their generous donation of time, patience and love, our kids are able to enjoy a safe and rewarding weekend.  Additionally, we thank our Foundation and individual cash donors, which allow us to continue to provide the camping weekend without cost to our families.  

Watch for photos from the weekend on our website soon!   Dates for the 2014 Camp du Ballon Rouge should be available after October.  

Help sponsor a child at camp! Even with all our wonderful volunteers giving of their time and knowledge, TSA of Texas still pays over $250 for each child attending dBR. Make a difference for a child and help pay their way to Camp in 2014!  Any amount is appreciated -- or purchase a virtual "Red Balloon" for $100 each.  To make a donation, please download a PDF form or use PayPal. Please make checks payable to Tourette Syndrome Assoc. of Texas. Thank you!
                        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.
Save the Dates

  • May 15 - June 15 - National Tourette's Syndrome Awareness Month.  Help us spread information about TS to your schools, businesses, physicians and more.  Visit the web for handouts or contact the office for packets of information. Be sure to read the article above for awareness events around the state!
  • May 18 - FREE tickets to San Antonio Scorpions home game, courtesy of The Harvey E. Najim Family Foundation and the San Antonio Scorpions.  Contact Cindy at TouretteTexas@aol.com for details.  
  • May TBD - Rio Grande Valley TS Support Group meeting and Kung Fu exhibition. Email cpj.mission@gmail.com 
  • May 25The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation's 2nd Annual Wonderland Ball - Prom 2013! 

     5:00pm - 8:00pm at the Event Center at Morgan's Wonderland.  This dance is for individuals with special needs ages 16 and up only please.  Online RSVPs only for this dance. 

  • June 7 Gulf Coast TS Support Group party at IT'Z Pizza. Emailjj01ut2005@yahoo.com
  • June 8- Dallas/North Texas TS Support Group meeting. Email amwa@swbell.net
  • June 8- Fort Worth TS Support Group meeting: Wear your "Cheesiest" Prom outfit!  Email srruyle@aol.com
  • June 9 Lubbock Support Group swiming party. Emailpzweaks@yahoo.com
  • June 12- Katy/Sugar Land/West Houston TS Support Group meeting
  • June TBD Rio Grande Valley TS Support Group summer party. Email cpj.mission@gmail.com
  • July 4 -- 4th on Broadway 4th of July Parade -- Lubbock, TX.  Watch for the Lubbock TS Support Group's float: "Imagine Lubbock Together..Understanding Tourette's"

Details to be available soon on other Summer Parties throughout the state.  

Start marking your calendars for our Annual "School Preparation" meetings with Sheryl Kadmon, TSA of Texas Executive Director.  August 6 -- San Antonio; August 8 -- North Houston/The Woodlands; August 10 -- Tyler; August 14 -- Katy; August 17 - Rio Grande Valley; October 1 -- Austin; October 12: Dallas and Fort Worth.  More locations to be booked soon.  
Helpful Product Links


These products might be useful to you and your family.  


Trouble Awakening in the Morning?

Clocky (PRODUCT)RED™ Special Edition alarm clocks run away to get you out of bed, and helps save lives! When it's time to wake up, this alarm clock will leap off your nightstand and run away beeping to ensure you're awake.

http://www.nandahome.com/products/index.php   Also often available on Amazon and other locations.  


Does Your Child Have a Chewing Tic?

(and are you tired of wet, sagging tee shirts or gnawed-on pencils?)

Chewelry is a non-toxic, colorful, plastic chewable jewelry that stretches. Its a great way to keep kids from chewing clothes, while letting them work through their chewing tendencies. It's also great for oral-motor stimulating activities. 



Clothing for Sensory Sensitive Children

Purchase clothing that does not have tags and is seam free.  The clothes are not inexpensive, but they do have some cute things including seam free socks, french terry "jeans" and even some dressy clothes that may a good option to wearing the same thing every day!




   Chewelry ClockySeamlessTee

TSA of Texas Youth Ambassador - Hannah Cole


TSA of Texas' newest Youth Ambassador is 15 year old Hannah Cole, a 10th grader from McKinney.  Hannah and her mother Heather Kitchens trained at the recent National TSA program and Hannah is now ready to start her speaking engagements!  Hannah was diagnosed with TS at age 7, and although her symptoms were fairly mild, she did encounter many children and adults who did not understand her symptoms and thus made fun of her.  

Being a TSA Youth Ambassador will help Hannah educate those who do not understand, so that other children are not mocked for their or TS -- or any disability/difference.  Hannah loves to draw and listen to music, and she wants to attend college either as an Art major or enter Nursing. Hannah looks forward to lining up YA speaking engagements this summer.   

Contact Hannah or other TSA of Texas Youth Ambassadors by emailing or calling the TSA of Texas office.


TSA's Youth Ambassador Program trains 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.
Hoops for Hope - Bay CIty Embraces Leonard Moreno & TSA of Texas


Join a determined family and a supportive community as they bring awareness to Tourette's syndrome in honor of Leonard Moreno.


"Hoops for Hope" -- Saturday, June 1

Bay City Middle School Gym, Bay City, TX.  


Basketball tournament, moonwalk, train, raffle, 

balloon release, variety of delicious food -- all donated by this 

incredibly generous community.    

Tourette's syndrome information presented by Sheryl Kadmon, 

TSA of Texas Executive Director. 





For more information or to make a donation,
contact Crystal at ac_cm@att.net or 
the TSA of Texas office at TouretteTexas@aol.com 


                   VIEW the "Hoops for Hope" Facebook page HERE.




     The ARCHER Study is evaluating an investigational medication to see if it may help reduce the number and severity of tics in children ages 7-17 years old with Tourette's Disorder.

To learn more about the ARCHER Study  www.ArcherStudy.com.

Study approved by National TSA.

SAVE THE DATE:  19th Annual Tee-Off for Tourette's Golf Tournament


     Mark your calendars for Monday, October 28 at Canongate at The Woodlands - Panther Trail Course.  Our 19th Annual Tee-Off for Tourette's will host golfers to lunch, golf, dinner, auction and awards.  Contact Chairpersons Barbara and Daryl Brister at darbar4@comcast.net or 281-395-5392 for more information or to be placed on the brochure mailing list.  


Sponsorships start as low as $100; teams of four or individual golfers slots available.  Auction, door prize or goodie bag items and cash donations of any size are welcomed!

Join in the fun at a beautiful course and help support the many programs and activites of TSA of Texas.


Info from the PATH Project


Is Your Young Adult Ready to Work?

Thinking about a Summer Job or Regular Employment?


Solving the Employment Puzzle
Free workshop from PATH to help parents know what they can do to help their young person prepare for employment.  Includes an introduction to available services and how to obtain them, as well as identifying key factors that assist youth with disabilities to become successfully employed.  Space is limited and registration is required.  
CLICK HERE to register at a site near you, email pathproject@partnerstx.org or 
call (800) 866-4726 and ask for PATH.


Partners Resource Network-- PATH Project is a Parent Training & Information Center funded by a grant from the US Department of Education-Office of Special Education Programs.  For more information, visit www.PartnersTx.org.
"Good News" from Our Families 
  Jake Arthur


Jake Arthur had his first full middle school band concert, where he plays the French horn.  He plans to keep playing and practicing all summer and play again in the Pearland Jr High South band next fall.



Michael B My eldest son Michael Rene Balderas Jr. was diagnosed with Tourette's several years ago and has been struggling to manage it since then. Academics and his self worth were the most difficult challenges he faced. However these are not the first obstacles that Michael has faced. At birth Michael was born with a severe case of club feet, a condition where the feet are deformed and in his case were completely facing inward. He had to have a surgery that cut around both of his feet and he was in casts his first year. After that he went though extensive treatment to be able to gain movement and eventually walk. He still has complications with his hips and feet because of it. When he became stronger and was able to run and play he developed asthma, which tends to complicate things for him. Through treatment, medicine and his determination, my son Michael has been actively involved in  baseball, football, and basketball. He is an A/B honor roll student at school along with taking Gifted and Talented courses. Michael does have to work harder to make things happen, but he does not let up -- he has turned something negative into a positive. My son Michael is a strong inspirational young man with a positive attitude and bright future. He is my hero!

Submitted by Michael Rene Balderas, Edinburg, TX



Lexie Bardwell won the championship title for a Future Chefs competition at her school, Selman Lexie Elementary. The category was salad and she and Mom came up with a recipe called "Tropical Teriyaki Salad." Lexie worked with the cafeteria at her school to prepare the salad and serve it to the judges and family members of the other kids competing. She was then entered into the Regional Competition and was one of 27 kids picked nationwide to compete at the regional level.  There were only 2 kids from the state of Texas chosen and she was one of them! She won fantastic prizes from both competitions. Her family is very proud of her.



 Amanda Case's upcoming Senior Year looks exciting. This past week she was inducted into the National Honor Society.  She has also been elected to be Vice President of Student Council and holds the leadership position for FCA (Fellowship Christian Athletes).  Amanda plans to continue in Amanda FFA, Choir and the bowling team and also remains very active in our Church.  She will continue her employment at Hurricane Harbor this summer as well as attending leadership conference, church camp and attending a semester of summer school to get all her basic credits in around her busy schedule.  

Amanda's mom writes: "Sometimes I have to stop and take deep breaths...No one has ever told this girl she couldn't do something, because every day she continues to prove to us that she can do anything. We are in the process of looking at colleges and she has been receiving letters from colleges requesting her to apply! Her goal is to become a teacher and by the middle of next year she will be spending half days in the classrooms of elementary schools teaching through her practicum class. We are looking forward to seeing where life and God take her in the future."


 Anthony Flores of San Antonio is graduating from Sandra Day O'Connor High School on June 12th with National Society Honors.  He has also already been accepted into UTSA.  Anthony also just found out that he is also accepted to the UTSA School of Music!


Timothy Gray of Amarillo started junior high this year.  He made the A honor roll every six weeks the entire past year.  He is being moved up to 4 AP classes next year.  His mom is very proud of him.  Also, Amarillo ISD sent some of the staff members from his junior high to the National Tourette Syndrome conference last year in preparation for Timothy's arrival.  This year has been smooth and amazing because the staff was so prepared for him.  Education is a powerful thing.


Jackson H. played guitar at Rockstravaganza 2013 in Deep Ellum/Dallas. 
This was Jackson's first Rockstravaganza --  a School of Rock, 5 school (DFW) show.  He did a great job, had a great time, and his family is really proud of him. 
Jackson has a mellow, relaxed stage presence, that one audience member referred to as "elegant." His mother Leslie agrees and says, "Something about music....there is just something about music."




Ian Henry of Tomball has earned all A's for the school year.  He is in 5th grade.  Ian also has the most Accelerated Reader points in his school of 900 with over 1000 points.  His parents are very proud of his hard work this year!


Hal Kadmon, Electrical Engineer for Toshiba, (and whose mother Sheryl Kadmon worried he would never make it through High School!) recently became engaged to college sweetheart Claudine.


  Tyler MOrris

Tyler Rae Morris, TSA of Texas Youth Ambassador from Sugar Land, spoke to over 170 4th grade students and all 8 4th grade teachers at Rita Drabek Elementary School.  The talk requested by one of Tyler's high school teachers, who also a child with TS. He was so excited to finally be able to talk to this group of kids because Tyler has been in touch with this teacher/child for over a year in planning this activity. 


Laura Spencer (20) just completed her first year of college and received notice that her scholarship is renewed for next year.   Her brother, Matthew Spencer (17), placed 7th overall in the TCEA State Robotics competition for Robotic Inventions.  Both live in Port Neches, Texas  



Chloe Starkey, 12 of Cypress, TX is the setter and team captain for the 12 Elite Volleyball team at Houston Juniors Volleyball Club in Houston, TX.  During the the Lonestar Regional Tournament held in Houston, TX April 27-28 Chloe's team won a bid to play in the 2013 Junior National Tournament (formerly Junior Olympics) which will be held this summer in Dallas, TX!

 Chloe played the entire two days and never came off the court!  Chloe has been playing volleyball since kindergarten and was diagnosed with TS in the second grade.  Chloe continues to overcome many obstacles but never lets TS get in her way!  




In early April, Sean Wolfson umpired a Spring training game for the Sugar Land Skeeters vs The Long Island Ducks. Playing and pitching in that game were Former MLB superstars Dontrell Willis who was throwing 92 mph that nite, Josh Barfield, and Roger Clemens' son Koby. After his fine performance, Sean was then  selected as a fill-in umpire

for the regular season, a huge step to fulfilling his dream to become a pro umpire. NO TIC TOO TOUGH! .  


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.   

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, web site downloads, email 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, theater outings 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.  Visit our web site at www.TouretteTexas.org.  If you have needs other than those listed above, please let us kno w 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, Targets for Tourette's Sporting Clay Shoot in March; or our Tee-Off for Tourette in October),
  • DONATING items or gift certificates for Silent Auction at either Gala or Tee-Off,
  • ORDERING a tribute card sent in honor of someone's special event or sent in someone's memory  
  • CONTRIBUTING via cash, check or credit card to our general fund or a support group of your choice,
  • DESIGNATING TSA of Texas to receive 10-100% of your final sale price the next time you list something on EBAY.  Or look for listings that support TSA of Texas when you shop at the TSA of Texas eBay Giving Works page.
  • LINKING your Randall's or Tom Thumb Remarkable Card to charity #2493, or 
  • DOWNLOADING a Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor bar code to link to your Kroger Share card. Click here.  NOTE:  Kroger MUST be re-lnked each year starting in June.

All donations are totally tax deductible.  Learn More>>  

Bonne Nouvelle is published quarterly by TSA of Texas.  It is co-edited by Sheryl Kadmon, Shelley Matcha & Cindy Sacks.