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Category: Teen

My name is Olivia Woodrich and I am a Rising Leader for the Tourette Association of America. I consider myself a powerful advocate thanks to the training and tools I have received from the TAA, however nothing could have prepared me for what I’d experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With help from the TAA I have been equipped with the tools I need to confidently educate those around me about Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders. In my role as Miss Route 66, representing the state of Oklahoma, I have spoken to packed auditoriums and appeared in the news, but I wasn’t prepared for all the stares and angry looks because of my coughing tic.
During these uncertain times, you may notice that Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorder symptoms may intensify, as well as the co-occurring conditions like ADHD, OCD, Anxiety, Depression and more. Children in particular may have difficulty understanding what is going on, and may have trouble expressing their feelings. Here are resources that can support the community.
At the time of this writing, the CDC recommendation is to cancel or postpone gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. The TAA will follow these guidelines and closely monitor updates as they become available. Online and virtual programming will ramp up in the coming days to ensure we remain your best resource during this complicated and confusing time. Please continue to check tourette.org for additional communications and further information. The TAA has closed its physical offices and transitioned to work-from-home through March 27. At that time we will reevaluate best next steps to ensure ongoing mission delivery, the safety of our staff, and the health of the organization. In the meantime, we remain 100% committed to meeting the needs of our community. All managers and staff members of the TAA team are just a phone call or email away. Please visit our staff page to reach staff directly via email with any questions or concerns.
My name is Emily Blattberg. I am 16 years old and I’m in 11th grade. I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome in 4th grade, but I’ve probably had tics since I was 5 years old. For the longest time, I struggled to accept my diagnosis because of the misconceptions that I had of what TS was and that led me to be in denial. I was afraid of what others would think of me. I was scared and confused about what my life would become.
On March 4, in Washington, D.C., the Tourette Association of America will advocate for the most pressing issues facing the TS community on National Advocacy Day. Youth Ambassadors, TAA staff, volunteers, and community members will head to Capitol Hill to speak with elected officials on policy affecting the community. Youth Ambassadors and a Support Group Leader share their experiences from past Advocacy Day events and what it was like to #Rally4Tourette.