The Tourette Association of America Oklahoma Chapter is a volunteer led, nonprofit organization supporting the needs of individuals and families affected by Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders. We are committed to raising public awareness and fostering social acceptance; advancing scientific understanding, treatment options and care; educating professionals to better serve the needs of children, adults and families challenged by Tourette and Tic Disorders; advocating for public policies and services that promote positive school, work and social environments; Providing help, hope and a supportive community across the nation; and empowering our community to deal with the complexities of this spectrum of disorders.
The Oklahoma Chapter provides support to Oklahoma families and individuals affected by Tourette. It does that in several ways: sponsoring support groups centered in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Stillwater; conducting teacher and school in-service training; providing information on educational IEPs and 504s; and answering questions regarding student behavior and associated conditions. The Oklahoma Chapter actively seeks to involve young adults in the Tourette Association of America’s Youth Ambassador and Rising Leader programs and also sponsors a post-secondary scholarship program for high school graduates.
Stillwater Support Group (via Zoom), Saturday, February 13, 10-11 AM. Contact Mimi Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom details
- Oklahoma City – Darla Chitsey (405-343-9211 email@example.com ) and Bryant Chitsey.
- Stillwater – Kate Mielitz (405-762-0868 firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Kaden Mielitz, and Mimi Ward (405-377-3884 email@example.com )
- Tulsa – Karen Woodrich (918-694-0080 firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Olivia Woodrich
Contact any of the above coordinators to learn more and request a support group meeting.
The TAA Youth Ambassador Program brings together, trains and supports teens to advocate for and talk about Tourette and Tic Disorders in their community, with their elected officials and before their peers at school, sports leagues, scout troops, camps and after-school programs. Learn More
Youth Ambassadors are 12-17 years of age and go through a training program along with their parent or guardian, thus comprising a Youth Ambassador team. Oklahoma currently has two Youth Ambassadors, each of whom has had unique opportunities and experiences as a result of the program. Each can attest to how important the program has been for them.
· Bryant – The Youth Ambassador program has been very influential to me and I am very grateful. I have learned so much more about TS and I have met so many others that share this condition when I had never met anyone like me.
· Kaden – I like the Youth Ambassador program because I get to help people. I get to talk to classes about Tourette to help other students not get bullied. I also get to work with my mom to train future teachers to know what it’s like to have Tourette from the student’s point of view.
Rising Leader Program
The Rising Leaders program is a way for aged-out Youth Ambassadors and young adults to continue growing their leadership skills and advocating for persons with Tourette. Oklahoma has one former Youth Ambassador currently serving as a Rising Leader. In that capacity, Olivia has traveled across the country giving anti-bullying and inclusion presentations on Tourette to students, teachers, and school administrators. She also founded a non-profit organization that teaches children with Tourette how to advocate for themselves in the classroom.
Teacher In-Service Training
The TAA conducts in-service presentations around the state with various schools on an as needed basis. It can make a tremendous difference in your child’s academic experience to have the school staff educated about the many facets of TS. Learn More
Three Oklahoma Chapter Board members are trained Education Specialists by the TAA (Karen Woodrich, Kate Mielitz, Miriam Ward). Each is available to assist with in-school training for teachers and students. Each also can accompany parents during IEP meetings with teachers.
School Services and Parent Advocacy
A wealth of information is available for Oklahoma parents of school age children. Some information pertains to advocating for your child in the school with tips on how to approach teachers and administrators. Other information pertains to creating specialized programs (an IEP or a 504 Plan) for your child to help her/him be successful and to work with the school system to find the best avenue for learning for your child. Learn more by clicking the links below.
The Oklahoma Chapter of the Tourette Association of America received an unexpected bequeath from a deceased individual’s estate. Current Chapter members have no knowledge of the history of this person’s connection to Tourette Syndrome or someone with Tourette. The Board of Directors thoughtfully considered how to use the generous gift. The Board believes our Chapter’s scholarship program is a living legacy to this individual’s generosity. Necessary information for potential applicants can be found by clicking on the links below.
Both for parents and for the individual diagnosed with Tourette, the symptoms and diagnosis can be a bit unnerving, because there is so much uncertainty. The Tourette Association of America (TAA) has excellent resources and you can learn much from the documentary at You Tube, “I Have Tourette’s, But Tourette’s Doesn’t Have Me.” However, the Oklahoma Chapter wanted a video featuring Oklahoma parents and persons with Tourette (children and adults), so the Chapter produced, “In Your Own Words.”