Virtual Teen Summit 2022

Topic                                                        TAA Virtual Teen Summit

Time                                                         November 5th 12:00 – 4:00pm PM Eastern

Registration Link                         

This afternoon is designed for teens ages 13-17. It is sure to be filled with phenomenal information from guest speakers, those with Tourette and clinical experts, as well as time for questions, breaks away from the screen, and time for interacting with each other. See the full agenda for more information. We can’t wait to see you there!


Opening: 12:00pm-12:10pm

Title: Living with OCD; OCD as my Superpower 12:10-1:00


During this webinar designed for teens you will learn about OCD as a co-occurring condition with Dr. Shannon Bennett. Then join Izzy Liberman, a teenager who struggles with OCD and anxiety, as he talks about how his compulsions can sometimes be put to good use. Izzy accepts his OCD as part of who he is and will talk about how it helps him in certain aspects of his life. Both Dr. Bennett and Izzy will be on for questions and answers at the end of the session.

Presenters Izzy Liberman and Dr. Shannon Bennett


IzzyIzzy Lieberman is a 17 year-old senior at Viewpoint School in Calabasas, California. When he isn’t playing on the Varsity Football team, he can be found working at Pac-Sun Clothing in the local mall or working on a student film with his classmates.

Diagnosed with Tourette at age 5, Izzy struggled with tics and intrusive thoughts throughout elementary school and middle school. When his younger brother also was diagnosed with Tourette and was consequently bullied at school, Izzy decided to intervene. He became an official TAA Youth Ambassador in 2020 and has enjoyed educating teachers and students alike about what Tourette is and more importantly what Tourette is not.

Shannon bennett 1Shannon Bennett, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in cognitive behavioral interventions for child, adolescents, and adults suffering from OCD, anxiety disorders, tic disorders, or other related conditions. Dr. Bennett is Co-Director of the Weill Cornell Pediatric OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program (POCAT), where she provides diagnostic assessments, cognitive behavioral therapy, and consultations.

Dr. Bennett’s past clinical and academic positions include: Assistant Attending Psychologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Assistant Professor of Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University.

Dr. Bennett received her B.A., from the University of Notre Dame and her Ph.D. from Boston University.


Title: Managing Anger and Strong Reactions 1:15pm – 2:00pm


Everyone has feelings of anger, this is natural.  Learning how to recognize anger and manage feelings of anger in a productive way, instead of reacting in a way that you may regret later, will benefit you, your friendships, and other relationships. Join us as Tess Gladstone, MA (TTS,OATS, Rehab extern), Dr. Kristen Kipperman and Elise Feller, 14,  talk openly and give tips on anger and anger management.

Presenters Tess Gladstone and Dr, Kristen Kipperman

Tess Gladstone is a fifth year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at Kent State University. She received her M.A. from Kent State University in Spring 2021 and completed her B.A in Psychology and English from Georgetown University in 2014. Her career goals include working as a child psychologist among parents and children with a variety of concerns (e.g., anxiety, OCD, disruptive behaviors). Although born and raised in Cleveland, Tess also has an affinity for the east coast, living 6 recent years there. Outside of working hours you are most likely to find her training her Bernedoodle puppy, running outside, reading a mystery or historical fiction novel, playing with her nieces/nephew, and/or drinking a hot chocolate.


KristenDr. Kristen Kipperman, PhD is a post-doctoral fellow in pediatric psychology. She graduates from Lehigh University in January 2023, with her doctorate in School Psychology and a sub-specialization in pediatric psychology. This is Kristen’s second year at Akron Children’s Hospital, after completing her predoctoral internship at MetroHealth Medical Center and a second year of residency at Akron Children’s. Her primary clinical focus is in gender-affirming care, including assessment, intervention, research, and program development. Kristen also enjoys providing services through the Tic and Tourette Service and the Consultation/Liaison Service. Outside of work, Kristen enjoys spending time with her friends, walking her dog, going to the beach, visiting family, and reading. 


Title: Making Your Tics Work for You 2:15pm-3:00pm

Description: In this session we will learn how Tourette Syndrome can be an asset as opposed to a liability. What makes us tic is often what makes us unique and interesting. Gardiner Comfort shares his experience as an actor and writer who has created his own original theatre by harnessing his symptoms, as well as his unique, TS inspired view of the world, to be a strong, independent artist. The group will be given opportunities to create their own original presentations based on their experiences and strengths.

Presenter Gardiner Comfort

Making Your Tics Work for You Pt 2  – 3:15pm – 4:00pm

In this session teens will share what their original creations from session one. This is an exciting opportunity to get to know each other better and wrap-up what is sure to be an afternoon of learning and fun. Gardiner will be available for questions and answers at the end of the creative sharing session.


GardinerGardiner Comfort is an actor, writer, and teacher. He holds an MFA in acting from the American Repertory Theater Acting Institute at Harvard University and has traveled the world as an actor in many productions. As part of his MFA training he spent a semester at the prestigious Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia.

He has created and performed two solo shows. One, THE ELEPHANT IN EVERY ROOM I ENTER, created with director Kel Haney, about his life with Tourette Syndrome, was presented at La Mama and New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door Series and continues to tour to theaters and educational institutions across the US. He is an advocate for the Tourette Syndrome and disability communities, serving on the board of the NYC Chapter of the Tourette Association of America. He is also a certified NYC tour guide. His newest project is a  short film he wrote and starred in called Battle Rattle. It’s based on a full length play he is also developing.