Navigating Family and Personal Relationships

Navigating family and personal relationships with Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders can be tricky at times. It remains misunderstood and those around you may have a difficult time understanding the obstacles faced on a daily basis with this diagnosis. Please watch the video below as Dr. Aikaterini (Katie) Kompoliti and Eric McGowan discuss the ways to educate friends, family and community members about Tourette Syndrome.

Key Points

  • Social and family relations are hard to navigate for everybody, even those who do not have Tourette Syndrome
  • Tourette by itself is not a social disability
  • People with Tourette are often more susceptible to problems with social acceptability
  • Individuals with Tourette can learn to advocate for themselves, establish boundaries and delineate priorities

About Aikaterini Kompoliti

Dr. Kompoliti Photograph 2019

Aikaterini Kompoliti, MD, was born in Greece and completed her early education there, including medical school. After graduating from the University of Patras Medical School, Greece, she pursued her interest in neuroscience by completing a residency in neurology at Northwestern University, Chicago, followed by a fellowship in movement disorders at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago. After the completion of her fellowship, she became a faculty member in movement disorders in the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center where she is currently professor of neurology. She is the author and co-author of numerous publications. Her clinical interests as a principal investigator in research have focused on several therapeutic areas including studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new compounds to treat Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, functional movement disorders and dystonia. Furthermore, she is the educational director of the section of movement disorders and the director of the movement disorders fellowship at Rush University Medical Center.  Dr. Kompoliti is the director of a Center of Excellence on Tourette syndrome and Tic Disorders at Rush University Medical Center.

About Eric McGowan

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Eric McGowan was born and raised in Kansas City and currently resides in Los Angeles. Eric was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at an early age and was lucky to have a tremendous amount of support from his family and friends growing up.  However, he never knowingly met another person with TS before moving to Los Angeles in 2015. He first became involved with the TAA Southern California Chapter in late 2016 and joined the Board of Directors in March 2018.  Eric is passionate about helping those living with TS through advocacy, organization and attendance of Chapter events, and as the director of Camp George – a sleep-away camp for youth with TS and their families. Outside of his involvement with the SoCal TAA, he works as an acoustical consultant in the building industry.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Acoustics from Columbia College in Chicago and a Master of Arts in Architecture from the University of Kansas.