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Webinar Series for Adults with Tourette

Tourette Syndrome is a lifelong condition impacting all ages. While Tourette Syndrome is a childhood onset disorder, 66% of adults experience tics and co-occurring conditions that persist throughout adulthood. The TAA and Adult Task Force, comprised of adults with TS and leading physicians across the nation, have identified relevant topics of which support for the community is needed.

Tourette Syndrome in the Workplace

Thursday, October 7 at 7pm EST

The workforce can be a complex place to navigate. An extra layer is added when you are a person with a neuro-psychiatric condition, such as Tourette Syndrome. Please join Katie Kompoliti, MD, Scott Loeff and Alexa Katz as they discuss the methods to help you succeed as an adult with Tourette in the workplace.

Takeaways

  • The majority of people with Tourette syndrome have gone on to have productive careers.
  • The best career stories are not always those of people with “minor”, easy to camouflage tics
  • The best career stories are those of people with desirable job skills, strong sense of self and positive attitude
  • Interview preparation and the act of interviewing are skills that every person with Tourette syndrome can improve on
  • Job retention may require some accommodations and knowledge of one’s rights according to the ADA
  • Individuals with Tourette syndrome can succeed in the workplace and survive as communicators and leaders.

Dr. Kompoliti is a board-certified neurologist, the Educational Director of Movement Disorders, as well as the Director of the Movement Disorders’ Fellowship and Center of Excellence on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders at Rush University Medical Center. She is an accomplished author, as well as an experienced principal investigator in research focused on several therapeutic areas, including studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new compounds to treat Tourette Syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, functional movement disorders and dystonia.

Alexa Katz is a consultant at Deloitte, where she focuses on supply chain work in the manufacturing sector. She has navigated motor tics and Trichotillomania since childhood but was not properly diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until recently at age 27. As someone who once found that tics and pulling held her back from being completely confident while public speaking, Alexa is now intentional about seeking out leadership opportunities in the workplace, allowing her to mature quickly in her career. Outside of work, Alexa is also heavily involved in Chicago’s LGBTQ community.

Scott Loeff is an Adult with Tourette Syndrome, who has worked in the Human Resources field for 32 years. He has dealt with just about every facet in the field from hiring to firing, to obtaining reasonable accommodations for both himself and other employees. Scott advises employees, supervisors, senior executives, and other individuals with TS on employment issues. Scott also operates a camp for children with Tourette Syndrome and serves on the board of the TAA Wisconsin Chapter.

Past Webinars Available:

Wellness and Tourette

The trials and tribulations of life can be consuming, and we tend to overlook our own needs. Maintaining your health is of great importance, both physically and mentally. It is particularly important when you are living with a chronic condition such as Tourette Syndrome. Please watch as Dr. Katie Kompoliti, Rochelle Bono, and Ellie Jarvie, LCSW discuss methods to maintain your all-around well-being.

Dr. Kompoliti is the Educational Director of Movement Disorders, as well as the Director of the Movement Disorders’ Fellowship and the Center of Excellence on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders at Rush University Medical Center. She is an accomplished author, as well as an experienced principal investigator in research focused on several therapeutic areas, including studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new compounds to treat Tourette Syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, functional movement disorders and dystonia.

Ellie Jarvie, MSW, LCSW, is an adult with Tourette Syndrome.  She has been involved in support and advocacy efforts since her diagnosis in the mid-1980’s. As someone who had very noticeable symptoms from junior high through her early 30’s, she found that educating others about Tourette was a key accommodation for her success in school and in the workplace. Ellie has worked with youth and adults with a variety of disabilities, including extensive experience in community mental health programs.  She currently works as an advocacy specialist for Disability Rights Wisconsin.

Rochelle is a 39 year old mother who was diagnosed with Tourette at age 9. She was later diagnosed with OCD, ADD, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder at age 28. Rochelle was prescribed medications that contributed to the severity of her disorders. Throughout her life, she was bullied and received support from peers or family.  Ultimately, she became disabled from TS. Rochelle changed her approach to life to a holistic spiritual path that includes athletics, therapies, healthy eating and spiritual ascension which in return has given her the ability to manage her Tourette. Rochelle is the leader of the TAA’s Michigan Support Group for adults, she also advocates in her community and works with her local government to raise awareness about TS. 

Navigating Romantic Relationships

A healthy romantic relationship requires dedicated partners, patience, and time. When one of the partners is impacted by a chronic condition, such as Tourette Syndrome, the relationship can be tested. Dr. Katie Kompoliti and Eric McGowan reunite to discuss the intricacies of navigating a romantic relationship.

Dr. Kompoliti is the Educational Director of Movement Disorders, as well as the Director of the Movement Disorders’ Fellowship and Center of Excellence on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders at Rush University Medical Center. She is an accomplished author, as well as an experienced principal investigator in research focused on several therapeutic areas, including studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new compounds to treat Tourette Syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, functional movement disorders and dystonia.

Eric McGowan has a Bachelor of Science in Acoustics from Columbia College in Chicago and a Master of Arts in Architecture from the University of Kansas. 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.

Women Living with Tourette Syndrome

The life of a woman can often be complex, as she tends to juggle many different roles. She may push her needs to the side to get things done and take care of the people she loves. However, when the woman suffers from a medical condition, especially Tourette Syndrome or another Tic Disorder, time for self-care must be made. Jill Cohen and Jackie Nau, members of the Tourette Association of America’s Adult Task Force,  discuss life as women living with Tourette Syndrome. They share their experiences and give advice when it comes to life’s challenges.

Jill was diagnosed at age 48 and later discovered that she was diagnosed as a child, but her family chose to conceal it from her. After going through a slew of emotions, Jill decided to learn as much as she could about her condition and wanted to use this knowledge to help others.  For the last six years, Jill has been a co-admin of the largest adult only TS support group on Facebook.

Jackie has suffered from Tourette Syndrome, OCD, and ADHD since age six, but was not properly diagnosed until the age of 22.  She now works at the Center for Disabilities and Development at the University of Iowa as a Project Coordinator for the LEND program. Ms. Nau speaks at schools about her with Tourette and comorbid disorders, while also encouraging the inclusion for all persons with disabilities.

Advocacy 101

Self- Advocacy is an important way for a person with Tourette Syndrome to increase awareness about their diagnosis, while also bettering the lives of those affected by TS and other Tic Disorders. TAA VP of Public Policy, Diana Felner, and TAA Rising Leader, Olivia Woodrich, discuss the different forms of advocacy, key disability rights and resources available to you!

Diana has 20 years of experience in government and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining the Tourette Association, she served as Director of Government Affairs for Bunge North America, Inc. and Head, Federal Government Relations for Syngenta. In these roles, Diana served as a Washington representative for these global multi-national corporations.

Olivia was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at the age of seven. She is a 2016 Youth Ambassador and 2019 Rising Leader for the Tourette Association of America. As such, she has traveled across the county giving anti-bullying and inclusion presentations on TS to thousands of students, teachers, and school administrators. Olivia is currently a junior at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, where she is a Political Science/Pre-Law major. She also competes in the Miss America pageant system and has held two titles.

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 join Dr. Katie Kompoliti and Eric McGowan as they discuss the ways to educate friends, family and community members about Tourette Syndrome.

Workplace Accommodations and Disability Rights

Do you know that having a diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome and associated conditions qualifies you for protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Managing Stress

Mental Health Counselor, Tanya Alvarado and her husband Yamil discuss the difference between healthy and unhealthy stress, how it can affect the brain and the different coping techniques to utilize when experiencing stress. Yamil will also shed light upon how stress affects him as a parent with Tourette Syndrome.

Transitioning Care

When a person with Tourette Syndrome becomes an adult, one of the additional obstacles that they are faced with is identifying a care team to continue their treatment in this stage of life. Dr. Wissam Deeb addresses this issue and provides helpful tips and tools.

A Discussion on COVID-19 and Managing Anxiety

Dr. Anthony Rostain and Emberly Sevilla discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as some of the challenges that our adult community is experiencing during this trying time.