Living With Tourette & OCD: A Community Perspective

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July 8, 2024
7:00 pm
 – 8:00 pm

Join the TAA for a collaborative roundtable discussion on Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the second in a three-part series on TS and co-occurring conditions. We welcome Dr. Shannon Bennett, TAA Medial Advisory Board Member, and Dr. Elle Brennan from Akron Children’s Hospital to share their experiences supporting individuals with TS and OCD. TAA Rising Leaders, Sam Reall and Ivette De Aguiar will share their lived experiences with managing TS and OCD.

Intended Audience:

Teens, Young Adults, Families, and the Community 

Key Takeaways:

  • Hear about the lived experiences of individuals with TS and OCD
  • Learn how to support individuals with TS and OCD at school, work, and beyond
  • Learn from professionals (clinical/educational) about their experience supporting individuals with TS and OCD
  • Access resources to better understand TS and OCD
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Sam Reall

Sam Real was diagnosed with TS, OCD, and anxiety when he was six years old. These are all conditions that have given him challenges throughout his life, but he has been blessed with many people to help him through challenging times. He now wishes the same for others. Same is 21 and currently attends Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Sam was also part of the TAA’s Rising Leader program.


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Ivette De Aguiar

Ivette De Aguiar is a TS advocate, working with the TAA as part of the Rising Leader program. In the past, she has spoken on behalf of the TAA at national conferences and has recently been trained in Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) therapy. Ivette holds a master’s in science in speech-language pathology and is currently working on completing her clinical fellowship in the school system. She will be moving to Miami with her husband and will continue to work as an advocate for individuals with disabilities. 

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Shannon Bennett, PhD

Shannon Bennett, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology in clinical psychiatry at Well Cornell Medical College and an attending psychologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in cognitive behavioral interventions for children, adolescents, and adults suffering from OCD, anxiety disorders, tic disorders, and other related conditions. Dr. Bennett is the clinical director of the NYP Youth Anxiety Center and the director of the Well Cornell Tourette Syndrome Center of Excellence. She provides diagnostic assessments, cognitive behavioral therapy, Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT), and consultations in her clinical practice, and is involved in clinical research studies to improve the understanding of treatment of tic disorders and anxiety disorders. 

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 of Physicians and Surgeons, and assistant professor of psychology in clinical psychiatry at Well Cornell Medical College, Cornell University. Dr. Bennett received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and her PhD from Boston University. 

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Elle Brennan, PhD

Elle Brennan, PhD is a pediatric clinical psychologist within the division of psychology in the department of psychiatry and psychology at Akton Children’s Hospital. She received her BA in psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 2010 and both an MA and PhD in clinical child psychology from Kent State University in 2016 and 2019, respectively. Dr. Brennan also completed a full-time internship in clinical child/pediatric psychology at the Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital in 2019, and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in child/adolescent and pediatric psychology at the Mayo Clinic in 2021. She started her professional journey at Akron Children’s Hospital in 2021 where she provides clinical care to families, training for masters and doctoral students, and serves as the director for the OCD & Anxiety Treatment Service. 

Dr. Brennans primary clinical and research interests include the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders and OCD in children and adolescents, as well as the environmental factors that impact these diagnoses. Professionally, she also provides clinical care for youth with tic disorders, behavioral challenges, and feeding-related concerns. Dr. Brennan is passionate about education, both within the context of clinical training and supervision, as well as teaching within traditional academic settings.