One of the most important things the TSFC does for the TS community is the In-Service Program. We send trained in-service presenters to speak at schools, workplaces and beyond about Tourette Syndrome and its associated conditions. In-service presenters educate school faculties, students, co-workers and fellow community members, providing everything from a clear understanding of the disorder to classroom strategies to lessons on tolerance and much more. This week, we profile some of the wonderful people responsible for this incredibly valuable service.
I have been a presenter for several years now and I have had several successful speaking engagements. I really enjoy talking about my Tourette Syndrome symptoms – coprolalia and copropraxia to name a few – and explaining what it is like to live with TS+. Several years ago, I spoke to a class of high school students who were learning about different disorders. I ticced several times in front of the class. The students understood. Nobody laughed or made a funny face. I really felt like they got it. One of my most memorable in-service moments was when I was at Frank Hurt Secondary School in Surrey BC speaking to some grade 9 and grade 10 students. One of the students asked me, “Mandeep, why do you say “F@%#^$)(&)*&)#@@_$%”? I looked at all the students and teachers, they were all really shocked that someone actually asked that. I told the crowd that it was a good question and then explained that this is a tic. It is an involuntary symptom of my neurological disorder. It is like the urge to scratch or sneeze. When I was done speaking, everyone clapped for me. It felt really good. I think in-service presentations definitely help people to be more understanding not only of people with TS like me, but also of others who stand out as different because they have a medical condition. I think it is important to go out and educate as much as you can. I am so glad I have been able to be involved in the program! To learn more about becoming an in-service presenter in your community, please contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.