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Tic With It
Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc.
Detroit-East Michigan Chapter
June, 2000
Barb's final article as vice-president.

Friends,
This year I have decided not to run for Vice-President of Education for our chapter. It has been a position that I have enjoyed very much. I have met so many wonderful people and I know the information I have shared has helped all of us learn to advocate for our children.

It all started when Mary Kennedy was the President of our chapter. I was so relieved to find out that my son had a problem with a name. I could finally learn how to work with him and the Doctors. Mary was always there with advice and support. I am forever grateful for the gift of her time and knowledge. Because of her help I was able to also get help for my daughter who was diagnosed in first grade.

Rose Wood was there to help me find ways to work with my son and daughter. The parenting classes I attended were not helpful to me at all. No one had the same difficulties that I was experiencing. She helped me to learn what my children needed and how to get them to cooperate without yelling and without ever needing to use corporal punishment again. She helped me with my medication questions and reassured me when things were tough. In order to thank them for their help, I eventually started going with Mary and Rose to in-service trainings and some I.E.P.s.

Soon when Rose and Mary had to move on, I decided it was time to get more involved. Art and I went to a Regional Conference in Georgia and we learned so much that we couldn't wait to share what we learned. We also met more wonderful people. The same thing was true at the National Conference. We spent lots of time getting to know other parents and many adults with TS who were more than willing to share their own experiences.

It is dismaying to see our members struggle with their children's issues, There was so much we could accomplish and needed to. Working with Art on many of these issues has been great. Without his drive and ability to move forward, I believe this chapter would not be what it is today. This year I achieved my goal of chairing a seminar for parent's and teachers. It is difficult to try to take the message of TS to so many schools, and this was the best way of reaching more teachers and parents. Thank you all for helping us to achieve this goal. I am very proud to have been a part of this chapter and am grateful that I was given the opportunity to work with all of you. Erika & I will still be at the meetings since this group is like a big extended family.

Of course, I will not be gone completely. My hope is to work with Dr. Bernie Travnikar, Director of the Positive Behavior Support Network. I feel that if schools would adopt these techniques for working with ALL children, then ours will have a much better chance to succeed. I also have felt that many of the kids that drop out of school do so needlessly. If a child is being suspended more than 10 days, there must be a reason that needs addressing. How can it help a child to learn by sending him home to hang out?

Welcome to Michelle our new chapter President and my very good friend. I would like to wish her the very best this year. I know she will work very hard to keep this chapter growing and has already made a difference in many TS families lives.
Love to all of you,
Barb Schmatz



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