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Tic With It
Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc.
Detroit-East Michigan Chapter
June, 2000
Getting to know each other.

Greetings, my name is Laura Kaakati and I have been nominated to serve as the Director of Education for the 2000/2001 year. As a new member to the TSA family, I feel very privileged to be given such an important role. Personally, I have suffered with the symptoms of Tourette and its related disorders since I was five. Like several adults, I was not diagnosed within a time frame that allowed to me the higher quality of life early diagnosis and proper intervention can often give. For me, the lack of parental understanding, peer ridicule, and loss of education nearly ruined my future. As I got older though, I realized that Tourette Syndrome could be a double edged sword. I finally accepted that I was also a uniquely creative and intuitive person. My social limitations, my hypersensitivity, qualities I had found depressing actually gave me intellectual depth and great compassion. Eventually, after repeated failures in dead-end jobs, I realized that I needed to give myself a "serious" break. I agreed to "start over" academically and accept that no matter how many times I had to retake a class, I was going to get a degree. Six years later I achieved my goal. Today, I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Honors Psychology and University Honors from WSU, am an accomplished Flutist, performer, and teacher. I also live free of medication. I sincerely hope that my efforts as Director of Education serve those who are in need of information, intervention and support.

In light of this new position, I would like to begin my term by inviting all parents, guardians and interested persons to attend our next In-Service/I.E.P. training seminar scheduled for late July or August. For those of you who are not aware, I.E.P. or "Individualized Educational Plan" is development, training, assistance, teacher in-services, and classroom orientation regarding your child's specific needs at school. If your child needs educational assistance but is not getting adequate support, this seminar will help to educate you on what services are available and what measures can be taken to insure your child's academic success. You will also learn how to work with the Tourette Syndrome Association to continually safeguard you child's right to an education. Look for information regarding this valuable seminar at the next meeting, or call the TS Hotline at (810) 779-8872.
Laura Kaakati

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