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Tic With It May 15, 1998
Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc. Archives
Detroit Metropolitan Chapter

The President's Page
Art Abbott

Past 60 days: What an exciting period to be affiliated with TSA. In early March, Support Director Barb Schmatz and I were honored to present a Tourette Syndrome workshop at a statewide conference sponsored by Michigan's Council for Exceptional Children. The majority of the 1400 attendees were special education staff (directors, social workers, T.C.s, etc.) from Michigan Schools. The attendance at and response to our workshop was overwhelming. We filled the 120 seats in the conference room, ringed the walls with standees while more sat in the aisles and stood in the dooorway. Conference organizers have promised a larger room and multiple workshops next year.

Bowl-a-Thon '98: March 14 was the date--and the winners are all the Tourette kids and families in the Metropolitan Detroit area. Thank you to the site coordinators. When the dust settled and the pizza was paid for, the chapter netted approximately $1,000.00. The kids had a great time and so did the adults.

Summer is just around the corner: Tourette parents are reminded to review the goals of the I.E.P.s in place for your children before classes end in June. Some parents may even consider going to school one day to observe their children's interactions with classmates, gauge effectiveness of current strategies and accomodations and start thinking about the I.E.P. for next fall. Don't wait for September to talk to the teacher(s). Pro-active is always preferable to re-active.

Tourette kids especially appreciate the break from classes and homework, but I think summer boredom hits them even harder. "There's nuthin' to do, Mom." Maybe that's why we started planning some activities for Tourette kids and their sibs a few years ago. A repeat of last year's very popular 4 day/3 night camping trip is scheduled for July 16-19 at the group camp just north of Kensington Metropark. On arrival and set-up day all activities, such as fishing and games are on the campground. On day two we spend the day in Kensington park enjoying boating, fishing, picnics, the nature trail and the beach. Day 3 is spent canoeing the Huron River from a point near Proud Lake through Milford and back to our camp. We have campfires every night, plenty of marshmallows (if the raccoons don't get to them first) and prizes for the group that sings the silliest songs. This is a great outing for camping families, but if camping is not your bag, you can drive out each day just to enjoy the activities. At least one parent must attend with his or her kids. Put this weekend on your calendar and call for map, cost and reservations.

The annual TS picnic will be at 4 Bears Waterpark again this year. The park is on Auburn Road east of Dequindre, west of Utica. It is open to all TS families for the day. Just bring your own picnic lunch. This event will probably be on a Sunday in early August and we are going to arrange a rain date one week later. If there is interest in other types of outings or activities, we would welcome your input. Call me at my office, 248-585-8118.

The National TSA Conference is at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia on October 16-19. The registration information is in and you may call me for a packet. Conference registration is $115.00 per member and a double room costs $99.00. Optional activities include a Friday morning trip to Capitol Hill, a dinner cruise on the Potomac Friday evening and an awards banquet on Saturday evening.

I encourage all member families to consider attending. You will learn more about Tourette Syndrome in three days at this conference than in a lifetime of reading and support meetings--a true total immersion experience. These conferences are held every two years. The next one will be in the Southwest followed by a conference on the West Coast. The TS conference will not be this close again for six years. You may choose to fly, but it is a one day drive and a great family trip. There is some talk about leasing or borrowing a motor home and driving down as a group, if interest warrants. At least two or three chapter officers will attend to represent Metropolitan Detroit. Put this date on your calendar and call for information.

Come to the June 12 election meeting at Providence Hospital at 7:00 p.m. and please consider assisting one of the committees in the 1998-99 chapter year. I seek your vote of confidence to continue as your president for another year.



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