South Plainfield Teen Talked To Kids About TS At Local Library

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Tommy Licato, 13, of South Plainfield reads “Emily’s Tic” to kids on Aug. 15 at the South Plainfield Public Library. (Photo courtesy of the Licato family)

Tommy Licato, 13, of South Plainfield reads “Emily’s Tic” to kids on Aug. 15 at the South Plainfield Public Library. (Photo courtesy of the Licato family)

SOUTH PLAINFIELD – Tommy Licato, a 13-year-old with Tourette Syndrome, recently took part in a reading to kids of “Emily’s Tic,” an illustrated children’s book written by teenager Emily Fleischman that details her own struggles with TS as a child and adolescent.

At the South Plainfield Library event, he answered questions and talked about his life experiences. He even got to do a little storytelling, reading the kids a poem about bats.

“After I was done talking, I asked if anyone had questions. They did, but the questions were just about bats. So I worked with that and told them that another student in my class once said that I should be caged like a bat because of my tics,” Licato said. “There were parents who are teachers there, and they thought it was great that I could put things at level that the kids could understand.”

Licato is part of NJCTS’ Youth Advocate Program, which trains teenagers to speak at Patient-Centered Medical Education trainings at hospitals around New Jersey. Over the past 18 months, the Center has facilitated trainings at Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown twice, Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

More information about this program is available by calling 1-908-575-7350 or by visiting www.njcts.org.


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