EDISON – The NJCTS Parent Connection at Middlesex/Union debuted on Sept. 12, bridging the gap for parents of children with Tourette Syndrome and other associated neurological disorders who often find it extremely difficult to locate, get to know and ultimately bond with other families struggling to mitigate through similar circumstances.
The Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey, in collaboration with the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS), hopes to build on that momentum when the next NJCTS Parents Connection at Middlesex/Union meeting takes place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at JFK Medical Center’s Neuroscience Institute Library, 65 James Street in Edison.
The NJCTS Parent Connection is a bi-monthly meeting designed to provide face-to-face discussion, encouragement, friendship and networking for TS families through focusing on coping strategies. Tourette Syndrome – an inherited, misdiagnosed, misunderstood neurological disorder that affects 1 in 100 children – is difficult to live with and often can be very complicated and frustrating for fathers and mothers.
“Our first meeting went very well,” said Steven Lindenbaum, volunteer coordinator for the NJCTS Parent Connection at Middlesex/Union. “Two new families came to the meeting and cannot wait to return. They actually wanted the meet more often. The popular discussion topic revolved around what we do to cope with our TS, how we were able to cope with it in middle school, what strategies we had to help ourselves and what new information is out there now to try and help children cope today.”
In addition to learning more about Tourette Syndrome coping strategies and techniques, parents of children with TS often have expressed the need to connect with other families in their area. The NJCTS Parent Connection is the premier program in New Jersey for such interaction in the Tourette community.
“The NJCTS Parent Connection is an opportunity to get to know parents nearby and share the joys and challenges of living with a child diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome,” NJCTS Family Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Leanne Loewenthal said. “A support network of others is vital to a family’s success, so we hope all TS families in Middlesex and Union counties take advantage of this wonderful chance to ‘make a connection.’ ”
The NJCTS Parent Connection at Middlesex/Union also is scheduled to meet in 2014 on Jan. 9, March 13 and May 8. If you do not live in either of these counties, there are four other regional NJCTS Parent Connection locations throughout New Jersey:
- Morris/Sussex counties: St. Clare’s Hospital in Denville
- Somerset/Hunterdon counties: Somerset Medical Center in Somerville
- Atlantic/Ocean counties: Richard Stockton College in Galloway
- Burlington/Camden counties: Virtua Hospital in Marlton
There also will be a workshop for parents, centered on family support and genetics research, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at Hackensack University Medical Center – the NJCTS Parent Connection’s first foray into Bergen and Passaic counties.
For more information about the NJCTS Parent Connection at Middlesex/Union, the Hackensack workshop or one of the other four groups, contact Leanne Loewenthal at 908-575-7350 or LLoewenthal@njcts.org. As a NJCTS Parent Connection date approaches, check www.njcts.org for updates on if the group still will take place on that date.
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