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Need Article for Camp Counselor

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  • Need Article for Camp Counselor

    Sigh... I wish there were an easy way to browse quickly through the large number of articles that have been posted here. I need an article to share with a camp counselor. Said counselor means well but needs some guidance. She's well educated, prefers print over video. Ideas I need her to be able to glean from the article(s):

    - In large gatherings, child with TS gets overexcited -- this is natural and to be expected

    - So, expect that to happen, and plan how YOU will handle it (hint: work on your own deep breathing)

    - You will not be fired for your TS camper's "disruptive behavior" -- you are a separate person, and if anything, you will be judged for your ability to keep your composure!

    - Scolding for symptoms (which are not limited to tics per se) is counterproductive

    - What does help? Keeping a close emotional connection with the child prior to, and during, large gatherings

    - Physical connection (e.g. hand on shoulder, eye contact) also helps

    - Medications for TS don't work like a magic wand -- you don't just pop a pill and then the symptoms subside

    - Separate out the biggies from the things that don't really matter in the long run -- hint: the top priorities are: keep all your campers out of jail and do not lose a camper; avoiding landing in the Emergency Room with any of your campers is icing on the cake, and everything else is a smallie.

    I need these messages in something that looks like a published article, with a byline that is not my own name. The fact sheets and so on that I have reviewed this morning are more focused on younger children and on school settings. The problems are coming up when the teenaged campers go on a field trip to an expensive concert attended by well dressed people.

    Sometimes I think that if my teen's tics were more pronounced it would be easier to get some of these ideas through. Staff get lulled by the subtlety of his symptoms most of the time, into thinking, If he just puts in a bit more effort, he would not embarrass me in public....

  • #2
    Re: Need Article for Camp Counselor

    It sounds like this person requires more training and education than can be found in one article, in order to have, not only an understanding of the pathology of the Tourette, but also all the associated disorders, but also an internship where proper practical training would be provided.

    I believe people who specialize in doing this kind of care and support work come with an academic background that gives them the professional training they need to care for a vulnerable population of kids.

    Perhaps a good starting point would be the web pages of TAA dealing with Resources and Support and the web pages of TA dealing with TS and Professionals

    I would venture to say that if this person is unfamiliar with or has issues with each of the issues you listed, this person should not be involved with a vulnerable population until having received appropriate training and education.
    TouretteLinks Forum


    • #3
      Re: Need Article for Camp Counselor

      You got that one down pretty clear and concise. Just need to add a bit of "How To" to each point and you have a pretty good article.

      Write it up as a technical looking article and put my name or someone else's on it LOL (Ghost writer article)

      What you're looking for might be harder to find than what you posted.
      "If at first you don't succeed....
      CRY and CRY again!"


      • #4
        Re: Need Article for Camp Counselor

        Thanks, Gary, when my current intense school advocacy efforts slow down, I will invite you to co-author a Fact Sheet for Camp Counselors with me. I will put a pseudonym on it and you can decide if you want to use your name or not.

        I emailed Sue Conners, president of the Greater New York State Chapter of the Tourette Association of America, and she dug through her collection of pamphlets and brochures from when she was the Education Specialist for the TAA (then TSA), and found a doozie. It's not quite the same as my bulleted list, but I like it a lot and I think it will be helpful and I have sent it to the counselor and the director. Here's the article: Teachers Who Get It E-103.pdf

        Steve, I should explain. My son is currently at a high level camp for a particular art form. The counselors are tops in their field. And to be fair, they're not handling things any worse than the teachers at my son's middle school did -- actually, I would say, better. At least the counselor was willing to talk to me, and open to reading an article!

        We were very fortunate that the New York State Education Department (NYSED), which runs this camp, sent a high level person in their special education office to the camp to talk to staff about Tourette and about support for students with disabilities. She came on a Sunday morning and met with them for an hour before the campers arrived. I'm still pinching myself.

        Everyone here means well and I'm happy to do some troubleshooting with them.

        Now if we could just get NYSED to provide one-tenth of that support to students with Tourette in the September to June schools, we'd have it made in the shade.
        Last edited by aparente001; August 13, 2017, 05:19 PM.