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  • Brad Cohen at Purdue

    Publication Date: 2006-02-17

    Author visits Purdue to dispel stigma surrounding syndrome

    Brad Cohen would like people to realize that Tourette Syndrome is far more serious than the comedic relief it provides in movies.

    Cohen wrote a book titled "Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had" about his challenges and will be visiting Purdue to discuss his book and share his views on how to overcome the challenges presented in life.

    Growing up with the disorder, Cohen was shunned by family and physically abused by peers, but now he has surpassed all expectations and become a second grade teacher.

    "We all have challenges, and he addresses how to face those challenges and further your life," said Michelle Lehman of the Tourette Syndrome Association of Indiana, a co-sponsor of the event along with the Purdue College of Education.

    Cohen will answer questions people may have about the disorder during his talk, and will try to dispel myths about the syndrome, she said.

    George Hynd, dean of the Collge of Education, said, "One of our main objectives in training teachers is to help them understand the diversity of their students."

    But Hynd stressed that the presentation would be helpful to any individual, as there are general misconceptions that accompany Tourette Syndrome.

    "This is part of our effort to sensitize students to the disorder," he said.

    About five in 10,000 are born with Tourette's, meaning that, statistically, 15 to 20 people on campus (Purdue) are living with the disorder, he said.
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