Brad Cohen loves school. The second-grade teacher at Tritt Elementary in east Cobb loves the students, the activities and the excitement of learning. Cohen has Tourette's syndrome that makes him twitch his face, jerk his head and make loud noises. As a young student Tourette's made him a target for ridicule. As an adult, it presented problems as he sought to fulfill his dream of becoming a teacher.
Now, Cohen has put his experiences in a book titled "Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had." Cohen provides an account of growing up with Tourette's and of his determination not to let the disease rule his life. His goal in writing the book was not to gain sympathy, but to educate.
"Hopefully the book will help people understand Tourette's syndrome," he said. "There are so many misconceptions about the disease. Most people think it's a cursing disease."
He also hopes the book serves as an inspiration for people with disabilities.
"It's a story about the underdog and how the underdog can be successful," said Cohen. "As a child, adult, teacher and someday a parent, I want to help people. I want them to know that even if they have disabilities, they can be successful."
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