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January 16, 2007

Purdue workshop to focus on Tourette's syndrome

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - An internationally known education expert will visit Purdue University on Feb. 2 to help educators understand the challenges of teaching children with Tourette's syndrome.

Sue Conners, an education specialist for the national Tourette Syndrome Association Inc., will lead the daylong workshop Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders in the Classroom. The free workshop will be in Stewart Center, Room 214. Educators, school psychologists, social workers and counselors, nurses and all other educational personnel are encouraged to attend.

Registration, required by Jan. 27, is available online at http://www.education.purdue.edu/pdf/TSAworkshop.pdf. Purdue's College of Education, the national Tourette Syndrome Association and the Indiana chapter of TSA are sponsoring the program, which is funded by a grant and partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Michele Lehman, a Purdue alumna who serves as chairman of TSA of Indiana and leader of the Northwest Indiana Tourette Syndrome support group, said bringing Conners to Purdue builds on a program that last year featured a teacher who has the disorder. She said raising awareness of the disorder, which is characterized by uncontrollable motor and vocal tics, is critical to helping those affected live normal lives.

"Dealing with children in the classroom who have Tourette can be challenging," Lehman said. "This workshop will help all educational personnel better understand the criteria for diagnosing TS. It will also provide practical and useful classroom accommodations and strategies for working with students with TS and the most commonly associated conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and learning disabilities."

Conners is president and founder of TSA of Greater New York State and has taught for 33 years. She also served on the board of directors of TSA Inc. for 12 years and is currently the organization's education specialist.

In addition to the workshop for educators, Conners will offer a free parent workshop for families dealing with the disorder that will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the West Lafayette Public Library, 200 Northwestern Ave. Registration is not required.

Writer: Tanya Brown, (765) 496-9711, tanyabrown@purdue.edu

Sources: Tonya Agnew, (765) 494-0568,  tragnew@purdue.edu

Michele Lehman, (765) 714-9880,  jmfl450@hotmail.com

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: Media are invited to cover the Feb. 2 workshop. For a schedule of events, contact Tanya Brown at (765) 496-9711.

Related Web sites:
Purdue College of Education:  http://www.education.purdue.edu

TSA Indiana:  http://www.tsaindiana.org

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