Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an inherited, neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable sounds and movements called tics. TS is much more common than most people think, affecting as many as 1 in 100 individuals.
In 2004, NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders, Inc. (NJCTS) received funding from the State of New Jersey to create a Center of Excellence that would provide programs and services to support families, public outreach and awareness campaigns, and education for schools and healthcare professionals in every corner of the state.
More than 15 years later, that funding has also helped NJCTS expand its reach beyond New Jersey through programs such as educational webinars, virtual support groups, the NJCTS Tim Howard Leadership Academy, and the NJCTS Family Retreat Weekend.
Research into the cause and treatment of TS is also of paramount importance, and NJCTS—the first and only Center of its kind in the nation—is at the forefront of addressing the need for more effective treatment options, as well as support and professional assistance for individuals with TS and their families.
NJCTS provides referrals for medical diagnosis, treatment and psychological services; coordinated family support among partner and community organizations; education and training at medical schools and universities to develop a new generation of professionals who are knowledgeable about TS and its associated disorders; and outreach to practicing physicians, educators, and medical professionals.
NJCTS also features the nation’s only university-based, standalone TS teaching practicum and psychological clinic at Rutgers University. In addition, Rutgers is home to the NJCTS Cell & DNA Sharing Repository, which makes genetic material available to qualified researchers worldwide as they work to understand factors that someday may lead to better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for TS.
In 2014, NJCTS partnered with U.S. Men’s Soccer goalkeeper and TS advocate Tim Howard to launch the NJCTS Tim Howard Leadership Academy, a four-day intensive program for high school students diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome held at Rutgers. The Academy provides a positive, respectful, safe, and accepting environment centered on self-empowerment, self-leadership, self-advocacy, and resilience.
As NJCTS powers ahead into its second decade of supporting the TS community, we invite you to partner with us as we seek to push the boundaries of education, treatment, outreach, awareness, and advocacy for every child, teenager, adult, and family affected by Tourette Syndrome. It doesn’t matter what makes us different when we focus on what makes us strong.