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Students attending Dare To Dream Conference will benefit from seeing peers as presenters
May 21 conference at Rutgers University will feature speeches and breakouts led by high school and college students with TS and associated disorders
Hundreds of Garden State middle and high school students are expected to descend upon Rutgers University’s Busch Campus in Piscataway for the conference, which is being co-developed by The New Jersey Office of Special Education and the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS).
The conference will feature presentations from students and adults with neurological disorders who have demonstrated exemplary self-advocacy and leadership skills; breakout sessions, which will provide attendees insight into the transition process and skills to cultivate self-advocacy;
One of the keynote addresses will be titled “Voices of Experience,”
Tourette Syndrome is an often misunderstood, misdiagnosed neurological disorder that affects as many as 1 in 100 children, teenagers and adults.
“I am going to be talking about my OCD, Tourette and anxiety, and how one should never put their head down and give up,” said Delaney, who regularly writes for the NJCTS-affiliated blog Teens4TS at www.njcts.org/
There also will be groups presenting at the conference – such as The Junction, a small school of students who are led by Mary Beth Reid. Reid asked her students about the message they each will convey at Dare To Dream, and this is how they responded:
Jason: "Don't give up."
Mike: “Fear is your enemy; focus is your friend."
Richard: "These are really, really good life lessons, and you are teaching life lessons here, too. Life lessons are things everyone needs to learn."
Derek: "Believe in yourself – or at least try. Don't give up your hopes and dreams."
Eric: "Move further ... you can do it."
NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Melissa Fowler, M.A., M.Ed, believes the students who attend this conference will benefit not only from the programs being presented, but from seeing fellow students – who are dealing with the same or similar conditions in their lives – giving the presentations.
"It is widely accepted that learning is not one-size-fits-
More information on signing up for the conference is available by calling NJCTS at 908-575-7350 or Bob Haugh of the New Jersey Department of Education at 609-633-6431, or by visiting http://njcts.org/