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Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had
by Brad Cohen and Lisa Wysocky; Acton, Massachusetts, VanderWyk and Burnham, 2005, 250 pages, $22.95
Reviewed by: Neal Adams, M.D., M.P.H.

Storytelling has become an increasingly popular approach for communicating important compelling messages intended to change awareness and attitudes. Front of the Class is a personal account of one man's lifelong struggles with Tourette's syndrome?from childhood to adulthood?and his success in realizing his dreams.

This rather simply written but straightforward book is most appropriate for a lay audience rather than the professional reader. Tourette's is a rare condition and is one of those unusual disorders with significant neurological and psychiatric impacts. The book does a good job of describing the neurological symptoms while providing some insights into the physical symptoms of this disorder and the psychological and social impacts on both the individual and the entire family.

Although the book might help some professionals to understand the personal experience of Tourette's, I think that the greatest value of this book will be as a reference for mental health and neurology professionals to recommend for patients and families when considering or establishing a diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome.

It is increasingly clear that hope is an essential component of wellness and recovery. This book provides a genuine and heartfelt message of hope in the face of a potentially devastating disorder.

Dr. Adams is medical director of adult services at the California Department of Mental Health in Sacramento



Would this be a good book for a parent to resource with regards to understanding the effects of TS on the education of a child?

I need help in understanding the school system and how best to help a young person with TS.

If not, can you recommend another book more appropriate?




I have not read the book, though I have heard from people who have read it and their opinion was that it is helpful. Brad Cohen is a well known speaker on behalf of Tourette Syndrome who was at the last National meeting of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada in Montreal.

The TSFC has a number of publications which describe strategies for dealing with Tourette Syndrome in the family, as well addressing education issues.

The recently released Guide to Tourette Syndrome, A Handbook for Families covers all aspects of the disorder including education. I am proud to say that I played a small role, along with a number of other volunteers in the making of this book.

It should be mentioned that anyone taking out a family membership in TSFC before Dec.31, 2006 receives a complimentary copy of the Family Handbook.

When it comes to dealing with the school system, for people living in Canada, the TSFC offers in-service teaching presentations for the school of a child with Tourette for TSFC members. Contact your local Chapter or the National Office for more info (800) 361-3120 or Home - Tourette Canada


Thanks Steve,

The book A Guide to Tourette Syndrome, A Handbook for Families is an excellent book.

Having a family membership is how I got my book through the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada and it has helped my family.

Also, the book helped me explain the syndrome to my extended family.

Thanks for the great resource.

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