Murt thanked fortourette’s support
To the editor:
This is to acknowledge and thank state Rep. Thomas Murt for leading the effort to restore funding to the Pennsylvania Tourette Syndrome Alliance.
As a parent of boy with Tourette’s syndrome, I can tell you that these children are often misunderstood, targeted, mocked and bullied. This lack of awareness and understanding extends from playgrounds to school rooms. A special education teacher once made my son turn his desk facing a corner because he was uncontrollably blurting out vocal tics in her classroom. It breaks my heart when I think about how painful and humiliating that experience was for him.
The Tourette Syndrome Alliance advocates and fights for these kids, and travels the state meeting with educators and others in an effort to educate people and raise awareness. The alliance would likely not survive without state assistance.
This is why I was so disappointed when Gov. Corbett proposed cutting all state support to the Tourette Syndrome Alliance in his budget. I wish to publicly recognize and thank Rep. Murt for bucking the governor on this issue, and emphatically speaking out at a recent Capitol budget hearing in support of restoring Tourette’s funding.
Thomas Murt has become a champion for children with Tourette’s syndrome and has earned my appreciation and gratitude.
Marilyn Tocci New Cumberland, Pa.
••• To the editor:
On behalf of the more than 3,000 children and adults living with Tourette’s syndrome in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I wish to thank and commend state Rep. Thomas Murt for championing the cause to restore funding to the Pennsylvania Tourette Syndrome Alliance.
The PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance provides support to those with TS by providing information, training and disability advocacy throughout the state. These services are critically important to those with TS and their family members but also to their schools and communities.
Tourette’s syndrome is a misunderstood neurological condition affecting 3-10 in 1,000 children and causing a person to have uncontrolled movements and vocalizations. These symptoms occur repeatedly, change without forewarning and often increase with stress. Symptoms can be mild, such as blinking and throat clearing, to more severe, such as full body twitches or sudden screaming. Often until their teachers and classmates understand or are trained, many children with TS are reprimanded
in school or tormented b y peers for symptoms which are caused by t h e i r d i s a b i l i t y.
Through training and di s a bi l i t y advocacy, consultants from t he PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance help educa- t ors find ways to allow children with TS to f i nd success in t he classroom, help peers understand and empat hi z e with t heir c l a s s - mates and in some cases even reduce c ost s f or unnecessary out of school placements. Simply s a i d, the PA Tourette Syndrome All i a nce helps f a milies who have nowhere else to t urn.
It i s wit h g r e a t a p - preciation that I t h a n k Rep. Murt for his t e s t i mony before a recent budget hearing i n Harr i s b u r g . As a f o r mer e d u c a t o r, he truly understands how i mportant these Touret t e ’s s y n d r o me services are to the f a mil i e s affected, to area schools and to t h e c o mmunity.
Si n c e r e l y, Sher r i e Sponsel l e r
PA Touret t e Synd r o me All i a n c e I n c .