River Dell senior honored as 2012 Youth Advocate for Tourette Syndrome
SOMERVILLE – The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS) has announced that River Dell High School senior Emily Fleischman is the recipient of the first annual NJCTS Youth Advocate of the Year Award.
The Youth Advocate of the Year Award was established in 2012 to reward a teenager whose contribution makes a difference to New Jersey’s adolescent and pre-adolescent Tourette Syndrome community. An NJCTS Youth Advocate is a person whose dedication and actions improves awareness and helps break the stigma of TS by educating the public, medical professionals and educators about Tourette and by supporting kids and families living with the often devastating neurological disorder that affects 1 in 100 children and adults.
An NJCTS Youth Advocate lives out the mission of NJCTS and advances public perception, understanding and acceptance of people with TS and associated disorders such as OCD, ADHD, anxiety and depression.
The 17-year-old Fleischman, a Fort Lee resident, has been an integral part of the NJCTS community over the past several years – particularly in 2012, giving student-led peer in-service presentations to fifth- and sixth-graders at several North Jersey elementary schools and synagogues, writing and illustrating a children’s book about Tourette Syndrome, appearing on News12 New Jersey’s “To Your Health” show and regularly posting well-read topics on the popular Teens4TS blog.
Her book, “Emily’s Tic,” talks about life as a kid with TS – including her own challenges of facing bullying – and features a Tourette Syndrome fact sheet, information about NJCTS and Fleischman‟s personal message of why advocacy for Tourette is such a big part of her life. It has been available on Amazon.com since February.
In July, she appeared with psychiatrist Dr. Tolga Taneli on “To Your Health,” a weekly show developed by News 12 to inform New Jersey residents about the latest trends in health care. Fleischman discussed numerous topics, none more important than her signature message of self-advocacy.
“It is with great pleasure that we present the first annual NJCTS Youth Advocate Award to Emily Fleischman,” NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice said. “She has been instrumental in educating children and teachers about Tourette Syndrome, raising awareness for anti-bullying campaigns and advocating on behalf of her and others in a way that commands attention, respect and action. We are very proud of her achievements.”
The NJCTS Advocate of the Year Award also has been named: Marc Brummer of Livingston for his myriad efforts on behalf of the organization, including speaking to doctors and health-care professionals across the state. More information is available by visiting www.njcts.org.