Tourette’s Association of New Zealand

The Tourette’s Association of New Zealand provides support for Kiwis living with Tourette syndrome and their families.  

In hosts an annual family camp “Camp Twitch”, which in 2021 was tailored to young adults living with Tourettes and their families.  

The Association had found that a number of its teenage clients were struggling with navigating ending school, deciding about work or further study and life outside the family home. 

Camp Twitch provided an opportunity for participants to connect with each other and to participate in workshops tailored to their needs and questions. Workshop topics were submitted in advance by participants and included topics such as enrolling at uni, attending lectures and managing tics, managing exams with tics, explaining Tourette syndrome to an employer, finding a flat and managing a budget.  It also had a strong focus on mental health as many struggle with the symptoms of their Tourette Syndrome.  Workshops for parents were offered on similar topics as well as how to support the changing needs of their children.

Camp Twitch was a huge success and received fantastic feedback. Many participants reported feeling more confident in their decisions about the future and enjoyed connecting with their peers.

A highlight was attending the police headquarters and hearing from a police officer with Tourettes, as well as a talk from a doctor with Tourettes. A number of participants had concerns about careers available to them and this showed that there are may opportunities out there compared to what they initially thought.  

The Sutherland Self Help Trust was delighted to provide funding for Camp Twitch 2021 to go ahead.  

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