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Children's of Alabama Tourette Patient Named Youth Ambassador

BIRMINGHAM (March 10, 2014) — Katie Rosch, an 11th grader from Jacksonville, has been selected for the Tourette Syndrome Association Youth Ambassador Program. Katie will represent the state of Alabama at this year’s Youth Ambassador Training and will visit Washington D.C., as part of her duties.

 Katie will participate in sessions that will build her public speaking skills and enable her to educate her peers about Tourette syndrome, a neurological condition that causes people to make involuntary sounds and/or movements called tics.

 As a part of the program, she will have the chance to represent others who live with Tourette and lobby on Capitol Hill. She will attend with her family members and Jan Rowe, occupational therapist and coordinator for the Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics Program (CBIT) program at Children’s of Alabama.

 Katie also has Lupus, an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system cannot distinguish its own cells and tissues from those of foreign matter. Lupus was the first of many diagnoses to come.

 Jackie, Katie’s mother, learned of Children’s CBIT program and brought Katie to see Rowe, who helped her learn to manage her tics by doing something instead of the tic. By doing something else there is an interruption to the tic and the urge to do the tics. Katie has learned to use the strategies to manage her tics across all situations and incorporate them into natural conversations and everyday tasks.

 “After the first 45 minute session with Dr. Jan, Katie walked out never having those twisting tics again,” Jackie said.

 Today Katie is living her life to the fullest. She recently earned a black belt in Taekwondo, serves in her community’s Civil Air Patrol, takes courses to become a certified Life Coach and also spends time knitting, reading, writing, singing and dancing. Rowe saw Katie’s passion to encourage others and suggested she apply for the TSA Ambassador program.

 “I did encourage her to do the program, and I’m so glad she was chosen,” Rowe said. “Katie has the heart of a lion. She is so young and yet so wise. I know she will be a wonderful representative for Alabama with for the Tourette Syndrome Association.”

 About Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA):

Founded in 1972 in Bayside New York, the national Tourette Syndrome Association is the only national voluntary non-profit membership organization in this field. The mission is to identify the cause of, find the cure for and control the effects of Tourette Syndrome.  TSA offers resources and referrals to help people and their families cope with the problems that occur with Tourette.  The organization raises public awareness and counter media stereotypes about TS.  Our membership includes individuals, families, relatives and medical and allied professionals working in the field. More information available at

 About Children’s of Alabama:

Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children since 1911, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Last year, families made more than 659,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s from every county in Alabama and from 45 other states and four foreign countries. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. and has been ranked among the top children’s hospital programs in the country for the past four years by US News & World Report. More information is available at