Clover Park School Board Meeting

Kenny visited the Clover Park School District School Board Meeting to promote his Eagle Scout Project which is geared towards educating teachers, staff, professionals and our school communities on I.E.P's and Tourette Syndrome Awareness. 

Pierce County Resource Fair 2013

Kenny and Cody promoting Tourette Syndrome (TS) Awareness and our TS/Autism Support Group at the 2013 Pierce County Resource Fair.
Kenny speaking with Annette Smith and her son Peter about his role as a TSA Youth Ambassador, our support group and his upcoming Eagle Scout Project which will give support to the special needs community.

Kenny's Eagle Scout Project

Well, here it is! This is Kenny's flyer promoting his Eagle Scout Project which will be a training workshop for teachers, school staff, professionals, school board members, parents etc. on Tourette Syndrome Awareness and I.E.P.s (Individual Education Plans). Kenny is hosting this workshop and will be one of the presenters as well! This training is especially important for general education teachers to be brush up on their knowledge on how to effectively implement I.E.P.s. in the classroom. Please pass on to any teachers you may know! Teachers will receive clock hours for attending this event! This workshop will take place on Saturday, May 11th at Clover Park High School (Lakewood, WA) from 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon. Mark your calendars!

Welcome To Our Blog!

We would like to welcome you to our blog "The Traveling Tic" documenting our journey as Mother and Son promoting Tourette Syndrome Awareness. Most of the postings (dating back to January of 2011) follow Kenny's travels across the State of Washington as a Youth Ambassador and Support Group Leader with the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA).

Currently Kenny is working on his Eagle Scout Project which will focus on educating teachers, school district administrators, school board members, professionals, parents and students on I.E.P.s (Individual Education Plans) and Tourette Syndrome Awareness. Basically, Kenny is organizing a training/workshop for local school districts to accomplish this goal. He will be one of the presenters as well. I will post more on this exciting event in the future!

We pray that this Blog will both educate and inspire you! Most importantly, we hope to offer important information, resources, encouragement, and finally hope for others dealing with the diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome or any other co-morbid conditions that often accompany this diagnosis. Our journey hasn't been easy, but it's been blessed! Enjoy! 

Carla and Kenny Richards
WA & OR TSA Support Group Leaders
TSA Youth Ambassador Team

Happy Birthday Kenny! - Jan. 2013

Kenny with his brother Cody celebrating his 15th Birthday! It is amazing to see how much Kenny has endured and accomplished in those 15 years - we (his family and friends) are so proud of the man of God he is growing up to be!

Kenny Receives President's Volunteer Service Award - Jan. 2013

Kenny received the President's Volunteer Service Award for making a difference in the community through Scouts, Church, our Special Needs Support Group, and as a Youth Ambassador for the National Tourette Syndrome Association!
Kenny receiving his President's Volunteer Service Award from Washington State Senator Steve Hobbs.

Kids Night Out - Laser Tag! Dec. 2012

Kenny with a couple of his friends from our support group. Tonight we played Laser Tag for a Kids Night Out field trip for all the kids in our support group. This picture was taken after we played Laser Tag. We had a dozen kids show up for the event, however I forgot to take a group photo this time. I was too busy trying to avoid getting shot at :)! Those kids whooped my fanny in that Laser Tag arena! We had an absolute blast! What a way to start off our Christmas break from  school!

Kenny Visits Idlewild Elementary - Dec. 2012

Kenny speaking at his Alma Mater Idlewild Elementary promoting Tourette Syndrome Awareness. It was great to be back!
Kenny with his former 4th grade teacher Mrs. Calahan. It was in her class that Kenny's symptoms with Tourette Syndrome first displayed themselves at school with various motor and vocal tics. Mrs. Calahan will always have a special place in our family's heart for how she held our hand in the process of making sure Kenny had the support, love and encouragement he needed in dealing with his diagnosis. Mrs. Calahan was so touched and thrilled to see Kenny's progress in dealing with the diagnosis by educating others while promoting Tourette Syndrome Awareness. She was impressed at his ability to engage the students during the presentation.

Kenny Visits Lakeview Hope Academy - Nov. 2012

Kenny speaking to a 5th grade class at Lakeview Hope Academy.  Kenny spoke at Lakeview last year and was asked by popular demand to come back. Apparently. his presentation last year made an impact in reducing the bullying mentality in school classrooms. So thankful we are able to make a difference - this is why we do what we do as a Youth Ambassador Team!

Kenny is Baptized! - Oct. 6, 2012

Kenny with our Pastor Dave Resinger of Life Center South. This picture was taken right after Kenny was baptized. Pastor Dave played a major role in Kenny's recovery in dealing with the symptoms associated with this Tourette Syndrome diagnosis years ago. Speaking life into the relationships around us make such an impact, with this friendship being no exception! Faith in the Lord was truly the rock that kept Kenny afloat through tough times. As a result, Kenny chose to be baptized as a way to proclaim his love for the Lord and to be a witness to others that there is hope!

Kids Day Out - Pumpkin Patch! - Oct. 2012

This month our Kids Day Out with our support group was spent at the Pumpkin Patch! The kids had so much fun!

Kenny's First Day of High School! - Sept. 2012

Kenny was mortified when I was about to send him off to his first day of Pre-School with his lunch packed in his Batman lunchbox :). He then informed me that it was his first day of High School! What?!! When did this happen?!! Seriously, where has the time gone?!! (Love this picture - Kenny is a great sport with a great sense of humor!)

Aloha! Hawaii Bound! - August 2012

Kenny traveling again, but this time on a plane Hawaii Bound!
Kenny catching a wave learning how to surf finally just like his Dad!
The Richards Family Hawaii style! We had an amazing time making priceless memories for our family. We snorkeled with a sea turtle, kayaked and swam with Dolphins, learned how to surf, made sand castles, visited Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Missouri, went to a Luau, and watched fireworks on the beach. What an amazing time we had!

Kenny Visits Lakewood City Council - August 2012

Kenny addressing the Lakewood City Council educating them on what he has been doing as a Youth Ambassador  and Support Group Leader in trying to make a difference in the lives of Special Needs Children. 
Kenny with the Lakewood City Council holding his Congressional Record Documents

Kenny Inducted into the Library of Congress!

In addition to receiving the 2012 national TSA's Zak Hollis Youth Achievement Award, Kenny was presented with a certificate of Congressional Recognition, along with a letter of congratulations - both encased in a U. S. House of Representatives binder from the Hon. Adam Smith, U. S. Congressman from Washington state.

Kenny met with Congressman Smith during TSA's annual "Trip to the HIll" during TSA's 2012 National Conference.

Kenny holding his Letter and certificate of Recognition in its Congressional binder right after he receive in the mail!
Congressional Binder
Letter to Kenny from Congressman Smith dated July 3, 2012
U. S. Congress House of Representatives certificate of Recognition

8th Grade Graduation!

Despite having a rough start in the beginning of his Middle School years, Kenny graduated with flying colors! He received his Graduation Diploma/Certificate, an Academic Achievement Award for graduating with Honors, a Citizenship Award for his efforts in making a difference in lives of special needs children, and a Hurricane Spirit Award for just being an all around model student at Hudtloff Middle School! Way to go Kenny!

Kenny Receives Distinquished Service Award - June 2012

Kenny being awarded the Distinguished Service Award for his role in reducing bullying in schools and as a Youth Ambassador with the Tourette Syndrome Association. The award was presented to Kenny during our local school board meeting by Clover Park School District Superintendent Diane LeBeau. 

Kids Day Out - Putt Putt Golf! June 2012

Every 3 months Kenny and I organize Kids Day Out fun field trips for the kids from our support group. This month we played Putt Putt Golf! What a fun time!

Visiting Lakeview Hope Academy - May 2012

Kenny giving a presentation on Tourette Syndrome Awareness to a 4th grade class at Lakeview Hope Academy.  Kenny was asked by the school to come speak in this particular class due to one of the students also having Tourette Syndrome. It was wonderful to see such support from the student's fellow classmates by wanting to learn more about the diagnosis.

The Richards Family Featured in the Fort Lewis Ranger and McChord Airlifter - May 2012

After being awarded the 2012 National Zak Hollis Youth Achievement Award in Washington D.C. , Kenny came home to being featured in newspaper articles to include this one released in the Fort Lewis Ranger & McChord Airlifter.

Cathy Budman Tourette Syndrome Presentation - Life Center, Tacoma - April 28, 2012

Cathy Budman, M.D. presenting on Tourette Syndrome: New Research, New Treatment. (This presentation was free to the general public through a partnerships of the national Tourette Syndrome Association and the U.S. Center for Disease Control Prevention). Thank you Life Center for letting us use your facilities in hosting this event!
Todd Henry, President of the Washington & Oregon Tourette Syndrome Association presenting Kenny and I a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of outstanding service to the community as a Youth Ambassador Team of the Tourette Syndrome Association. What a nice surprise!
Cathy Budman, Todd Henry & Kenny - The event was a success!
Dr. Holly Galbreath and Kenny - Holly served as Kenny's school psychologist through his elementary and middle school years. Not only that, but she is also the wife of one of Kenny's former Scout Master's. Kenny was so happy she was able to make it to today's workshop on TS.

2012 National Tourette Syndrome Association Conference Trip - Day 8, Visiting Friends & Heading Ho me

Well, today is our last day in Washington D.C. and we were blessed to be picked up from our hotel by our good friends who used to live in Washington State before moving to D.C. 4 years ago. Kenny and Isiah were in the same class together in elementary school and of course his Mom Audra, also a military wife, and I had no problem hitting it off when we first met. We had a great time here visiting over lunch before they drove us to the airport. We sure miss them, so it was great to catch up!
As we were taking off, Kenny took this picture of the instrument landing system at the Reagan International Airport for his little brother Cody back home. Cody loves anything to do with airport runways! Thank you D.C. for an amazing week! We are looking forward to seeing Cody and Daddy though!

2012 National Tourette Syndrome Association Conference Trip - Day 7, More Training and Awards Night

Kenny with Richard Paul Evans - #1 best selling author of "The Christmas Box" and Keynote Speaker during today's lunch hour. He was fabulous!
It was a pleasure to meet and visit with another pageant sister Blair Abene - Miss Louisiana 2009. Blair herself has Tourette Syndrome and have used her title to promote TS Awareness.
Kenny with David Pittman - the first contestant with TS to make the Top 70 cut on American Idol - Season 9. Now he is using his fame and musical talent to continue to promote TS Awareness. 
Kenny with his Aunt's Nephew from Texas - I guess you could say they are cousins through marriage. It was great for them to meet each other at the Conference!
Kenny with Michelle Gutmann - Field Services Manager with the National Tourette Syndrome Association - the Mastermind behind this year's Conference. She did an outstanding job!
I love this picture of Kenny and I. What a memorable week we had as Mother and Son!
Wow!!! What a surprise! Kenny is being awarded the 2012 National Zak Hollis Youth Achievement Award with the National Tourette Syndrome Association!
Kenny receiving the 2012 National Zak Hollis Youth Achievement Award from the President of the National Tourette Syndrome Association Judit Ungar. What a HUGE honor!
Kenny with fellow Youth Ambassadors and Zak Hollis Award Recipients! Again, what an honor to be chosen among these accomplished young men - so proud of all of thee boys!
What a special treat to have Dr. Anthony Sims at the Awards Gala to witness Kenny receiving this prestigious award. Dr. Sims is one of the Doctors we have been working with over the past 2 years in practicing an alternative treatment for TS that has worked wonders for Kenny. In the future we will plan to share our story on this treatment when we have finished our journey.

2012 National Tourette Syndrome Association Conference Trip - Day 6, Training & Workshops

To start off our day with training/workshop classes Kenny had to the privilege to visit with renowned motivational speaker of TS, Mark Higgins (Pastor and Colonel in the U.S. Army) on the left and Dr. Anthony Sims (one of Kenny's Dr.s whom we have worked with on an alternative treatment for TS) on the right. What a fabulous start to his day!
While Kenny went to classes geared for teens, I attended the adult classes and to my surprise I found out that my sister-in-law's Mother-in-law and sister-in-law were attending the conference as well supporting their grandson/son who had been recently diagnosed with TS. They traveled all the way from Texas! So cool to have extended family with me in D.C.!
To top off a day of training, on Friday night I had the pleasure to be a part of a drum circle hosted by the amazingly talented Matthew Giordano who was diagnosed with Ts at the age of five. He is such an inspiration! Everyone had a blast!

2012 National Tourette Syndrome Association Conference Trip - Day 5, Trip to the Hill!

Youth Ambassadors are ready to head to Capital Hill to advocate for Tourette Syndrome Awareness!
Kenny and Tarrin on the bus heading to Capital Hill!
Kenny in front of our nation's Capital just getting off the bus.
Youth Ambassadors on the Capital steps - 42 youth in all!
Kenny and I with Jennifer and Jane Zwilling - the founders of the TSA Youth Ambassador Program.
Kenny and Elridge Proctor - the mastermind behind our trip to the Hill!
Kenny and I with our neighbors, Oregon Youth Ambassador Team - Christoper and Jennifer Kuiper.
Visiting Washington Senator Maria Cantwell's Office
Kenny speaking with Maria Cantwell's Legislative Aide
Visiting Washington State Senator Patty Murray's Office
Kenny speaking  with Senator Murray's Legislative Aides
Kenny with Washington Congressman Adam Smith
Kenny with Congressman Adam Smith's Legislative Aides
Mission Accomplished!