Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 1/05/2020 – The Tourette Association of America will be hosting its first-ever virtual teen summit on January 9th, 11:30 am-6:00 PM EST. The conference is offered free of charge, thanks to generous donors and sponsors. https://tourette.org/ The Virtual Conference will provide a forum for the #TouretteSyndrome and #TicDisorder community to learn and engage with each other throughout a variety of web-based sessions. Teens will also be provided with various resources and learn more about the support TAA offers. This year’s theme is “Adjusting to Change”, especially during such an unpredictable and challenging time. Shane Koch is the Teen Summit’s Keynote Speaker. Shane, a 16-year-old Tik Tok influencer, will share his journey with Tourette Syndrome.
Tell us when you first experienced tics.
My first experience with tics was when my parents divorced when I was 8 years old. I started with nose twitches…similar to what a bunny would do, and then it just morphed from there. It turned into neck twitches to body movements and eventually to vocal.
When you were diagnosed with mild Tourette’s what was your experience like in school?
Elementary school was still somewhat ok, middle school was the toughest as kids can be really cruel as well as teachers. As a matter of fact, I think the teachers made my middle school experience very bad.
How did you overcome adversity?
I turned to humor. If I was made fun of, I would turn the insult into a joke.
When was a pivotal moment in your life? What advice would you give others?
It was when I started using humor when kids would bully me. It made me more confident at that point as well. There is no shame in being different, embrace being different.
In January of 2020, you decided to start a TikTok account for Callum, it is called @Callumtheridgy. Tell us about it.
I make wholesome comedy videos for children and adults all around the world. We love to make the world laugh.
What are your goals for 2021?
I am hoping that 2021 will be better than 2020 as far as the pandemic goes. In regards to my personal goals, I’d like to continue to do well in school and advance with my photography as well as expose and to educate people about Tourettes.