Tag Archives: autism spectrum disorder

Episode 16: COVID-19 and Back to School



In episode 16 of TSC Now, host Dan Klein talks to two of the TS Alliance’s Education Parent Mentors to better understand how parents should approach making the decision on sending their kids back to school during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and what rights they have to advocate for the services their kids need. This episode is a follow-up to the webinar “COVID-19 and Back to School” led by our education parent mentors earlier this month.

First, Dan talks with Shannon Grandia (01:21), a mother to three kids with TSC and a spouse to an adult with TSC, who volunteers as an Education Parent Mentor, Adult Regional Coordinator and Dependent Adult Transition Resource Coordinator. In addition to her role as a volunteer, Shannon is also a first-grade teacher in California. They discuss the challenges parents and teachers face in California starting the school year virtually, the incredible workload teachers are taking on to provide resources to kids while they are at home to help address regression from the end of the last school year, and how parents and teachers can develop trust through open communication.

Then Dan talks to Shelly Meitzler (26:45), TS Alliance Regional Program Manager East and an Education Parent Mentor in Pennsylvania. They discuss what decisions she made for her family and what was involved in those decisions, how  Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) will look different during the pandemic, and the importance of establishing a paper trail when advocating for your child.

If you are dealing with educational issues and need support please reach out to Dena Hook, Vice President of Support Services at dhook@tsalliance.org so that she can connect you to one of our trained and dedicated education parent mentors.

Thank you to everyone who came out for the Step Forward to Cure TSC National Virtual Walk Run Ride and to the generous sponsors who made the event possible:

You can re-watch all the videos from the weekend and support the Walk-Run-Ride by going to stepforwardtocuretsc.org.

Resources and Links
COVID-19 and Back to School Webinar Recording: https://youtu.be/jp7cJF4boYY
TS Alliance web page on school issues: https://www.tsalliance.org/individuals-families/school-issues/
Local resources to help you connect with local Education Parent Mentors: https://www.tsalliance.org/individuals-families/find-local-resources/


Episode 6: TSC-Associated Neuropsychiatric Disorders (TAND)



In episode 6 of TSCnow, host Dan Klein talks to Petrus de Vries, MBChB, MRCPsych, PhD, Sue Struengmann Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Capetown in South Africa. They discuss tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)-associated neuropsychiatric disorders, otherwise known as TAND. TAND refers to a whole spectrum of neurological manifestations of TSC, including aggressive behaviors, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disabilities, psychiatric disorders, neuropsychological deficits, as well as school and occupational difficulties. Most people with TSC suffer from one or several of these manifestations and it is often one of the most impacting aspect of the disease for both children and adults affected. They talk about the six levels of TAND (behavioral, intellectual, neuropsychological, psychiatric, academic and psychosocial) and the different manifestations people experience within each level. He also talks about the challenges families and caregivers face when seeking treatment for these manifestations.

In response to the growing need of those affected, Dr. de Vries shares how he worked with other experts at the 2012 Consensus Conference to develop the TAND checklist, a tool to help clinicians identify what aspects of TAND a person is struggling with and develop a personal profile for those affected, and the corresponding consensus guidelines for when and how to use the checklist. He also discusses that, while no two people are affected the same and this uniqueness poses significant challenges for diagnosis and intervention, recent research suggests that there are several TAND “clusters” that those affected generally fall into.

Finally, Dr. de Vries discusses the TANDem Project, an international collaboration of families affected by TSC, researchers and clinicians to provide scientific evidence for greater TAND intervention and treatment. The project is being headed by Drs. de Vries and Anna Jansen at UZ Brussels.

To learn more about TAND visit: www.tsalliance.org/tand

To download the TAND Checklist visit: https://bit.ly/2ObP3wn

To learn more about TAND clusters visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29530301

Learn more about the TANDem project here: https://bit.ly/2MkQyqy