This book about a teacher with Tourette syndrome is a secret treasure that your struggling child with tics will embrace and identify with. Brad has gumption, and he takes us through his life. We start from the time his first symptoms of Tourette syndrome surfaced through all the years he struggled with educators and peers, family.
Why Invest in this Book about Tourette Syndrome
His book captures the community-wide misunderstanding that surrounds a Tourette syndrome diagnosis. Parents at odds with their older, angry, disillusioned kid will get an insider’s glimpse into what’s really going on, especially if the lines of communication are down. Unlike clinical books which are treatment and symptom driven, or forums which often times focus on the problems we face in dealing with tics and Tourette syndrome, Brad takes the lead and tells us to take the road less traveled, to embrace these differences and celebrate the disability as it has the power to make our children stronger, empathetic, and mature beyond their years if we could just involve them in positive experiences, surround them with folks that will love and accept them and above all else, inspire them to achieve their own greatness in spite of and because of the tics they endure.
Recommended Reading: Jonathan Friesen publishes Jerk California, a gripping new coming of age novel about a teen with Tourette Syndrome….
Brad Cohen’s book about living with Tourette syndrome shows us how to weather the bad times and celebrate the good with appreciation and humility. He tells us about the struggles folks with severe Tourettes often face in day to day life when doing what everyone else just takes for granted: going to the movies or out to dinner, sitting in a concert or attending a funeral. The movie delivers this same feel.
The Front of the Class movie about a teacher with Tourette syndrome promises to deliver an authentic story that will complement the book in many ways. And the movie picks up where the book left off, so readers can see how Brad’s life as a teacher with Tourette syndrome has changed so dramatically since his publishing debut.
Brad says,“The actors were simply amazing. Jimmy Wolk plays me as an adult and Dominic Scott Kay plays me as a kid. They both had to study me and my tics. They created their own “Tic Script” because in shooting the film they had to have the same tics in the same place every time they shot the scene in order to be consistent with editing. I quickly noticed that they were doing the tics better than me which really upset me because I’m been practicing my tics for 25 years while they had been doing them for 1 month. They were good actors. Jimmy, Dominic and I bonded right away.”
Behind the Scenes of Front of the Class Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie Set
Brad Cohen’s not the only one that has had to weather the bad times. So did the cast and production crew of his new movie about a teacher with Tourette syndrome- literally!
Brad explains it to us,
“I visited the set in Shreveport, LA 2 times with my wife and my family and we were all impressed by the time and dedication the actors and crew put into the making of the film. Peter Werner, the director, told me it was the first time he had ever had to direct a film through not one, but two hurricanes (Gustov and Ike). The day we lost power because of Ike, the crew didn’t even flinch as they powered up the generators and created their own light and forged ahead.”
I asked Brad to give his readers a sneak peek on what his life is like now, as it has been nearly four years since his book went to print.
“I am now happily married and have been for 2 1/2 years now (to his wife Nancy, pictured above). Right as my final drafts needed to be submitted to the publisher, I met Nancy. I continue to teach but instead of technology and 2nd grade, I now teach the teachers as I do all the staff development at our school, which is hopefully a step towards administration. I continue to interview for assistant principal positions but nothing has worked out yet.”
I can’t wait until Brad’s movie airs. I want to vicariously meet the man that has written such an uplifting story for young people with special needs and celebrate on behalf of all the folks I have met over the last two years who share one very special commonality with me. They’ve been blessed to care for some terrific kids who happen to tic. We often look at those twitches as unwanted flaws, intruders into our child’s otherwise dreamy and ideal lives. We focus, often tirelessly, on trying to fix them, eradicate them, destroy the thing that causes them to be. Brad’s message is evident. Sometimes the affliction that we so condemn is the very thing that molds our children into terrific human beings that not only we, but so many others love as well.
I asked Brad if he could possibly give away a few Front of the Class production secrets. Of course he was more than obliging….
“During my 2nd visit, Peter, the director, pulled me into his trailer to view some of the rough edited scenes and I was truly amazed at the product. It was ten times better than what I thought it would be. The word “powerful” might be an understatement…….tissues nearby for sure. Either way, I was happy in the direction this was going and I can’t wait to see the finished product.”
Oh, yes, Brad also admitted that Nancy has made it into the film as well, and she is being played by Sarah Drew of Everwood and Radio.
Brad also promises that if his cameo doesn’t get cut on the editing room floor, viewers will be able to spot him and his wife in the background of his middle school orchestra concert scene. They have no speaking lines so folks will have to keep an eye out for them and try to spot them. I know I will be watching for them!
Want to read more about Tourette Syndrome on Healthy Family? Check out our archived articles about Tourette syndrome and motor tics.
Visit Brad’s website classperformance.com for more information about his book, movie, and speaking engagements. Or for more information about Brad’s Front of the Class movie about Tourette Syndrome, check out Brad Cohen’s personal blog.