Join us in Varese on 12 June 2024!

16th Conference on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders

Tics and Tourette Across The Globe (TTAG) session

Wednesday 12th June 2024, 13:00-17:00 CEST

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Programma (è prevista la traduzione simultanea)
Register for the TTAG meeting (advocacy groups & patient associations)

Tics and Tourette Across the Globe (TTAG)

Tics and Tourette Across the Globe (TTAG) e.V. is officially registered as an umbrella association representing a community of Tics and Tourette Syndrome (TS) associations collaborating at an international level to improve conditions for people touched by tics and TS.
(View statutes)

TTAG allows for collaborative advocacy, bringing Tics and Tourette on the forefront of international communities, governments, health professionals, educators, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders.

Our objectives:

- Enhance TS awareness and information on a global level, promoting evidence-based treatment and supporting the efforts of its members throughout the world, combating ignorance, stigma and intolerance with regard to TS.

- Establish and promote an exchange of information, experience, best practices, and experts throughout the world to improve the lives of people with TS.

- Promote and support establishment of TS associations in more countries around the world.

- Develop relationships and exchange information with other relevant international and/or global organizations with similar aims.

- Support for, and participation in, national and international scientific research and surveys with particular emphasis on early diagnosis and intervention.

Meet our board members

Michele Dunlap
TTAG President & Founder
TTAG Acting Treasurer
Tourette-Gesellschaft Deutschland
(TGD) e.V. - Advisory Board
Read more
Michele has served as the past chair of the German Tourette Association TGD e.V. since 2011 and has been an active member of the ESSTS Patients Group since 2012, a platform for Tourette Syndrome advocacy in Europe. She played a key role in transforming the ESSTS Patients Group into the registered umbrella organisation TTAG. Michele is personally connected to TS through her husband and son-in-law, both of whom are touched by TS and related conditions. She is deeply passionate about TS advocacy, particularly in supporting and empowering young people as they transition into adulthood. With over 30 years of experience in the travel industry, Michele has a strong background in project management and customer relations. She currently works as an Executive Coach and is pursuing a master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience alongside her degree in Intercultural Business Communication and Intercultural Training.
Rosita Sunna
TTAG Vice-President & Founder
Executive Officer - Australian Clinical Psychologist Association (ACPA)
Australian Ambassador for One Neurology
Public Officer - Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia (TSAA)
Read more
Rosita works as Executive Officer for the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) and in her own business as consultant for not-for-profit organizations. Rosita has 20+ years commercial experience working in marketing, engagement, development, management, communication, start-up and has held leadership positions in companies and not-for-profit organizations including the Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia. She holds a Bachelor Professional of Marketing (CCI) and Bachelor Professional of Wholesale & Foreign Trade (CCI) from Germany and is a Certified Professional in Digital Marketing and Fundraising. Her passion for advocacy of neurological disorders was born 15 years ago, when her son was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (TS) and other coexisting neurological disorders. Her volunteer experiences include being a TS Support Group Leader and Phone Volunteer for over seven years. Rosita joined OneNeurology Partnership as Ambassador for Australia. She is passionate about raising awareness and understanding, changing negative perceptions, creating opportunities and to help people with neurological disorders to live their best lives. She believes in collaboration and is excited to work with international teams to make Tourette Syndrome and Neurology a global health priority.
Marla Shea
TTAG Secretary & Founder
Tourette Association of America
Mid Atlantic Chapter (TAAMAC)
Chair (2010-2015, 2019-2022)
Read more
Marla Shea is the proud mother of two (2) adult daughters with Tourette and Co-Existing Conditions.  She has been a member of the Tourette Association of America (TAA) since 2004, chairing the Mid Atlantic Chapter for eight (8) years and an active member of  ESSTS since 2022.  Marla received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Management from Old Dominion University, is a Special Needs Advocate from William & Mary’s Law School Institute of Special Education Advocacy (ISEA) and a Certified Business & Performance Coach from MAPS Business Coaching, Keller WIlliams.  Marla’s personal passion is directly supporting and empowering families with Tourette and coexisting diagnoses to live their best lives by introducing families to systems, models and tools which allow families to have strong communication, organisation and accountability within their homes and the medical and educational communities.
Seonaid Anderson
TTAG Board Member & Founder
ESSTS 2023 conference host
Iktic / Jetique – Board Member & Secretary
Founder of
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Seonaid is a chartered research psychologist and freelance neurodiversity consultant with many years experience in neurodevelopmental disorders and a board member of Belgian Tourette Syndrome Patient Association Iktic/Jetique. She is CEO of and created the Behavioural Therapy for Tics Institute (BTTI) which offers online behavioural therapy training for tics and other events for clinicians and therapists. She contributed to the updated European clinical guidelines for the treatment of Tourette syndrome (TS). She  co-created podcasts and a topic guide on TS for The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) and has written many publications on the subject of Tourette Syndrome.
Stefano Carrara
TTAG Board Member
President & co-founder of Tourette Italia
Italian flag
Read more
Stefano Carrara is the President and co-founder of Tourette Italia. He has a high level of enthusiasm for the work he does with parents, patients, and doctors. He lives and works in Milan and is also the CEO of Leanus, a company he founded 10 years ago. Stefano has a degree in Law and an MBA from Bocconi University. He speaks Italian, English, and Spanish fluently. He believes that successful charities require both the heart of good people and the organisation of excellent businesses.
Jerry Gidner
TTAG Board Member & Founder
Read more
E.G. Gidner, a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe, is the Director of the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration in the United States Department of the Interior and a member of the Board of Directors of the Tics and Tourette Across the Globe. He participates in TTAG in his personal capacity as an individual with Tourette Syndrome.  E.G. holds a law degree and a master’s degree in Natural Resources Policy and Management from the University of Michigan and an MBA from American University. He received his bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Michigan State University. E.G. lives in Arlington, Virginia, United States, with his wife, and has two daughters, one in college and the other in veterinary school.
Paula-Riitta Huttunen
TTAG Board Member & Founder
Suomen Tourette- ja OCD-yhdistys (STOy) – Board Member
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Paula-Riitta Huttunen is a board member of the Finnish Tourette and OCD Association (STOy), where she also volunteers as a peer group instructor for people living with Tourette’s Syndrome and/or OCD. She is studying Computer Science at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu, North Karelia. In addition to her studies and volunteer activities, Paula-Riitta offers freelance services as an Expert by Experience, having been diagnosed with TS herself for over a decade. Paula-Riitta has experience in organisational and cooperative roles and has a diverse background in teamwork. Apart from TTAG and STOy, she has volunteered at a cooperative firm and participated in the Epic Challenge study program, where she collaborated with innovative international teams as a mentor. As a Tourette’s advocate, Paula-Riitta is passionate about supporting especially young adults with TS and other non-neurotypical individuals, ensuring they are recognised and included in society.
Liv Irene Nostvik
TTAG Board Member & Founder
Norsk Tourette Forening – Chief Executive Officer
Read more
Liv Irene Nøstvik has been general manager of the Norwegian Tourette Association (NTA) for the past 11 years. Before that she was chair of the national board for about 4 years on a voluntary basis.  Liv Irene is a trained nurse with 15 years’ experience with Tourette Syndrome in particular, and neurodevelopmental disorders in general. She has extensive experience with counseling people with TS, their relatives, and professionals, and has expertise in interdisciplinary areas such as education and work, rights, and social services, in addition to health services  On an international level she has been an active part of the ESSTS Patients Group since 2012 and has participated in various exchange projects and international cooperation.  Her main reason for contributing to the development of TTAG is encouraging international cooperation between TS associations, increased patient and public engagement (PPI) in research, and to support establishment of TS associations in more countries around the world.

Annual membership

As a global community, TTAG welcomes TS associations from around the world, organisations/legal bodies working and advocating for people with Tourette-related conditions, and professionals, such as clinicians, therapists, doctors, researchers, academics, teachers, etc, working for people with TS and tic disorders, to become members and support TTAG's purposes and aims.

We offer annual membership for the following categories:

TS associations
Organisations/legal bodies

Become a member now! Visit our membership page for more information and online applications.


Feel free to contact us!

Our international & virtual meetings

Brussels, Belgium | 7-9 June 2023

View programme

Wednesday 7th June 2023, 13:00-17:00


13:00–13:10 Welcome note from TTAG Chair  

13:10–13:30 Tics and Tourette Across the Globe (TTAG) - 1st anniversary

13:30–14:00 Introduction to TTAG Ambassador Program

14:00–14:40 Networking with coffee and treats

14:40–14:50 Welcome note from ESSTS Chair

14:50–14:55 Quick break

14:55–16:30 Panel Discussion:
Support Organizations and Patient’s Rights – An International Perspective

16:30–17:00 TTAG Closing Summary

TTAG Panel Discussion: Support Organizations and Patient’s Rights – An International Perspective

Panel Members

ESSTS Member/Researcher
1. Prof. Dr. Kirsten Müller-Vahl - ESSTS Chair (MHH, Germany)

TTAG Member/Researcher
2. Dr. Seonaid Anderson – TTAG, Belgium (  

Patient Organization Representative
3. Mr. Julian Fletcher - Tourette OCD Alberta Network, Canada
4. Mr. Stefano Carrara - Tourette Italia EST, Italy
5. Ms. Emma McNally - Tourettes Action, UK (virtual attendance)  

Expert by Experience
6. Mr. Jerry Gidner – TTAG, USA
7. Mr. Paul Stevenson - Genius Within, UK  


Section I: Working Together

1) How can Tourette Support Associations collaborate with stakeholders to advocate for patient rights and engage in effective ways within their own country and lobbying efforts across countries?

Section II: Campaigning for Change

1) What are some effective approaches to lobbying for patient rights, and how can Tourette Support Associations and stakeholders use these strategies to advance their goals?

2) In your experience, what types of lobbying activities have been successful in promoting patient rights in your country?

Section III: Rights of Individuals with Tourette Syndrome: Inclusive Employment Opportunities

1) In what ways can the workplace be made more accommodating for individuals with Tourette's?

Section IV. The Role of Support Associations in Research

1) How can individuals with lived experience of Tourette syndrome be more involved in research and contribute to the development of new studies? What steps can be taken to foster collaboration between TS experts and individuals with TS?

2) There is a significant disparity in Tourette syndrome research across different countries. How can we generate greater interest and awareness in TS research, and who can we collaborate with to raise our profile?

Section V: Audience Questions and Answers

Closing Statement

Our session was open to everyone interested in, or touched by, tics and Tourette Syndrome (TS).

For example, support association representatives, people with TS, educators, researchers and clinicians. TTAG’s vision is to bring all individual stakeholders together so we can work more closely together for a stronger impact on our community.

During this informative session we provided a brief overview of TTAG activities and plans for the future including our new TTAG Ambassador program.

The TTAG session was an exciting interactive opportunity to explore international perspectives including a diverse panel discussion and networking opportunities.

Lausanne, Switzerland | 9-11 June 2022

A milestone for TTAG; signing of statutes!

The official registration signing celebration took place at the legendary Centre Général Guisan on the shores of Lake Geneva during the 14th European Conference on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders.

TTAG statutes (EN/DE)

View TTAG's virtual session

Meet some of TTAG's board of directors and global patient association representatives: Argentina, Belgium, Italy (Tourette Italia), Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, USA-New Jersey.

Virtual meeting | October 2021

TTAG's very first meeting aired live during the virtual 13th European Conference on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders.