Mindfulness and Improv Workshop

for Tweens and their Parents


Summary: Because living with Tourette can be stressful, this spring we’re offering a fun, supportive one-day workshop for teens and tweens (ages 8 - 12) with Tourette and their parents/primary caregivers. Our experienced teachers will lead separate parallel programs - one for kids and one for their parents. Both programs will include:


Mindfulness techniques: meditation, body-awareness, and breathing practices—which have been shown to reduce the stress of the Tourette experience.


Age-appropriate improvisational theater games: a fun and meaningful way to connect with others, build confidence, and form lasting bonds.


Parents’ program will also include presentations on:

- The biology of Tourette Syndrome

- Creating a supportive environment at home and within the school system.

- Mindfullness techniques for parents

- Parenting with Tourette.




Date: Saturday May 18, 2019

Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Cost: Free of charge but registration required

Location: Colket Translational Research Building, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 3501 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104




To register or to learn more about the program, please email Caroline Packard at info.tsworkshop.phila@gmail.com

Space is limited—register by May 14th!


Cancellations? Please let us know by 05/15/19 if you need to cancel.


Bidi McSorley, MD

Bidi is a pediatrician with a practice in center city Philadelphia. She is also on the clinical affiliate faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She received her mindfulness teacher training through the Penn Program for Mindfulness. In addition to teaching foundation courses, she has developed mindfulness workshops for tweens and teens, and uses mindfulness to help families and children live less-stressed lives.


David O'Connor, MFA

David teaches acting and directing at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a former resident director of Philadelphia Young Playwrights. David has directed numerous productions around town including the Master Harold... and the Boys at Lantern Theater Company, for which he was nominated for a Barrymore Award, and Peter Pan at Arden Theatre Company. He has created and led improvisational workshops for stressed young people in partnership with the Penn Health System.


Caroline Packard, JD

Caroline de-stresses her own Tourette using improv and mindfulness meditation. A former corporate lawyer and co-author of The Mediator’s Handbook (4th ed.), she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in psychology and is, together with Marc, a co-organizer of this workshop.


Marc F. Schmidt, PhD

has been a strong advocate for promoting understanding about Tourettes. He has a daughter with TS. He is a professor of neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the scientific advisory board for the Tourette Association of America.You can also find him at the local Farmer’s Market in Swarthmore, PA where he sells Belgian sugar waffles and promotes awareness about Tourettes as part of the Waffles 4 Tourettes organization he founded. He co-organized this workshop together with Caroline.

Nicole Wesner.jpg

Nicole Wesner

is a consultant for the Pennsylvania Tourette Syndrome Alliance. She is trained in disability advocacy to provide support for individuals with TS by working with them, their families and schools. She also is the mother of a young son with TS.


Kripa Sundararajan, MD

is an experienced child neurologist at CHOP. She manages a broad range of neurologic conditions, including tics and Tourette’s, and has an Integrative Medicine focus.


Rachel Faulkner

was formally diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome last year. In March, she went to the 2019 Tourette Syndrome Association if America Youth Ambassador Program and Advocacy Day at Capitol Hill. Rachel is an 8th grade student who enjoys competitive dancing and musical theatre. She hopes that through the YA program she can bring more awareness to Tourette Syndrome. 

This workshop series is co-sponsored by the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Tourette Association of America (TAA), the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and the Pennsylvania Tourette Syndrome Alliance (PATSA).



We recommend that you park in the underground parking between the Colkett and Buerger buildings. We will give you a voucher so that you do not have to pay for parking.

You can download a detailed map of the parking at:



We will have coffee and simple breakfast items (yoghurt, pastries, fruit tray, etc.) at the beginning of the workshop. We will then order sandwiches from Jimmy Johns for lunch. If you have any food allergies or restrictions, we recommend that you bring your own food with you.