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Brad Speaks at the State Capitol in Atlanta, GA

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Click here to view the article featured in the NeighborNewspaper.


Speaking in front of 1,700 people is nothing new for me, but speaking at the Atlanta Capitol and getting a chance to meet our state leaders was new. The 11th Annual Disability Awareness Day took place on February 25, 2009 and I was invited to be the keynote speaker and share my story with the community. It was another reminder to those who don’t live with a disability to not forget us. Money, education, and awareness is still necessary for those with disabilities.

As I told the legislators, I was honored to be the voice of so many who can’t always speak for themselves. Writing my book and movie, Front of the Class, has given me a chance to speak out for so many. I also explained that I live with Tourette Syndrome not thinking that I have a disability. It is others who look at me and think I can’t do certain things and think I have a disability. This is where education comes into play as we must give everyone a chance to prove they can do it rather than giving up on people too quickly.

When was the last time your advocated for something you believe in? Have you ever spoken to your government officials about something you feel strongly about? What I do know is that everyone has a voice and I hope some day when you feel passionate about a topic, that you have a chance to express your views to help make a difference in your life and the life of others.

Brad Meets President George W. Bush

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
President Bush Write Brad a Letter

President Bush Writes Brad a Letter

Brad and Nancy Meet President Bush and the First Lady

Brad and Nancy Meet President Bush and the First Lady

What an amazing experience Nancy and I had as we were invited to the White House one week after the movie aired on CBS. We had a chance to meet President George W. Bush and Laura Bush. They were both very nice. They had not seen the movie yet, but George knew all about me as he screamed out as I approached, “I’m looking for that inspirational elementary school teacher.” I guess he heard the noises I was making! He gave both Nancy and me hugs and then took a picture with us. I’m not real happy about him having his hands all over Nancy, but I’ll get over it!


Do You Want To Write To Brad?

Monday, February 2nd, 2009
Write Brad!

Write Brad


Did your class watch the movie, Front of the Class?  Did your class read the book, Front of the Class? Did a group of teachers from your school read, Front of the Class?  Are you a future teacher who read, Front of the Class?

If so, you might be interested in writing Brad Cohen?  If you write Brad, he will read it!  Brad will also try his hardest to respond to your email.  Brad has gotten thousands of emails and wants to communicate with the public.  Because Brad continues to teach and travel around the United States, his time is limited.

If your groups wants to communicate with Brad, it is asked that you compile all of your comments and questions into one email.  If you’d like to send Brad snail mail, please email him for the best address.

If you want Brad to sign your book, he can either send you a signed copy or you can send him your book with a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope).

If you are emailing Brad because you are doing a report on Tourette Syndrome or on Brad, please don’t procrastinate and ask Brad to respond in one day to your questions.  Brad HIGHLY RECOMMENDS for you to read his book prior to emailing him questions.  Many of the questions you will be asking can be found in his book.  After you’ve read the book, Brad will be happy to fill in the gaps and clarify anything you want to help you get an “A” or write the best paper possible.  This is why Brad wrote the book.  He knows he can’t be everywhere all the time and the book/movie helps educate others about his story.

If you want to contact Brad, email him by clicking on this link!



Ask Brad: Why did I write the book, Front of the Class?

Thursday, December 25th, 2008
Front of the Class By Brad Cohen

Front of the Class By Brad Cohen

Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Front of the Class- The Brad Cohen Story

Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Front of the Class- The Brad Cohen Story

As I’ve been going through the numerous email, this question keeps popping up.  The reason I wrote Front of the Class was because I knew I needed to share my story with other people as it truly made a difference and changed people’s lives.  I knew I could help people in Atlanta, GA and even in St. Louis, MO, but how could I help people in Austin, TX and Seattle, WA or New York, NY?  The book was my way of sharing my story.  Then it was turned into a Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie.

Here is my list of reasons why I wrote Front of the Class:

  1. HOPE- I wanted other people who have some sort of disability or weakness to know that they can overcome their challenges and live a successful life.  Often parents of a child with a special problem just want to have some sort of hope that their child can grow up and find success.
  2. SUPPORT-I wanted others with Tourette Syndrome to know that they were not alone.  Many times people with TS have never met someone else with TS and they think they are the only one dealing with their issues.  And even those who don’t have TS but have other issues in their lives, when I opened up my feelings for others to read and see, they learned that they are not alone.
  3. RELATIONSHIPS – My story shows how moms and dads react differently to different situations.  If another parent can learn from my mother’s support or my father’s mistakes earlier in my life, then I know I’m helping other families and that means a lot. The relationship with my wife is another important aspect as true love can be found even if you are a little different.
  4. TEACHERS- I like to call it, THE POWER OF ONE, that all it takes is for one teacher to make a difference in the life of a child.  Who will that teacher be? YOU? Or next years teacher?  I make the challenge for YOU to be that teacher who makes a difference in the life of that child who needs you most right now!
  5. EDUCATION- Just like my middle school principal called me up in front of all the students to educate them about TS, I hope that others will learn that being up front, open, and honest about their disability does have its advantages.  I’m not saying this is perfect for everyone, but for me, it changed my life. There is power in education!
  6. LESSONS OF LIFE- If I am able to make another person’s life a little bit easier than it was for me, then MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I didn’t have a role model to look up to.  I now know their are many people that children can look up to to say “If Brad can do it, then so can I!”

What lessons did you get out of the book/movie?

Ask Brad: What medications or alternative medicines should we take for Tourette Syndrome?

Monday, December 22nd, 2008
To med or not to med, that is the question?

To med or not to med, that is the question?

To med or not to med, that is the question?  And although you are looking for me to give you a quick fix answer, unfortunately I can’t.  In matter of fact, every person living with Tourette Syndrome reacts differently to the medications.  So it is hard for me to come right out and tell you a medication you should use.

But what I can say it that there are a lot of options.  Alternative natural approaches have proved to work for many people.  Things like staying away from artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrups, certain dye colors in food and much more could help you.  Or certain diets to have high fish oils or lots of protein could help.

Shelia Rogers wrote a book titled Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourettes which could be beneficial to read.

The main thing to remember is that there is not a cure for Tourette Syndrome.  The other important factor to consider are the side effects of medications.  A lot of people with TS also have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the medication that helps one issue could make the other issues worse.  So I always say treat the issues which is the biggest problem at the time, then move on to the others.  Often times people say the OCD is worse than the ADHD and TS issues. Once again, it is different for different people at different times.

When we discuss medications, I STRONGLYsuggest speaking with a doctor first.  They have experience and know the potential side effects.  Some medications require EKG’s be done to track the heart while other medications may cause low blood pressure.  Please seek medical advice when it comes to medications.

You can check with your local Tourette Syndrome Association for a list of recommended doctors in your area who deal with Tourette’s.   There may also be some support groups where you can chat with other parents about what has worked for their children.

I’d also recommend the book Children with Tourette Syndrome: A Parents’ Guide.  This has much needed information which could help.

You should also remember that when it comes to Tourette’s little things could help ease the tics:

  1. Get a lot of sleep so you are relaxed the next day
  2. Have a healthy diet
  3. Listen to relaxing music on the way to school/work or even while you are at school/work
  4. Stay away from caffeine’s like soda, coffee and chocolates
  5. Make sure other people around you understand Tourette’s because when you know others know about your condition, it is less stressful for you
  6. Take frequent breaks and get up and walk around for a few minutes throughout the day
  7. Drink lots of water
  8. Know your schedule before you start the day
  9. Build up your confidence in whatever it is you are doing, it will create less stress
  10. Focus on your strengths and celebrate your successes with friends and family

These are just a few things I have seen work for me and others.  Can you think of other things to add to this list?

Check Here for PR on the Movie Front of the Class on CBS

Friday, November 28th, 2008
    Keep checking back as I’ll list the appearances on TV, radio, newspaper, and magazine, etc that promote the movie.

  • The View- Patricia Heaton will be a guest on Tuesday, December 2nd

    The Early Show- Patricia Heaton will be a guest on Tuesday, December 2nd around 8:00-8:30 EST


  • Rachel Ray- Patricia Heaton will be a guest on Dec. 5th


  • Entertainment Tonight- Patricia Heaton will be a guest the week of Dec. 1st


  • Great Day St. Louis-CBS Ellen, Brad’s mother, will be a guest the on December 1st


  • B98.5 Steve and Vikki Show (Atlanta)- Brad and Patricia Heaton will be guests during the week of December 1st- (listen online)


  • WSB 750 Scott Slade Show (Atlanta)- Brad will be a guest the week of Dec. 1st (listen online)
  •  Newspaper

    Atlanta Journal Constitution- Thursday December 4th

    St. Louis Post Dispatch- Saturday or Sunday December 6th or 7th

    Washington Post

    Kansas City Star

    Marietta Daily Journal


    People Magazine (ad on page 41) December 8th issue

    Education Week December issue


It’s Time to Meet Jimmy Wolk, Playing Brad Cohen, in Front of the Class

Thursday, November 20th, 2008


It is time to introduce you to me, or shall I say Jimmy Wolk, who plays me in Front of the Class.  Jimmy is a great person and an even better guy.  He’s got a great personality and gets along with everyone.  I know the people on the set took a liking to Jimmy from the beginning.  We really have a lot in common.  This is Jimmy’s first big role and something tells me you’ll be seeing a lot more of him.  I first learned about Jimmy during casting when the producers and directors said they felt they had someone special to play me.  He was not a big name in the industry, but they kept saying “This guy can act!”  They took a risk and the rest was history. 

Jimmy first had to learn about not only me and my personality, but also about Tourette Syndrome.  I was recorded on video and explained to Jimmy that there is a method behind the madness with the Tourette’s.  That each tic has its own personality.  We wanted to make sure that the tics in the film came across naturally, almost unconsciously.  We didn’t want it to be forced.  Jimmy learned and then he acted.  And he did a great job.

When I first arrived in Shreveport on set, people thought I was Jimmy, but then they realized it was the “real” Brad Cohen and they quickly said “Wow, Jimmy really has Brad down nicely.”  Our tics were identical.  Jimmy’s positive energy came across throughout the entire movie.  I’m honored to have Jimmy play me in the movie.  As I told Jimmy, this movie is about the underdog getting a chance and becoming successful.  Similarly, Jimmy was the underdog for the part as many other big name people were up for it, but the directors and producers took a risk on Jimmy and he is about to shock the world.  Thank to Hallmark Hall of Fame for taking the risk and giving Jimmy his first gig.  I’d say he did a heck of a job! Cheers

Ron Clark Meets Brad and Nancy!

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

We had a chance to visit the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta and it was a great experience. Not only did we get to meet Ron Clark, but we also had a chance to see one of the neatest schools in America.

If people say the sky is the limit, then wait till you meet Ron. WHe had a dream to have a school like no other in the world. And that is what he did. There is a slide inside the building, technology all over the place, flat screen TV’s in the bathroom, hidden classrooms behind bookshelves (much like Scooby Doo shows), and much more.

This middle school for grades 5-8 will be one where the students have a chance to travel around the world and have meaningful instruction. Be sure to check out the website and enjoy the pictures!

Kent County and First Day for Teachers

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

I had a chance to visit Kent County as their keynote speaker on the first day of school. After speaking with the superintendent of the school district, he quickly told me his goals for having me. It was to remind teachers that “Successful Learning of All Students” is our goal. And that “Everyone Can Make a Difference in the Life of a Child.”

I would like to thank Mr. Pack and the other staff members I met for a great experience.

Brad’s Presentation on the internet -PODCAST!

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007
Click here to see 35 minutes of Brad Cohen speaking

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"Brad Cohen is a walking billboard for the idea of living positively. He is like a cold drink on a hot day--refreshing, energizing, and likely to put a smile on your face."
Tim Shriver - Chairman of Special Olympics

"I have observed the magic of Brad Cohen in the classroom. He has turned Tourette Syndrome into an asset, and his life into inspiration."
Senator Johnny Isakson, Georgia

"Brad Cohen's story is a triumph of hope, determination, will and relentless good humor."
Peter J. Hollenbeck, Ph.D., Professor and
Associate Head of Biological Sciences,
Purdue University

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