I have had the pleasure of attending a couple of presentations on Tourette Syndrome by Ken Shyminsky. His own personal stories have helped me to understand how to help my student. Ken is very informative and has humour and enthusiasm in delivering his message. One quote that I have taken to heart and live my is, “don’t sweat the small stuff.”
I found Ken to be a fabulous resource as we navigated our son with Tourette Syndrome. Ken’s experience with TS as both a parent and educator gave him real insight and practical advice for how we could best support our son. He provides concise solutions to the complex and nuanced problems faced by families. Through Ken’s presentations, my husband and I learned how to focus on what is really important and give ourselves permission to let the other stuff go. Ken shares his wisdom with humour and much humanity. As a bonus, is energetic and humorous speaking style will make you laugh – and who doesn’t need a bit more of that?
The way Ken gets my son is amazing. His knowledge on the subject of Tourettes is extensive. But what’s really effective is that he has Tourettes himself and he has parented a child with Tourettes and so he has valuable advice on how to manage the challenges and thrive, despite them.
As an educator, I have attended Ken’s events a couple of times! He is an excellent and engaging speaker who brings his own personal challenges from living with Tourette Syndrome in addition to having over 30 years of experience as an educator. Listening to his presentation, you feel that you are not alone and learn strategies that will help with your own challenges. He is very knowledgeable, very approachable, and has a terrific sense of humour. His strongest message is that neurodivergence doesn’t identify who you are or who you will become.
Ken had a really positive impact on my family. I met him at my first foray into the world of Tourette’s and he was hugely impactful. To me, my son, his teachers – Ken gave us hope. He gave us tools. He was also an incredible role model for me and my son’s teachers. Ken embodied for us all what we could be. He is able to speak to the kids with Tourette’s with such empathy and understanding, to parents with wisdom and guidance and to teachers with empathy, wisdom, guidance and TOOLS. He is a unicorn – a rare being that has the capacity to be all things to all the people – in the neuro-diverse world, specifically. In my journey to understand my son, give him support and unconditional love, Ken stood out as someone with the uniquely right skill set to help us. He connected with my son; with me as mom; with my son’s teachers. I know that Ken is one of the people that helped my son on his path and can share in his achievements.
Ken presented to our teachers and educational support staff in the spring of 2013. The topic of the presentation was “Tourette Syndrome” but what the staff repeatedly commented on and appreciated about the PD was the strategies that Ken presented in relation to TS actually were best practices and could easily be and should be applied to any student and certainly students with exceptionalities. It was 2013 and Ken was already talking about the importance of diversity, inclusivity, equity, and that attitude of staff plays such a critical role in bei9ng a protective factor for students – all students. Staff commented that it was some of the best PD they ever had.
Ben, age 13
Ken is a very awesome guy. He gets me better than anyone else I’ve talked to. His being calm strategy does help. He’s really encouraging, funny and has a great sense of humour.
Ken Shyminsky is a caring, knowledgeable, and dynamic presenter. We at Camp Winston have been blessed over the past 31 years to have Ken conduct workshops and rap sessions for our seven- to seventeen-year-old campers who have Tourette+. Ken’s discussions are always interesting and informative. He generously shares helpful stories from his own experience which engages our campers to share and participate on a deep level with much trust. Campers always leave Ken’s talks and discussion groups with more knowledge about their challenges, better self-esteem, improved self-advocacy skills, and a deep sense that they are okay in the world.
Ken was the vice principal for 3 years at the school where I worked. I am also a parent of a child with disabilities. Ken was a role model to me. He gave me hope and allowed me to dream that despite the challenges my son faced, with hard work he could be successful. Ken helped school staff understand the challenges of Tourettes and strategies to work around them. I have applied many of them to the students I work with even though they face different challenges. He is a wealth of education.
We had the pleasure of attending one of Ken’s presentations while at a conference in Winnipeg. Kens speaking style was relatable and informative with a touch of humour. Great presentation with many takeaways to help us support our son with Tourette Syndrome. Thanks Ken!
I was lucky enough to attend Ken’s talk on neurodiversity and can’t say enough good things about it. Ken doesn’t just speak about solutions; he lives and breathes them. Ken is so down to earth and practical. I was entertained and walked away with strategies I started using the very next day. I’m an educator and can truly say I have never been to a more useful professional development event in my 17-year career. Thank you, Ken.
When our bright and loving son developed extremely challenging tics (coprolalia and other coprophenomena), we had a hard time finding someone who understood or could help. I will never forget how after our very first meeting, our son let our a big sigh and said, “Finally, someone who gets me,” We could see an invisible weight had lifted off our son’s shoulders. Working with Ken has been a true godsend. He is down to earth, smart, practical, humorous, and encouraging. He has a wealth of knowledge and skills gained from his personal, professional and parenting experiences. His knowledge, strategies and coping skills have helped our family tremendously on the home front, with our son’s school, and in the community. He is a gem!
Ken goes beyond speaking to an audience; he connects with them on a personal and heartfelt level. In listening to Ken speak at Tourette Canada’s National Conference in 2019, a clear interest for the cause … for people and how they are impacted was emphasized. Ken is engaging and a pleasure to learn from.
Ken has a calm, insightful, and thoughtful demeanor. Drawing upon his significant professional and personal experience, Ken brings a steady and comforting voice to the most vulnerable and trying of situations. As a single father of a daughter with anxiety and ADHD, I struggled to understand what was happening with my daughter as she moved into her teenage years. Ken helped me to better understand how someone with ADHD processes and ultimately learns. He explained the importance of structure and routine, with an emphasis on diet, exercise, and sleep. Ken helped me better communicate with my daughter by explaining what she was going through. He gave me the tools to properly understand her behaviour which changed how I responded and ultimately improved our relationship. Ken made it clear to both my daughter and me that ADHD, if handled properly, has a number of rewarding gifts that can greatly enhance one’s life. My daughter is wrapping up her high school career with marks in the mid to high 90’s. She is confident, intelligent, and full of hope for a bright future.
I’ve attended quite a few presentations of Ken’s over the years. He’s such an inspirational person who is willing to share so much of his knowledge and experience with the TS+ community. with having TS himself his input from and adult perspective gave me a better understanding as what my children were going through and how to help them. As a parent of a TSer he truly understands how hard it can be. He shares solutions and perspective shifts to make parenting successful. Ken’s expertise within the school board gave me the tools I needed to ensure I could better navigate the educational system and advocate for my boys. The care and encouragement Ken shows is so impactful, and I’ve learned so many things which I can share with those around me who also need support.
I have had the privilege of learning firsthand under the leadership of Ken for a couple of years. Not only have I had the privilege of sitting through his teaching sessions, but I have seen him in action and the successes that come from doing what he offers in his presentations. In hi sessions I gained practical and simple techniques while being challenged to open my mind to new thoughts and ideas as well. His own teaching methods were engaging, interactive and kept me wanting to hear and learn more. He was a leader who felt like a friend as he brought me into his world personally and left me looking at things from a whole new lens. His teaching has allowed me to understand my students better personally and professionally and offer them more. In all my years of experience working with individuals with exceptionalities, his teaching is to this day still at the forefront of the approaches I use.
I have had the pleasure of attending several of Ken’s presentations in past years at the national conference hosted by Tourette Canada. They are always informative, engaging, and self-reflective. Ken uses real-life examples and anecdotes from his own experiences as both a parent of a neurodiverse child, as well as his many years as an educator in the school system. Highly recommend!
Sybil, Past President Tourette Canada
Attending Ken’s sessions at various meetings and conferences is a treat. He always presents using real-life situations, be it his own or of others he has interacted with. His positive manner is warm, understanding, and real. The strategies he suggests work. I never tire of listening and learning from him.