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Despite many setbacks and obstacles, Brad, author of Front of the Class, says he never considered giving up his dream of becoming an educator. "I knew that I needed to be a teacher," he says. "I needed to be that teacher that I never had, because I wanted to help out all those other kids out there that might be a little different."

Every year on the first day of school, Brad says he sits his students down and has an open discussion about Tourette syndrome. "I tell them that their teacher's a little different," he says. "I break it down to kid language saying that there's something in my brain that tells me to make noises just like there's something in your brain that tells you to blink your eyes. They can't stop, and I can't stop."

By being open and honest about his disorder, Brad hopes to instill confidence in children that may feel different. "I'm able to show them that just because you have some sort of disability, just because you're different, just because you have some sort of weakness, you can still be successful," he says. "I want these children to say, 'If Mr. Cohen can do it, then so can I.'"
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FROM: Stabbed by His Father: An 8-Year-Old's Chilling 911 Call
Published on May 19, 2006

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