ANTI-BULLYING CRUSADE: Jaylen Arnold’s Tourette’s challenge!

Written by admin2 on July 2nd, 2009
Filed under: Campaign Watch, Irked VideosThemesAuties & AspiesQuIrked Kids

Jaylen_Arnold_title_graphic (Description: Jaylen Arnold, 8, is seen here with one of the wristbands like the ones he given out to his friends and other people at his school. The wristband represents Tourette's syndrome awareness.) (Photo credit: Paul Johnson/The Ledger)

The website jaylenschallenge.org is the dream of a wonderful little 8-year-old boy named Jaylen Arnold. Jaylen suffers from Tourette Syndrome. He wants to educate people about bullying, bringing attention to the difficulties he faces in his day to day living. He hopes to make you laugh, make you cry, but most importantly make you aware that those with disabilities are not only normal—but incredibly special people. With your help and support he can spread the word and teach people to help…not bully.


 

At 11:13 AM on May 23rd, Jaylen took to his official Twitter account:

Jaylen_cure_tweet

 

Quoting jaylenschallenge.org’s “Who Is Jaylen?” page:

My name is Jaylen Arnold, I am 8 years old and in the 2nd grade. I am ready to change the world through my challenge! I want to STOP childhood bullying! I made this page to help put an end to kids that bully other kids…especially disabled ones. I am a disabled child who suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome (TS – a Neurological Disorder), Aspergers Syndrome (ASP – a broad spectrum Autism Disorder), and severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD – much more than just washing your hands or checking things over and over…believe me)! I began symptoms of Tourette when I was 2 years old. The diagnosis came at age 3.  The OCD followed by age 4, and more recently, the Aspergers was diagnosed at age 8. So I am what some might call an alpahabet kid. See look, here is my name: Jaylen Arnold, TS, OCD, ASP (I am beginning to have all the letters of the alphabet behind my name) he! he! My mom says I’m a kind and loving boy. My dad says I’m really intelligent. IQ test scores say I’m 3 points below genius. But I say, God made me really special and I know that if I try super duper hard, I can do anything I want to do. One day, I’m going to be on the Disney Channel & You Tube educating people about teasing and bullying! And one day, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and The Jonas Brothers will be wearing my armband to help stop bullying!

Donate $10+ and get an exclusive wristband >>

 

“When discussing ideas for [his] website Jaylen felt it was important for the visitors to see first hand how Tourette’s affects him. This is how severe the disorder can and will get when mocked, laughed at, or anxiety ridden. On March 4th 2009 Jaylen’s mother spent some time filming Jaylen. What you are about to see is unedited raw footage taken straight from the video camera. There are two 10 second forwardings on the video to protect Jaylen’s physicians’ names he speaks of. You will see how having Tourette’s among other disorders affects the simple everyday life of Jaylen. This is only 6 minutes of Jaylen’s time, imagine what it must be like to suffer everyday, all day long?”

 

 

Here’s a photo of Jaylen asleep on his special chair (Photo via Twitpic):

Jaylen_asleep_in_chair_via_Twitpic

 

Click title to read The Ledger’s great coverage: Little Boy, Large Quest: 8-Year-Old With Tourette’s Wants Others to Learn Tolerance

Here’s a photo of Jaylen at the store reading the newspaper article about himself! (Photo via Twitpic):

Jaylen_reading_article

 

At 9:48 PM on Jun 15th, Jaylen took to his official Twitter account:

Jaylen_Oprah_tweet

 

Quoting DoSomething.org:

Jaylen may not have full control of his body, but he’s on a mission to promote self-control among others by declaring a personal war on bullying, which he has experienced both as a victim and a witness. He hope to get other kids to take control of their cruel impulses.

 

Quoting benandbenniewaddell.blogspot.com:

One of the primary reasons I started this blog was to not only give folks a glimpse into the lives of exceptional families but also to change perceptions and attitudes toward individuals with special needs. While driving home from the beach Friday I heard this wonderful story listening to CNN. I highly encourage all of our readers to watch the story and then visit Jaylen Arnold’s website. Eight-year-old Jaylen is another one of those heroes who doesn’t let his condition stop him from doing something positive for not only himself but other exceptional people. Jaylen truly is battling one of the things that frustrates parents of non-typical kids the most. Instead of anger he’s using his personal story to educate others and thereby changing the perception some folks might have about Tourette’s Syndrome.

 

Watch CNN’s coverage:

 

Quoting Jaylen:

When I grow up, I want to be a dentist (hope my tics don’t interfere with me having my hands in your mouth)! I love all people and all kinds of things—unless you’re coughing and sick—in that case, I will wave & flap you away because with my severe OCD, I’m really quite the germ-o-phobe. I just can’t help it. I can actually feel your germs landing on my tongue if you don’t completely cover your cough or sneeze!

 

I have complex Tourette’s which means I have vocal “tics” and motor “tics” pretty severly. They interrupt my daily living and are quite troubling. If you don’t know what “tics” are just hang around and you’ll soon find out. (No they are not the bugs – ticks) he!he! I also often yell out the word BAM! for no apparent reason. There is no cure. They don’t really know too much about this disorder. There are very few medicines available and they come with very bad side effects. I’m a little guy so my parents don’t want to take a chance on me taking these medicines that can give me a heart problem…so they protect me naturally, the best they can. I just want the “tics” to stop. You control your body, my body controls me (and boy does it ever).  he! he! BAM!

 

I was really scared for the other kids to see my “tics” and know that I was different. I was trying so hard to hold them in. I would go to the hall and try to get them out. Eventually, I couldn’t hold them in. It’s like a big sneeze…you can hold it for a few seconds, but then it just blows out really hard. BAM! I was soon “ticcing” all day long. The other kids were copying my tics. One day the teacher put a little sign on me that said I had a medical condition, Tourette Syndrome. My parents really didn’t like that too much. It was embarrassing because the kids then knew I had something wrong. Before that, they thought my noises and movements were me being a class clown. I was okay with that, as long as they didn’t know the truth! My condition got so bad that I began hurting myself with my tics. I didn’t mean to, but my stress and overstimulation was so bad that my “tics” got very hard. The muscles used to perform the tics were contracting very hard. The Dr. called those “violent tics”. I was crying one night because I was hurting so bad, and when my mom saw how I was bruising myself from the tics, she took me right out of that school and I am now back at my Christian school. She kept me at home for a bit ~ we made a video for you to see (above, or on Jaylen’s video page). You see when your tics get that bad, it takes weeks or months for those tics to calm down. I had to decompress and become de-sensitized. I love my school. Those kids don’t bully or tease me. They love me for who I am and I want all kids to experience the same feeling.

 

Learn more at jaylenschallenge.org

And twitter.com/Jayschallenge

 

quirked_kids_logo_by_neva_austrew

 

Permalink / Comments

6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oct
    18
    12:29
    PM
    Headacheslayer

    Jaylen is SO awesome!! Thank you so much for spreading the word about this amazing young man. I’m blessed to “know” him through Twitter and his website. He is inspirational and proof that one person can make a difference!!

  2. Nov
    4
    9:12
    PM
    Lia Nistler

    Jaylen, You are fabulous and inspiring! Always remember, you are Jaylen FIRST! My son is now 25 and had the “alphabet soup” behind his name too, including TS. At 25, he is still the same person. Keep your dreams big and I hope to see you doing great things in the future! The world needs more people like you.

  3. Nov
    4
    9:35
    PM
    Cody

    i have tourettes too my hands shake so bad i cant write i use a computer to write most of the time and make weird sounds alot of people look at me funny and i get pushed around a lot at school. im 11 years old in the 5th grade. my mom and dad told me that more people had tics like me but i dont know anyone else till now. i have ocd and adhd too. thank you for all you are doing for people like us… that feels good to say – “us” and not just me. thank you your friend cody

  4. Oct
    8
    2:16
    AM
    Jessica

    I just wanted to post something that Jaylen could see to say you are a hero in my eyes! To be the victim of bullies & fight against them by speaking out makes you a hero! With out knowing it you are saving someones life! Some bully will hear your message & may not give that one person a hard day when they felt like they couldn’t take any more! All the stories on that show really touched me. I had a friend when I was in school who also had tourettes. Your courage to stand up and fight for everyone with tourettes is just AMAZING! My sister made the WRONG decision after being bullied, she did not stand up. I admire you for standing up!

  5. May
    11
    11:07
    PM
    lizzy

    I love the idea of this young man to stop bullying. I think this young man will go far!

  6. Jan
    20
    9:34
    PM
    Samantha

    I just want to say you are a very special little boy. You are a role model to others dealing with bullying. My son is 10, has tourettes very very similar to yours, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder. He has silently dealing with bullies for over 3 years now, I just found out this year,and have been staying on top of it. It is sad that kids choose to pick on and judge someone when they don’t understand what they are dealing with or because they are different. I think they need to educate the students on all the different diagnoses and symptoms so they better understand. Bravo!

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