ANTI-BULLYING CRUSADE: Jaylen Arnold’s Tourette’s challenge!Written by admin2 on July 2nd, 2009
Filed under: Campaign Watch, Irked Videos, Themes, Auties & Aspies, QuIrked Kids
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:
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!
“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):
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):
At 9:48 PM on Jun 15th, Jaylen took to his official Twitter account:
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.
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:
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