You are here

Jaylen Arnold

Who is Jaylen?

My name is Jaylen Arnold. I am ready to change the world through my challenge! I want to put an end to bullying! I created this foundation at the tender age of 8 to help educate kids that bully other kids...especially disabled ones.

I am a differently abled kid who suffers from Tourette's Syndrome (TS - a Neurological Disorder), Aspergers Syndrome (ASP - a broad spectrum Autism Disorder), and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

I began symptoms of Tourette when I was 2 years old. The diagnosis came at age 3. The OCD followed by age 4, and the Asperger’s was diagnosed at age 8.

I am what some might call an alphabet kid. See look, here are all the letters behind my name: Jaylen Arnold, TS, OCD, ASP

God created me differently-abled!

My parents say I'm kind, humble and intelligent. But I say, God has given me a purpose and I know that if I try hard enough, I can do anything I want to do. One day, after months of being bullied, I decided I wanted to educate people about respect and bullying. I set out a goal when I was 8 years old that I would one day be on Youtube and television spreading my message. I also set out a goal to see Oprah Winfrey and the President wearing my wristband. Thanks to all of you, so far, I've done so much more than I 've ever dreamed! I have had my own show on Nickelodeon called "The HALO Effect wih Jaylens Challenge". I have been featured in a segment for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, a feature cover story for HIGHLIGHTS children's magazine, and featured in People magazine with actress Anne Hathaway. In the past, I was featured with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for two CNN specials called The Human Factor, and a documentary for the Discovery Health Network called Tourette's Uncovered. I was named Young Hero of Year for Philanthropy, received The American Spirit Award from Katie Couric and CBS National News, and was honored with the highly esteemed World of Children Award. I have been featured on every major network, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, HLN, and CNN. I will keep working hard and I do not plan to stop! When I get older, I think I would like to become a dentist or an actor.

They interrupt my daily living

I have complex Tourette's which means I have vocal "tics" and motor "tics" pretty severely. 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) :D  I also often let out verbal squeals for no apparent reason.

There is no cure. Doctor's don't really know too much about this disorder. There are very few medicines available and the one's I've tried came with very bad side effects. The tics just never stop. You control your body, my body controls me (and boy does it ever).

It's like a big sneeze

My parents have always protected my environment by sending me to a smaller school. At my school everyone is accepting and loving to me. We are like a family. When I was in 2nd grade, I decided I wanted to go to a larger regular school. I think now that was a mistake. My disorders got way worse with the stress. The doctors say my disorders cause me to have a lot of anxiety nd more severe ticcing. I witnessed so much fighting, sisrespect and ugliness. I was 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 mocking and copying my tics.

Soon after, the teacher put a little sign on me that said I had a medical condition, Tourette Syndrome. The teacher thought she was helping me. 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 unintentionally hurting myself with my tics. I didn't mean to, but my stress and overstimulation was so bad that my "tics" got very hard and violent. You can see a video of me at that time at: www.YouTube.com/JaylensChallenge.

They love me for who I am

The muscles used to perform the tics were contracting very hard. The Dr. called those "violent tics". I actually began to cry at night at 8 years old because I was hurting so badly. When my doctor saw that I was unintentionally bruising myself from the tics, she took me out of school. My parents kept me at home for a bit - we made a video for you to see on the videos page listed above. You see, when tics get that bad, it can take weeks or months for those tics to calm down. I had to decompress and become de-sensitized. I then returned to my old school. I love my school. Those kids didn't bully or tease me. They love me for who I am and I want ALL kids to experience the same feeling. I am going to do my best to make that happen!

With YOUR help, we can all make a huge difference to a global problem.