Jaylen Arnold is no ordinary kid! You will know that from the very first minute that you speak to him or read his Twitter feed. You also will know that he is a force to be reckoned with as he is the catalyst behind a very strong anti-bullying campaign known as Jaylens Challenge. He also is trying to raise funds to help educate children and school personnel about bullying.
I first “met” Jaylen through Twitter. I kept seeing his Twitter name – @JaysChallenge– linked with some pretty interesting words such as Tourette’s Syndrome and Bullying. I also found out that he was not camera shy despite having a significant tic disorder which makes vocal fluency difficult, to say the least. He piqued my curiosity because two decades ago while still in training as a psychologist I attended a Tourette’s Conference in Pennsylvania. Our graduate class was all assigned the task of attending portions of special education conferences to report to the statewide association for School Psychologists. My fellow graduate students picked their favorites and I was given by pick of the straw- the leftover session- Tourettes. What my fellow grad students didn’t know was that I was the winner. I was fascinated and in awe of the dozens of people who came to the conference to explain their lives with hard to control or uncontrollable tics. I also found great strength within this group. I believe that my training prepped me for helping Jaylen.
I explain all of this because I wanted to know how a nine year old boy could literally turn many in this country into foot soldiers for his anti-bullying campaign. Now I don’t mean area school children only (although they make up a wonderful part of his anti-bullying army). I mean people in the entertainment industry. Even Leo DiCaprio is on board and Moon Frye! His biggest supporters, however are his parents, sister and actor, Dash Mihok. Dash understands Tourettes and Jaylen because he too has had to handle the disorder. He is an exceptional role model for Jaylen. Dash also is the “grand prize” for what Jaylen has termed, “The Next Step”. This is a grassroots campaign to educate people about bullying and give assistance. The full explanation of why Jaylen is taking on such a huge undertaking is here: http://www.JaylensChallenge.org
And why am I writing this blog to ask you to join Jaylen’s Army for “BULLYING NO WAY”. Because no one deserves to be treated as he has been within our public school system. This child endured wearing a teacher designed sign around his neck warning people that he was disabled. Thus, inciting bullying by classmates. I was incensed when I heard his mom, Robin discuss this issue and knew I had to help prevent any other child from having such an atrocity happen within our school system.
To learn more about Jaylen Arnold, JaylensChallenge or the NEXT STEP campaign visit any of these links:
www.JaylensChallenge.org (Here is where you can order some really groovy glow in the dark support bands to wear) Check out who owns them at the bottom of this post!
Jaylen’s many past media appearances: http://www.jaylenschallenge.org/jaylens-on-the-web
Now it is time to hear from Jaylen!!