By WALT BELCHER | The Tampa Tribune

Jaylen Arnold, of Lakeland, started an anti-bullying campaign that is inspiring people across the country. One of his biggest fans is actor and musician Dash Mihok.

Jaylen Arnold has turned his personal battle with Tourette’s syndrome into a public battle against bullying.

The 10-year-old Lakeland boy has been dealing with the disorder since he was diagnosed as a toddler.

Tourette’s affects its victims differently. For Jaylen it causes uncontrollable tics and twitches. He has also been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.

“When I see myself, I see this twisty boy who is going crazy and then I look at other people and I feel like I am the only one who has this. … There’s something inside of me and I want it out,” he says in a touching and inspiring documentary debuting at 9 tonight on the Discovery Health cable network.

Jaylen is one of four children profiled in “Tourette’s Uncovered.” The program shows what parents and children face when their lives are dominated by a condition often misunderstood by the public.

In addition to being mocked and sometimes tormented by classmates, these children also must deal with physical pain and depression.

Jaylen’s mother, Robin, says that her son has “a lot of sensory issues,” such as being unable to stand the touch of rough fabrics. He can only wear soft cotton. He can’t stand to eat soft foods. He struggles to walk on grass in bare feet.

In addition to an uncontrollable desire at times to contort his body, he must wipe off any area that has been “tapped on” by someone’s fingers.

Cameras record his despair over the inability to go to bed at night because every inch of his body can’t stand to lay still.

As he pleads just to be a normal kid and have some happiness, his mother tries to comfort him.

His mother says they try everything possible from massage therapy to monitoring his diet to using vitamin supplements. “I want to do everything I can to make him more comfortable and protect him,” she says.

“What Tourette’s puts me through makes me like really sad,” Jaylen says. “It puts me in pain and literally hurts me. It makes life a lot … harder.”

Two years ago, Jaylen found a new purpose when he started an anti-bullying campaign. He had seen and experienced first-hand what it can be like to be teased because you’re different.

He started speaking out against it in schools in an effort to explain to other children the effects of Tourette’s syndrome. He began passing out “Bullying No Way” bracelets and anti-bullying booklets.

Jaylen, who was profiled on the “CBS Evening News” last year, started a website that is devoted to ending bullying.