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James Durbin in Tourette’s documentary

AP photo of James Durbin

AP photo of James Durbin

Slim pickings on the news front today so I’m going to grab something I overlooked a couple days ago:

James Durbin will be featured in an upcoming documentary about Tourette  Syndrome. After broadcast in New York, the one-hour documentary will be available for national audience for a limited time at watch.thirteen.org.

He isn’t the star of the documentary. Here’s info from the press release:

Produced, directed and written by John Block and produced, edited and cinematography by Matt Wechsler, Different Is the New Normal reveals an acutely personal first-hand account of Tourette’s through the eyes of Ariel Small. With his permission, his mother Robin turned the camera on him to document their emotional journey to overcome the obstacles of Tourette’s in order to raise awareness about the disorder and help others living with the condition.  Along the way, Ariel meets James Durbin, American Idol finalist, whose own battle with Tourette’s make him realize that anything is possible.

Different Is the New Normal captures the pain and frustration many parents and their children experience,” said Neal Shapiro, WNET’s President and CEO. “Ariel’s inspirational story provides an uplifting perspective to this often misunderstood disorder, and will inspire everyone who watches this film to think about people as individuals, not as labels.”

According to the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA), Tourette’s (TS) affects an estimated 200,000 people in the United States.  It is a neurobiological disorder characterized by involuntary and repetitive physical and vocal tics.  Yet, Tourette’s remains one of the most publicly misunderstood disorders.

Like most people, the Smalls had the preconceived notion of Tourette’s stereotypical symptoms such as compulsive outbursts of obscenities.  Ariel exhibits none of these traits.  This behavior belongs to a rare form of TS called coprolalia that affects only a small percentage of Tourette’s patients.  Once the diagnosis settled in, Ariel and his family embarked on a life-changing journey to change the social stigma of the disease.

One of the disabling aspects of the disorder is the internal mental tics that disrupt daily functions.  Another is the constant need to prove one’s disability in order to receive the education and legal rights for those with Tourette’s.

Remarkably, Ariel overcame his differences and became a Youth Ambassador for the TSA to advocate, educate and validate the disorder.  As an ambassador, Ariel crossed paths with many people with Tourette’s having a productive career and a fulfilling life.  Among those profiled is singer James Durbin who was relentlessly bullied due to his tics.  In a revealing conversation between Ariel and the American Idol contender, Durbin tells Ariel “Different is the new normal.”

31 comments Add your comment

Mercedes S.

August 25th, 2011
10:51 pm

Good for James! And thanks for sharing all this, RoHo.

JTesla

August 25th, 2011
10:55 pm

Yes, good for James. Thanks Rodney.

[...] RSSMix.com Mix ID 1660970 [...]

Highlander

August 26th, 2011
2:42 am

Re-posted from last thread:

D., did you see any bears while roaming around the great Northeast?

I remember the amusing “National Forest” sign regarding bears:
“All hikers should carry small bells attached to their clothing to alert the bears and pepper spray to ward them off. Also, be on the lookout for Black Bear and Grizzly Bear ’scat” (droppings) and know the difference. Black Bear droppings are usually golf ball sized and contain remnants of berries. Grizzly droppings are larger and usually contain small bells and smell like pepper spray!”

Highlander

August 26th, 2011
2:50 am

Kudos to James. Fair play to ye!

Let’s hope TLC or some other cable channel picks it up for a little more wide-spread viewing.

Deirdre

August 26th, 2011
7:19 am

Morning!

RE James: I think it’s great that people in the public eye do not hide their physical or mental problems and step forward to let others see that their lives continue no matter what the difficulties.

Highlander: LOL. I’ve seen a black bear up there on a previous trip. None this time. As for Grizzlies…if there were Grizzlies, I wouldn’t be there.

Woodpappy

August 26th, 2011
8:27 am

Brings to mind the famous line, “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears…Oh my”.

Woodpappy

August 26th, 2011
8:36 am

But really…I’m proud of James and his courage to get on stage and shine. Hope to see him for a long long time.

G

August 26th, 2011
9:02 am

Come on Rodney, you know the old trick when topics run slow for AI. Just slap a pic of Fantasia on the blog, and try to write something positive. She’s the only AI artist that can carry a blog through the weekend. LOL!!!

JTesla

August 26th, 2011
9:29 am

Better yet: who would win in a Fantasia vs. Clay smackdown?

Mercedes S.

August 26th, 2011
10:11 am

Morning!

My first A+ movie of the year – SENNA. Yes, it’s a documentary, and yes, it’s about a subject I really don’t care for, car racing. But this movie is not about driving around an oval 500 times, it’s about Grand Prix, Formula 1, and a charismatic driver from Brazil, Ayrton Senna, young and gorgeous, who died at 34 when he was asked to drive a new, poorly constructed car.

Brilliantly edited, SENNA builds a dramatic,emotional story you won’t be able to forget. The movie blew me away.!

Mercedes S.

August 26th, 2011
10:22 am

“Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” is the unnecessary remake of a truly frightening TV movie from 1973, starring Kim Darby. Since this new “Dark” was written by Guillermo del Toro (”Pan’s Labyrinth”) I expected more than the standard horror pablum served here. The monsters in the basement aren’t scary, The horror tricks are expected. and pedestrian. Guy Pearce is phoning in his performance as an ambitious architecht too busy too care about his daughter’s attackers from down below. Katie Holmes proves she can ha a life outside the Cruise sphere, but that’s the only good thing i can say about the movie.

Mercedes S.

August 26th, 2011
10:30 am

There’s probably someone like “Our Idiot Brother” in everybody’s extended family but I doubt he’s as charming and lovable ( and therefore tolerable) as Paul Rudd…fun performances by supporters Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Steve Coogan and Emily Mortimer. Lot’s of bad language and some nudity, but hey, that’s life. 90 very enjoyable minutes.

Highlander

August 26th, 2011
10:52 am

“Brings to mind the famous line, “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears…Oh my”.” – Woodpappy, 8:27am

As a Steelers fan, Detroit, Cincinnati (Bengals) and Chicago never bothered me much!

Sorry, …it’s FOOTBALL SEASON!!

Mercedes S.

August 26th, 2011
11:03 am

re bears: once, on a businesstrip to the Montana wilds (Kalispell) I geratly enjoyed the woods, the sky, the temperature…thought how wonderful it would be to bring hubby and (then) small kids there for a vacation…until I read the grizzly brochure in my hotel room. It told you what to do when ( not IF but WHEN) you encounter a bear in the woods:

“No eye contact, nu running, just lie down onthe crown and protect your stomach as best as you can. At most the beast will nobble on your feet. Let him.”

The family never made it to Montana.

Mercedes S.

August 26th, 2011
11:04 am

sheesh, ‘just lie down on the GROUND”

and now I’ll shut up

Mercedes S.

August 26th, 2011
11:05 am

…and nibble on your feet…

Rickster

August 26th, 2011
11:20 am

nobble sounds kinds risque’! :-)

Highlander

August 26th, 2011
11:43 am

You’re right, Rickster! Sounds as if it should be followed by “or if he wants to swat you on the bum with a riding crop…”

Highlander

August 26th, 2011
11:45 am

At least Mercedes didn’t say, “hobble”!! …Shades of Kathy Bates in ‘Misery’! :shock:

Highlander

August 26th, 2011
11:46 am

See y’all later (so to speak). Gotta go fix a problem at work.

Mercedes S.

August 26th, 2011
12:55 pm

You guys are too much fun…

Deirdre

August 26th, 2011
1:17 pm

Kristie Lee Cook still has a hunting show on Vs. Her next guest is Bo Bice. I hope they both get to sing.

Rodney Ho

August 26th, 2011
3:03 pm

Deirdre–Just spoke with Bo about it. Yes, I have Bo’s cel number and I’ll use it if I have a good reason! Will post soon.

Deirdre

August 26th, 2011
3:11 pm

Good news, Rodney! We’ll get the low down right from Bo!

Woodpappy

August 26th, 2011
3:12 pm

Highlander, all these years and I never associated that line with football. Who knew ? LOL

Seth T

August 26th, 2011
10:39 pm

Seen some of the televised Karaoke contest tonight – competing for the King/Queen of Karaoke title and I don’t know what the prize is supposed to be for this.

Most of the contestants, even though they have some singing ability, are not the type of people you would want to spend much money on, as a promoter or producer.

Just don’t have the “extra / it / X” factor needed to capture an audience or following.

There were a couple of the younger (one was 18) girls that may be worth the promo and recording investment.

Otherwise, no reason to buy a ticket – I can see this at a local bowling alley on Karaoke night. And the drinks are reasonable. In fact, I did meet a good singer from there who now sings in the band of a friend, and does some recording projects with me. Karaoke contests are a good place to scout for singers.

Lilzie

August 27th, 2011
11:15 am

It’s less slow than you realize! You’ve missed the whole “who is James signed with” story lol! Aug 16 Red Light inadvertently posts James’ bio with a record label attached, Red Light corrects said error, James tweets announcement is coming on Friday, James tweets announcement postponed due to hurricane, fans find James pictures posted from said record label’s photo shoot, all await official news of what everyone suspects unofficially! Now there’s an interesting story!!

Christine

August 27th, 2011
2:31 pm

That is great good for him. Hopefully more people will realize this is serious and they should teach their children not to bully someone who is different from them.

ILoveJamesDurbin

August 27th, 2011
2:56 pm

James is such a great inspration & musician! <3

Sandy

August 27th, 2011
10:18 pm

I guess he is trying to bring attention to the cause, however James Durbin is a a**clown (his favorite saying as of late) in every sense of the word. I get sick and tired of his fans excusing his attitude and disposition on his “disorder”! An spade is a spade, you don’t try to diminish asinine behavior on a disorder. Some of the rude and obnoxious things he says are very well thought out aren’t caused by some affliction, rather, they say more about him as a person, regardless of his tourette’s!