Two years ago, Chicago Parent wrote about Ariel Small, a Highland Park teen who has taken on the stigma of Tourette’s Syndrome by serving as Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Syndrome Association. Ariel had been diagnosed at age 6 with Tourette’s, a neurobiological disorder affecting an estimated 200,000 people in the U.S.
Now Ariel, a high school senior, has taken his advocacy to a national level, speaking out on this misunderstood disorder. Ariel’s inspirational story will be shown in “Different is the New Normal,” a new documentary making its debut on WTTW at 6 p.m. Nov. 6.
With his permission, Ariel’s mother, Robin, turned the camera on him to give viewers an acutely personal perspective on the family’s journey to overcome the challenges of living with Tourette’s and to break through the misconceptions and shame. The movie also features American Idol finalist James Durbin, who has Tourette’s, as well as neurobiologist Christopher Goetz from Rush University Medical Center.