When I was in the first grade, my teacher told me that I had ADHD. I thought it was homework. I was sitting in class as Mr. M walked toward me. I was able to smell the pancakes he was making in the back of the class. The pancakes smelled like smooth butter and very nice, warm dough. In a somewhat sad voice, he told me that I had a condition. He said my condition meant that I couldn’t sit still or concentrate as easily as others. He also told me that I was not able to sit still for a pretty long time. All of the students in my class heard Mr. M and started laughing. Then he told the students to stop yelling or he would not give us pancakes. And little tiny me was wanting to be cool so I yelled, “Yeah, what he said!” After all that, he told me it was called ADHD. The students didn’t know what ADHD was, and I didn’t either. The kids stopped playing with me and called me a bunch of mean and rude names.
One week later, I was lying on my white comfy couch thinking about what Mr. M told me in class. I told my mother about the disorder the teacher told me. And she explained to me that it was just a thing that makes it hard to sit still and concentrate. I was confused about the way this felt. Then she told me, “ADHD is not a disorder, it’s a superpower.”
I went to school the next day and explained what ADHD was to my classmates. They didn’t care and started laughing more, so I told the teacher, and he explained it to my classmates. The kids in my class felt ashamed and wanted to be my friend. I said no because I didn’t like them, and I just continued with my life. I was thinking that I didn’t need rude and mean people in my life. I was also thinking about what my mom would be making for dinner when I got home.
A couple days later, I was playing at my school using the monkey bars. I was swinging toward the middle bar. While I was reaching the bar, I touched it and my hand slipped. I fell on the ground and landed on my back. While I was on the ground I started thinking about what my mom had said about ADHD while the pain was going away. I thought that I would be in a lot of pain, but I wasn’t. I got right back up, and I really felt like ADHD was a superpower. When I got up and saw the teachers run toward me, I was standing proudly. And then, when the teachers saw me get up and run back toward the monkey bars, they were surprised like I was. Maybe they thought that I was a superhero, which is what I thought.
A time when I put this belief in action was about two or three months before I started high school. At my middle school over the summer, there was a skateboarding competition. It was statewide. I have never seen so many people sign up for a competition. It was the third round and there were five rounds in total. My brother was in the first, my friend Chris was in the second, and I was in the third. I was surprised that my brother was in first place for two rounds. My turn was sneaking up on me and I was trying to fight it off. I started to think negatively about falling or messing up on a trick. But then my mind flew away and I remembered what my mom told me in the first grade. Then I was ready. As the DJ was yelling my name, I was able to hear all the people in the crowds cheering for me. That made me happy. As I rolled out, I was pumped up as I was going up for my first trick, a five-stair kickflip, and I landed it with ease.
I think that it is not cool that there are no songs or movies that talk about ADHD. I think that Michael Bay needs to make a Transformers movie and make a car have ADHD. That would be cool. Another question is, why would there ever be a movie about ADHD? I think that most people think that ADHD is not anything important and think that it’s a little cough or a small flu. But people get ADHD for life; it’s not a little two- or three-day thing. It’s forever. And sometimes it can mess people up very bad.
Now I know that I am not the only one with ADHD, and I was right—it is a superpower. This sends a message to other people, just because I have a disorder does not make me any different from any other person. I am still the same person inside and out. Now I am in the ninth grade at Mission High School. I have not changed at all, not one bit. I am awesome, I can bake, cook, and skateboard. I am on the school baseball team. I love to play video games like there’s no tomorrow. ADHD is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and it means, for example, that I cannot sit straight for a long period of time. And just because I have this thing does not make me any different from anyone else.
Kevin E. Guzman is fifteen years old. He was born in Honduras and has one brother and one sister. These are some things about Kevin you might want to know: he has swag, he has a dog named Mia, and he may or may not have a sixth toe.