If my son’s ADHD were a super power, it would be a hero’s cape, not a red flag.

He’d be the youngest winner of American Ninja Warrior. Akbar would say things like, “Look at those six-year-old muscles! I have never seen anything like it! We’re going to call the Pom Wonderful Crazy Healthy Run of the Night early because THIS. IS. IT!!!!” 

Running around as much as possible would be an asset. Being unafraid to take risks and being unafraid to fail would be seen not as impulsivity, but bravery and confidence. He’s got persistence in spades, if only he would use his powers for good.

He’d be the first kid to win BattleBots with a bot constructed entirely from Lego pieces and Tinker Toys. He’d develop the strongest, most resilient glue in his little plastic beakers and test tubes. No matter what chopping, burning, sawing, or battering his bot might take, those insults would bounce off as though they were nothing. 

He’d find a way to coat himself with a little of that glue magic, too. A child with ADHD could always use some extra protection. Because he has such a big heart, he would share his magic glue with friends and enemies alike. No one craves friendship like a child whose actions are so frequently misunderstood. 

If my son’s ADHD were a super power, he’d cure cancer with the potions he concocted in his science lab. No experiment would be too silly, no ingredient too irrelevant. Every component added to the potion would have an equal chance at succeeding, and his willingness to try anything would be a window held open by everyone around him. 

His creativity would never be limited by the need to be realistic or to follow in someone else’s path. His creativity would never be interpreted as malicious or as anything other than exceptional curiosity.

He’d be the first American to become the most popular British Minecraft YouTuber. Unbound by the laws of gravity and common sense, his buildings would soar as high as his imagination.  A fall from the top would be cushioned with a series of safety nets stationed right next to ladders, where they could resume their ascent as soon as they were ready.

The complex worlds he created in Minecraft would inspire him to go to engineering school, where he’d become the youngest MIT graduate. His single-minded focus on mathematics, agriculture, and multidimensional design would inspire him to build the world’s largest floating self-contained biosphere. Thousands would be built all over the world, solving the problem of what to do with all of the people after Earth has been destroyed. 

He’d also solve the problem of how to keep people from destroying the biosphere, once there. His obsession with fairness and equality would lead him to become a master negotiator.  He would be able to encourage the world to start with a clean slate and new laws based on equal rights for everyone (even cats).

If my son’s ADHD were a super power, think of all of the amazing things he could do:

He could get on the bus.

He could make it through a day of school.

He could eat dinner at the table.

He could wash his hair without tears.

He could fall asleep at bedtime.

He could feel good about himself.

He could accept love.

If my son’s ADHD were a super power, I wouldn’t love him any more than I do right now, when it isn’t.