Special Brain: A type of brain that has an overactive thought pattern and/or difficulty sitting still. Although often highly intelligent, special brains have trouble focusing on things that seem mundane or difficult. They often lack inhibition and express whatever is on their mind or in their heart. Many are diagnosed with the condition attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
You know what I freak out about? I know there are other people who are just like me and are probably the only special brains that they know of in their community. Shoot, they may not even realize they are special brains and might just assume that since they can’t focus or stop moving that they’re probably crazy.
I was fortunate to have a doctor who told me, “Jonathan, your brain is not crazy. Your brain is special, but it’s not crazy.” It sounds goofy, but knowing this, and knowing there were others like me, made a big difference. It’s not like all of a sudden I could find other ADHD kids via some type of membership ring or holographic tattoo, but it still helped knowing I was part of something that was bigger than just me.
A while ago I was in New York City walking around Central Park. They have this one part of the park that has a really cool castle called Belvedere Castle. The reason I’m name-dropping the place is so that if you visit New York City and see the castle, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Anyway, as I was looking at the structure, my brain starting wondering what it would be like if we put a castle on an island for special brains. (We’d have a couple motorboats so we could drive to the mainland to get burgers.) Obviously, I would want to be the governor because then I wouldn’t have to drive the speed limit or pay my taxes. When I told my friend about my idea later that day, she didn’t seem so enthused. She said that with only special brains running things, basic necessities like food, water, and power would probably be neglected if something good came on TV or someone started up a game of dodgeball.
But back to the point. It does worry me that “rogue” special brains might be out there feeling crazy and all alone. These lone-wolf special brains need to know that there are other brains like them.
I like to envision all the special brains getting together like in the movie Mighty Ducks when Coach Gordon Bombay rallied the ducks in a huddle and had them chant “DUCKS FLY TOGETHER.” He gives a little pep talk like, “When the winds get rough, or the going gets tough, DUCKS FLY TOGETHER!”
It’d be really awesome and I’d probably shed a tear if all the other kids with special brains got together and said, “When the suit-and-tie brains call us crazy and we can’t sit still, SPECIAL BRAINS FLY TOGETHER!”
Anyway, I know that generally speaking it’s not always easy for kids to seek help for things, but it is helpful for parents and educators to let the special brains in their lives know that they aren’t all alone when it comes to dealing with some of the struggles of ADHD. People are meant to have a community, and even if it’s not directly in front of your face, it’s still helpful to know that the community exists. I’ve met plenty of other people with ADHD, and even though most didn’t end up becoming my best friends, we shared a special bond and reassurance that came with knowing another person whose mind is more untamed than a wild stallion or more squirmy than a dug-up earthworm.
That’s my two cents!
Jonathan Chesner Gets Around
Jonathan will be featured on the following blogs and websites in the coming weeks. We’ll provide direct links to the reviews and interviews as they become available—check back for updates.
Dear Teen Me features a letter Jonathan wrote to his teenage self.
A Mom’s View of ADHD reviews his book.
Spry, inspiring healthy lives, features an interview with him.
ADHD: from A to Zoë (PsychCentral) interviews him.
Unshelved reviews his book.
ADDitude Magazine reviews his book in their summer issue and features Jonathan for “In Their Words” in the fall issue.
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