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“Welcome to Our One-Man Dance Party”

Skills and talents come in myriad shapes and colors. For our 6-foot, 200-pound, 13-year-old football player with ADHD, it’s an uncanny ability to memorize and execute (with boundless energy) the most spot-on dance routines you’ve ever seen. Sometimes, it’s the little joys…

We’re all eating dinner when I ask Isaac, my teen with attention deficit disorder (ADD or ADHD), to grab the pitcher of lemonade to refill drinks. Some time passes, and we continue blithely eating away until another kid says she’s thirsty. “Isaac!” I shout. “What are you doing?” We all look over and see that he’s dancing. There’s no music, but he’s doing some pretty decent choreography and using the pitcher as a prop. He looks over, sees us all staring at him, and flashes a big grin. “Hee hee. Here I come.”

Ever since I can remember, the boy’s had rhythm. Whether in his room, at school, or at the grocery store checkout line, he’s busting a move. One of my favorite home videos was filmed back when he was two. The movie Cars had just come out, and his favorite song, “Life is a Highway,” was all over the radio. We got a four-minute video of him jumping up and down and singing along to the entire song. He never stopped bouncing, and he never missed a lyric.

Years later, we got the kids an X-box and the latest “Just Dance” game. We loved watching the four kids compete, although Isaac was clearly the best at each song. Not because he’s the oldest, but because he can hear a song two or three times and memorize the lyrics and the dance routine. Every year, we buy the newest game. And every year he memorizes the routines.

[Self-Test: Could Your Child Have ADHD?]

It cracks me up that he doesn’t really care about the attention he draws to himself. He’s 13 years old now, and nearly six feet tall and two hundred pounds. So he’s really a sight when he’s be-bopping out in public.

One night, I pick him up after a football game and take him to his favorite fast-food restaurant. He’s covered in sweat, but he isn’t acting like a tired kid who’s had a full day of school and a 90-minute football game. While we’re in line to order, he’s reading the menu and dancing and singing to himself “Be Our Guest” from the Disney version of “Just Dance.” The clicks of his cleats on the tile sound like he’s doing a tap-dancing routine.

“Hey Bubs,” I say. “You need to hurry up and order. There’s a line forming behind you.” He looks behind and flashes a big grin at the giggling families behind us, and says, “Hee Hee. Sorry about that.”

[Read This: Inside Your Teen’s ADHD Mind]