What if you were living a lie? What if someone told you, that you were a mistake, that if the ‘condom did not break that night you would have not been born’? David Moreno was introduced to this idea after I spoke to his father and stepmother, they had told me not to tell him, it had slipped out by accident. Soon after, I told him his reaction was heartbreaking; I did not expect him to be very sentimental about it, telling me it would have been better not to know. He states, “My whole was a lie, I was told I was planned and that they were happy to have me.” Both his mother and father were having protected sex with a condom, until it broke and David was conceived that night. After talking to both of them they told me they both were not ready for kids they were only 22 and 25 years old, when David was born.
At age 9 David was diagnosed with ADD. His family could not find an explanation for this? The only thing that came to mind, was when David was about 2, he had fallen on a sharp edge of a table and cracked open his forehead. In a panic they rushed him to the hospital, he was loosing so much blood, it was sure he was not going to make it. After a while he was okay, and had stiches. During the same year, again he fell on the tile floor and cracked open his forehead again. This time it was not that serious, but he did have another stich. Leaving him with two scars on his face that is visible if you looked closely. His family based his disorder on those two incidents. Another assumption is that David’s Aunt has a small percentage of ADD, that could be why David got it, but the results of the reason are unknown.
According to ADDitude Magazine, “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD ADHD) is a brain disorder that may have a number of different causes. Studies of families suggest that genetic factors contribute to ADHD. It seems to "run in families", at least in some families. When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, there is a strong possibility that it will be found in other blood relatives, too. For example, studies have shown that one-third of all men who had ADHD in their youth have biological children with ADHD.” It is s normal for children to occasionally forget their homework, daydream during class, act without thinking, or get fidgety at the dinner table. But inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity are also signs of attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD), which can affect a persons’ ability to learn and get along with others. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that appears in early childhood. ADD/ADHD make it difficult for people to inhibit their spontaneous responses, which can involve everything from movement to speech to attentiveness. David like most, suffer from this disorder and struggles to comprehend why he is the way he is because of it. He agrees with his family he believes it was his accidents, he explains he researched the frontal brain is the memory part and he suffers with memory and suffers to pay attention on things only exciting to him, that is why he has ADD.
David is a tall man about 5ft 5”, he wears glasses, he is skinny, and his favorite colors are red and black. Paying closely attention to David when he sneezes, he gets an inflammation in his cheeks that the doctors cannot explain, he also is allergic to the sun, every time he is exposed to it he gets itchy red bumps all over his boy, the doctors explain this as ‘hives.’ When David was young he had to get an MRI from grease buildup in his stomach, because of eating too much popcorn chicken, since then he is very carful about his health, so that he will never get sick again. David Isaac Moreno is a 21-year-old sophomore at the University of San Francisco. His major is media studies, and minor in film, because he wants to pursue movie directing as his career. David has such a talent, last year he made his first film with his girlfriend called Viral for Campus Movie Fest, and has many more good ideas, he is not willing to let me discuss in case someone stealing them.
In spite of his success, since the fourth grade, he struggles and gets frustrated about not being “normal” or “smart” as others without ADD are. Now in college he is struggling even more, he is at risk of failing and being kicked out of USF, I talked to his University Advisor, she said he must get at least a 2.0 overall GPA in order to get out of Academic Probation, if not he will fail and be dismissed from the school. His father mentions, “David has dropped out of 3 classes already, and needs to make them up in the Summer and Winter semesters of else he will not graduate in 2016, or be kicked out of school if his grades do not improve.” He is concerned, because USF is the only school he can afford, if he fails out he will have to drop out of school entirely. He hates having to visit the Student disabilities office for help on assignments or to get “more time” to do projects or tests; he refuses help from anyone, he wants to be able to do it like everyone else can. The first year he was going to SDS, but the next year he stopped, he thought he could do it and since then he had to withdraw out of 3 classes and D’s and C’s in his other courses. In the beginning he was prescribed pills, but as time went on he had gotten sick and had to stop taking the medication, ‘thinking he would be fine without it.’ Not to sure he is okay without it, but does not wish to continue medication.
David is an atheist; he does not believe in religion, he knows there is a higher being, but not sure about ‘God.’ When David was 8, his grandfather passed away, he was very close to him and made him very sad, “I was his favorite, he would always give me a present, like a red truck, in which I still have and admire it in remembrance of him,” he states as he gets upset at God for taking him away for him, ever since then he does not believe. Relating to his ADD, this could be the reason for his failing in school not to much ADD.
David was born in St. Paul Minnesota, at Regions Hospital on February 12, 1993. David’s parents had separated before then. He live with his mother (Linda Jimenez) in Minnesota, while his father (Julio Moreno) moved to San Francisco, to be a Professor at USF. Throughout the years in Minnesota David felt out of place, he was the only Salvadorian/ Mexican in his whole school. Also because of his disability David had failed the fourth grade and had to repeat it again. Soon after he kept getting below average grades, his mother thought it would be best that he move to San Francisco with his father. At first David was upset at the idea of moving away, he only saw his father once or twice a year, and hated him for leaving. He knew living with his father, a professor would be hard on him about his grades and he did not want the constant lectures. After some time he had to get used to living away from his mother, who he loved more than anything in the world. “I regret ‘my world’ (David) moving to San Francisco, he belongs here with me” (Linda), she told me one phone call I gave her about a month ago. Both of his parents got remarried, and have two stepsisters from both families (Italia and Ivana, both 6, and born 8 days apart). David does not feel part of either family both his mother and father moved on and he feels as if they do not care about him anymore. In spite of the fact his mother calls him ‘world’ and weeps every time they talk on the phone. How he wishes for his family to get back together, but now it is too late.
David moved to San Francisco when he was 13-years-old, and visits his mother twice a year, in Christmas and summer break, for only a week or so. After the transfer, possibly it was not so much ADD anymore, but abandonment of his mother. David had to transfer to (Star of the Sea Middle School) midway in 7th grade. During his middle school years he said that he did not have much friends, because he was timid and fairly anti-social. A few years passed and he was ready for High School (Archbishop Riordan High School), an all boy school. “The first year was torture,” he said judging from his ID card photo you could tell how miserable he looked. Sophomore year until senior year he felt better, he had met his best friends: Kevin, Patrick, Manuel, Jeffery, Celina, Laura, and Romina. Being a year older than his friends he seemed to fit into their clan, because of so much they all shared in common. In the duration of high school David had the pleasure to go on a Kairos Retreat. It was in the summer of his junior year, and he got to go with his best friends. He also went to New Orleans, Louisiana (to help build houses for the Katrina victims); spending about 3 weeks there, he learned a lot about getting things done and felt accomplished. ADD was not much an issue anymore, but has been more of an issue at USF.
In 2012 he graduated with his fellow classmates, “it felt good to finally pass something” (David). He had done well upon graduation getting a 3.0 as his overall GPA. Once he graduated, he was sad to leave the life he was now so used to. Within the first year at USF, he did not like it; his friends had all separated to other schools far away from him. He had to go to USF, because his dad worked there, and it would be free tuition. During his first year, he met his match (his girlfriend Kimmy). They both met in a Spanish Core Class, in October 2012, she is Irish/Mexican and a junior, she three months older than David, but they are both okay with that ‘calling her a cougar.’ She is a short girl with brown hair and brown eyes. She was such a sweet girl answering anything I had asked her about David. At first she thought his ADD was not real, she could barley notice it, but as time went on his failing grades and withdraws were serious and wanted to help him as much as she could. They took classes together so that they could study together whenever he needed her. She spends the night at his house so that she is there to keep him on track. They have been dating for almost two years, and already want to get married in the future. Though not until October 2013, on their 1 year anniversary David had given Kimmy a promise ring in order to express his love for her. They both want to pursue the same careers; she wants to be a movie producer. He has never been so happy to find someone. He explains that in high school all his friends had found their soul mates, but he was the only one all alone dating girls he did not even care about, because he was so desperate. But with Kimmy, he knows he loves her and that she is the one. He had thought because of his disability he was not going to find anyone to love him and was going to die alone. He admits that sometimes he gets jealous of her, because she has no disability and it is so easy for her to study and gets A’s but for him it is so hard to be under so much pressure. He only takes 3 classes a semester because he cannot handle so much, and at times has to withdraw because he is failing. His current GPA is 2.50, and the media studies department has to follow the rules, even though he fails, they are not making accommodations to help him out. I spoke to his teachers for this semester, Ed Lenert and Juluri Vamsee, they mentioned he was an excellent student, little timid, participates when he can and feels comfortable. He has a tendency to miss deadlines and turn in things late by procrastinating until the last day when everything is due. He yelled at me when I asked him, why he does not do assignments on time, and I had to back away and give him space a few times.
I met David October 4th 2012, at the learning Disabilities office my first year at USF. Being a person with a disability also, we got along and slowly became friends. The duration of a year since I met David I noticed his frustration and lack of good academic skills. He gets upset when having to drop a class or having a failing grade (academic probation). He not only affects himself, but also affects people around him. Instead of doing homework, David rather play video games (Halo), hang out with friends (Kevin), or his spend time with his girlfriend (Kimmy). I asked some of David’s friends and family, how his ADD affects them. Kevin Chavez states, “I have to repeat my thoughts multiple times in order for David to understand, also he is always late when we ask him to be here at a certain time.” Kimmy states that she “also feels tired of repeating, his laziness, or being late,” but no matter what she still loves him. His father Julio Moreno states, “He is lucky he does not pay for tuition, he could not afford to pay for dropping out of classes,” like David was forced to do. His mother was compassionate with David, thinks he is perfect “nothing is wrong with him, but he does ignore me when he is ‘busy’ doing homework.” As I continued to get more out of him, he slowly was refusing and getting agitated, that I had to stop asking questions after spending 5 months with him. Going to restaurants, his house, walking in the park, the movies, stores, and the gym.
I asked the disabilities center at USF, how do they treat those with ADD? They responded, “Just like others with a disability they all get treated equally, all the same opportunity for help, for ADD patients, they just have to, in advance give teachers a heads up they need SDS and come in for a test or help on anything.” The mission of Student Disability Services, (SDS) is to help USF students with disabilities serve as fully contributing and actively participating members of the University community while acquiring and developing the knowledge, skills, values, and sensitivity to become women and men for others. Toward that end, SDS promotes a fully integrated University experience for students with disabilities by ensuring that students have equal access to all areas of student life and receive appropriate educational support and services to foster their academic and personal success. They do not disagree about taking medication, but it is up the student if they need to but they do encourage it. They were unable to talk about specific students files, when I asked about David they were unable to say, but did give a brief description of SDS in general.
In conclusion, David’s family suggests that sometimes it could be ADD that is affecting him, but at times he also could be using it as an excuse, just to get out of the situation of his laziness or procrastination. His grades might improve in the future, as long as he works harder and seeks help whenever he need it, not just give up and blame it on the ADD. Hoping the best for David, I hugged him and told him to keep going and never give up, maybe one day he can fight through the disorder and be “normal” like he wants to be. As I turn and close his front door and leave on the bus back home.
Methods Box: The challenges of this essay was making sure not to share too much information so that it would be fair to the subject, but at the same time, squeezing it out of him until he eventually cracked and was getting frustrated at me towards the end. The solution was to take him to his favorite place (the Rose Garden) to try to calm him down while asking for more details on his story. Countless times I spoke with David, since the first day in January 27th until May 18th, I had been with him asking questions, and waiting for responses for hours and hours all day long. We spoke on the bus (5, 28, L, 31…), also at an iHop, Denny’s, and Olive Garden with his family and his girlfriend Kimmy. I spoke to his parents, and his close friends Kevin and Patrick, they all said mainly the same thing on how the ADD affects them. I spoke with SDS, his professors, and his advisor about how they were also affected about his ADD. I also looked up background information on ADD. His phone # is 650- 302-6156, and lives in the sunset area. He refused to answer questions about ex-girlfriends “they are a thing of the past,” he told me. Overall he enjoyed this paper, he learned so much about himself and how different he wants to be for his family, friends and Kimmy. And that was the end of my dear friend David Moreno.