Nick Storch, a Santa Clarita Valley resident, had gone through his adolescence thinking he was different from the rest of the kids. He couldn’t focus on doing his homework and it would take him longer than he believed it should.
“I kept trying and no matter what I did, I just couldn’t.” said Storch. “I couldn’t get myself to focus even though I wanted to so badly.”
Storch was different, but he has since learned he was different in a way that should be embraced and not make him ashamed.
Storch was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder in third grade. Being diagnosed gave him a sense of relief and awareness that his difference would mean he had to learn in different ways.
“It’s basically just not a level playing field,” said Storch. “You can’t focus and then because you can’t focus, you feel like you’re dumb. You feel like you’re not as smart as the other kids and then you don’t do as well and your confidence is low.”
With the pandemic halting the world and Storch’s junior year at Golden Valley High School coming to a stop, Storch felt it was the perfect time to make a long-time dream a reality – writing a children’s book expressing his struggles through undiagnosed ADD.
“I just figured if I could write a children’s book from the perspective of someone who actually has it and sort of describe the very common scenarios that kids with ADHD and ADD face,” said Storch, “that they could connect with it a lot easier, and it could make them feel better knowing that other people are like them. They’re not dumb. They’re just different.”
“The Boy Who Could: My Journey With ADD” was published in November 2020 and is described as a “true life story of the teenage author’s experience with ADD/ADHD in elementary school. It chronicles his early struggles as a child, his diagnosis, the solutions that he tried, and ultimately, what worked for him.”
Storch hopes that with this book, children’s journeys through ADD and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can be normalized.
“I want other kids to know that it’s not their fault,” said Storch. “It’s not that the other kids are smarter. They’re (the kids with ADD and ADHD) just different and that’s not a bad thing.”
He also hopes that with this book, kids can realize that it is not just them struggling, but that there are others out there, too.
“You’re not alone and that it’s (not being able to focus, etc.) not your fault by any means,” said Storch.
Storch is now 19 and a sophomore at University of California, Santa Barbara. He has prospects of writing more children’s books focusing on issues not commonly known to children. His next book will continue from the perspective of a child, but focus on PTSD and mental trauma.
“My main goal is to keep writing children’s books through the perspective of a child so they can connect to it more because I know if there were more of those when I was younger,” said Storch, “I would have felt a lot more comfortable and a lot more understood.”
“The Boy Who Could: My Journey With ADD” is available at amzn.to/3S4OuCW.