O’NEALS – Minarets High School student Daniel Hooker will be the first direct male descendant on his father’s side to graduate from high school in at least three generations.
“They all struggled academically and dropped out before graduation,” says mom Patti of Daniel’s father’s side of the family. “We believe early intervention for Daniel, along with school and home support is what made the difference for him.”Now Daniel is inviting the community to attend his presentation, “Growing Up in the School System with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): My Trials and Triumphs.”
Daniel is offering the free talk as his school Senior Legacy Project, scheduled for Friday, Apr. 12 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Minarets Gym, located at 45077 Road 200.
“I’ll be sharing my story, explaining about ADHD, giving important statistics, answering questions and hopefully, offering hope to parents and students,” says Daniel. “I also want to inform teachers and administrators how vital the early intervention was in assisting me to be as successful as I have been academically, and how their support along the way got me there.”
The avid outdoorsman explains that students with ADHD may have difficulty with “sustaining attention, time-management and organization,” along with often being late, forgetful, and feeling overwhelmed more than most.
“ADHD can exhibit with or without the well-known symptom of hyperactivity in people,” says Daniel of ADHD, “or a rarely known symptom that is the opposite of ‘hyper,’ which is ‘hypo.’ Hypoactivity, meaning spacey, dreamy and slow, is more prevalent in girls and is under-diagnosed,” he explains, “because they aren’t bouncing off the walls!”
Daniel reminds the community that the free presentation could be beneficial for persons of any age.
“Many adults have had to struggle their entire lives, and if you can relate to any of the above symptoms, I encourage you to attend.”
Patti Hooker, Daniel’s mother, will share some ways in which parents can help their kids. A medical professional will also be available to answer questions.
Daniel’s current favorite classes are AP Calculus and Extreme Physical Education; the 18 year old will candidly explain some of his academic successes and challenges during the presentation.
Besides completing his Senior Legacy Project and helping others to navigate the patchy fields of public education for students with special needs, Daniel Hooker plans to participate in a triathlon. He recently completed a half marathon, placing 14th out 1253 entrants with a time of 1 hour 31 minutes.
Daniel plans to attend Fresno State University in the fall, majoring in Computer Science.