October 19, 2023
In Normal Sucks, a short documentary film by Pascui Rivas, based on the best-selling book by Jonathan Mooney, Mr. Rivas sets out to show us the tyranny of “normal” and the power of different. In the film, we meet Jonathan Mooney, a neuro-diverse writer, advocate, and father who meditates on his life, and offers the radical message that we should stop trying to fix people and start empowering them to succeed.
In this film and in his book, Jonathan explores the toll that not being “normal” takes on kids and adults when they’re trapped in environments that label them, shame them, and tell them, even in subtle ways, that they are the problem. But, he argues, if we can reorient the ways in which we think about diversity, abilities, and disabilities, we can start a revolution.
Edward (Ned) Hallowell, MD, joined Jonathan Mooney in discussion following the screening of the film. Dr. Hallowell is a board-certified child and adult psychiatrist and world authority on ADHD. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Tulane Medical School and was a Harvard Medical School faculty member for 21 years. He is the Founder of The Hallowell ADHD Centers in Boston MetroWest, New York City, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Seattle. He has spent the past four decades helping thousands of adults and children live happy and productive lives through his strength-based approach to neurodiversity and has ADHD and dyslexia himself.
Dr. Hallowell is a New York Times bestselling author and has written 20 books on multiple psychological topics. The groundbreaking Distraction series, which began with Driven to Distraction, co-authored with Dr John Ratey in 1994, sparked a revolution in understanding ADHD. He has been featured on 20/20, 60 Minutes, Oprah, PBS, CNN, The Today Show, Dateline, Good Morning America, The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe and many more. He is a regular columnist for ADDitude Magazine.