For many years people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have struggled with the negative way in which the name presents the condition.  The current label for ADHD includes both the terms Deficit and Disorder. We asked some of our online friends the question “What is a good analogy to use to describe the creative chaos of the ADHD mind to neuro-typical people?  Here are a few of the responses we received:

“A friend of mine calls it “Eclectic Free-Ranging Focus”, not liking the pejorative sound of the words “deficit” and “disorder”. I kind of like that….”

“Extra thinkers. Thinkers plus? Bonus thinkers.”


“I like Attention-Surplus…because nobody can focus like and ADHD’er (when we are interested!)

IF you have another name for ADHD or another analogy or metaphor for how you think of ADHD we would love to hear about it. So please take a minute and post your best ADHD analogy and share it with all of our blog readers.

3 Responses to “A CALL TO RENAME ADHD”

  1. Tobu

    For years now, I’ve thought of myself as having “liquid focus”. My mental focus naturally flows into the path of least resistance (aka whatever interests me most) and pools deeply there. It takes a conscious, active bucket-chain effort to make it “flow uphill” to focus on something boring or unpleasant, and it will trickle away again as soon as possible.

    In comparison, more neuro-typical people seem to have a “solid focus”, where they can pick up a chunk of their mental focus and plunk it down anywhere they like, and it just stays there until they decide to move it again. This is much, much more practical on a daily basis, but might also prevent them from forming the serendipitous ideas and connections that happen more frequently in a more wandering, free-flowing mind.

    Becoming a high-functioning ADDer for me has meant learning to freeze and practically apply chunks of my mental “liquid” when necessary, while also training myself to let it flow creatively free whenever possible.

  2. Lane

    Start by getting rid of the “Hyperactive” as a main label and move it back to a sub-label, since not everybody with ADD is the hyperactive type.

  3. Stubbs

    I actually prefer Executive Function Disorder. I think it gives a more realistic idea of how ADHD can affect the brain’s executive functions; plus it has a more legitimate, serious sound to it. Maybe people would actually start to take it seriously and provide helpful accommodations instead of derision.

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Most medical doctors who treat ADD/ADHD do so as part of a larger practice. ADHD Specialists focuses primarily on only treating ADD and related conditions. This intense focus allows us to continually sharpen our clinical skills, attend specialized training, utilize the latest therapies, and build our process to meet the specific needs of our clients.

Often medical, testing and counseling services are all separately owned and located practices. It just does not make sense to have to travel from one location to another to treat the same condition. Besides the issue of time and travel, how cohesive and effective is care being delivered in multiple locations by multiple, unrelated providers who don’t have time to talk to each other?

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