Words, Words, Words
There are a lot of terms used when talking about mental health - some of them are older and more familiar while others are newer and more accurate. Let’s review some below to see which should be used and why!
- ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) was a term to describe someone who had difficulties concentrating. The new term to use is ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) as it identifies someone who experiences ongoing difficulty with inattentiveness, hyperactivity and/or excessive impulsiveness.
- Autism Spectrum disorder, also referred to as Autism or the Autism Spectrum, is used to describe someone who has a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how they learn, behave and interact with others. This is referred to as a “Spectrum” disorder because of the variety in types of symptoms and how intense they may be.
- Asperger’s Syndrome was a term used to diagnose someone who was autistic but who was not diagnosed with a learning disability. This type of diagnosis is now commonly considered part of the Autism Spectrum and is no longer used.
- Dyslexia is a learning disability in reading (comprehension, spelling and/or writing). This can be confused with Autism or combined because of the symptoms but Dyslexia is separate from Autism because it is a learning disability, not a developmental disorder.
All of these terms, whether in use or not, fall under the umbrella of Neurodiversity, which is a term used to recognize that our brains are all unique and function differently from one another. Stay tuned for a deeper dive into Neurodiversity next month!