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Words, Words, Words

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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!

Annalyse Tanzos

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