At ADHD Insights Tuesday is Big Picture Day, with attention to the details that will work with global acceptance, global application for ADHD identification and treatment.
Effective markers will take you down the right trail. Ineffective markers keep you lost in the woods.
Let’s face the naming thing squarely, head on. ADHD and ADD labels provide more confusion than understanding, more complexity than common sense. Why, because they describe symptoms, and even today “ADHD” remains remarkably confusing to both public and professionals. That ADHD label simply doesn’t work even with a confusing explanation that includes history and apology – an attempt to explain labels based upon appearances back to 1937.
I’ve tried that explanation hundreds of times, and know it doesn’t work in your world either.
Even today many esteemed writing colleagues try to get the H out of the picture, using only ADD to cover the well known fact that the predominant presentation, when comparing appearance labels, is the form without hyperactivity. Early posts at CorePsych Blog clearly display that effort to clarify. But ADD is still too confusing because the underlying problem, that label problem, simply doesn’t cover the humanity, the struggle, the functional challenge that lives with prefrontal cortical working memory issues. The question repeatedly remains: “Am I ADD or ADHD?”
With my focus on the prevalence of unmanageable cognitive abundance I’ve jokingly suggested that the improved label, the one that cuts out the derogatory Deficit, would be Attention Abundance Disorder, AAD, much closer to the reality of most people we see in the office, even those with hyperactivity. More accurate than Deficit most of the time, closer to functional reality, AAD doesn’t work consistently either, it’s still too descriptive.
Why does Executive Function Disorder, EFD, work so well? It shifts the discussion right to the trail we should be following: the implications of brain activity, the essential look at the dynamics of function. Function includes time. Function includes context. Function takes our discussion from what to how.
“How” takes us into brain science. “What” keeps us busy with appearances that won’t take us out of the woods.