General Words for Relanguaging ADD

In Order to Heal and Find Who You Really Are

Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Do not agree that having a BrainStyle that operates differently from the majority is a disorder or a deficit.

BrainStyle: How one observes, receives, associates, retains, recalls, and expresses information.

Linear: The BrainStyle of individuals who think and perform tasks in a specific order or way that follows currently popular convention. Doing things in a straight, direct and detailed way and valued as good, precise, or proper.

Analogue: An Analogue BrainStyle takes form in non-linear ways: how things function, seeing the big picture seen through relationships and patterns. As in the plant and animal community, Analogue stands for something that is different in structure or origins and does not carry a judgement or qualitative evaluation.

Symptom: Subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance. Broadly, something that indicates the presence of bodily disorder.

Attributes: An inherent characteristic. A non-judgmental word ascribing a quality.


To flush out Diversity, we must change the current language associated with Attention Deficit Disorder so cultural wounding does not continue to damage Analogue individuals.

Languaging of ADD 

DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) by the American Psychiatric Association

The first definition in each group below is taken from the DSM IV.  (Dx)

The second definition in each group below is attributed to Lynn Weiss, PhD and John Rubel, Psy.D., ABPP. (ID)

Words listed below in bold font are frequently associated with ADD/ADHD, indicating that something so wrong with the person or situation being considered.


Dx: Diagnosis of Symptom (DSM): Subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance; broadly: a condition judged to be a disorder

IDAttributes (LW): An inherent characteristic, a word ascribing a judgment quality


Dx: Fidgets, squirms (DSM): uneasiness or restlessness as shown by nervous movements. The antonym (opposite) of fidgets and squirms is “relaxed, calm, still, rest.”

ID: Fidgeting and Squirming (LW): is not a description of ADD/ADHD but rather is a response to being called to engage in an activity that is not consistent with a non-linear brain, i.e. an analogue BrainStyle. If a fish is required to fly, it will fail for it wasn’t made to move about in the air using wings.

People with an analogue BrainStyle think and produce (as kinesthetic learners) when active. They are likely to become uncomfortable and unproductive sitting for long periods of time unless engaging in some small motor activity such as knitting, sketching, playing with a toy (like a bead on a leather slide).


Dx: Calls out nonstop (DSM):  Non-stop or repetitive verbalization. In what setting? Under what circumstances? Not clear whether the person is along in a group situation such as learning. When alone?  Why is use of one sense considered “better” than another in order to learn. Storytelling was used as a major way to teach for millennium. It is still a strong teaching tool.

ID: Calls out in Learning Settings: (LW)  Questions to clarify what is being said since the other person may be giving the material in detail form and the analogue person learns by seeing the big picture first and then separating out the details for recall learning. Many people with Analogue attributes find that they learn best by verbalizing rather than remaining silent. They may, in part be constructing connections between what is being said and what they are thinking. A person may have many questions because isnt learning/understanding the way the speaker is communicating or the way the material is structured.

If the calling out is truly nonstop, the individual may be OCD, which is considered a pathological condition.


Dx: Touches everything in sight: (DSM) In what settings? Objects, people? To learn about or build a connection or relationship to that person or object? To catalog the item?

ID: Touches to connect with animate and inanimate object: (LW)

The Analogue person by touching visualizes and becomes acquainted with people, places, and things as well as for the acquisition of information and processes in the environment. He or she learns about how things function and the relative place of these things in the big picture which probably includes the observer.


Dx: Constant Motion of Subject (DSM): In what setting is this action viewed? How is it different from fidgeting and squirming? What kind of motion is being demonstrated?

ID: High Level of Motion (LW):

People with ADD/ADHD learning styles often learn best kinesthetically, which involves both physical activity and engagement in a hands-on process to reach a goal. Not everyone can learn effectively that way. A different group of people may learn best when reading or hearing about something.There’s nothing wrong with this way though it may lend itself to more error of interpretation than tangible interaction does.


Dx: Impulsive (DSM): The dictionary has a wide range of definitions for impulsive from having an irresistible urge to being obsessional, from whimsical to visionary. It would seem that there is a need for a clearer definition that clarifies whether the individual is “taken over” by the impulse or rather has skills that go beyond the capability or speed of an analogue processor of information.

ID: Fast Acting or Extensive Environment Responses (LW):

If a person is rapidly able to process information received through any of the senses and chooses how to respond, that is not reason enough to label them as impulsive.

If the ability to choose is not present, then the word “obsessive,” but not “impulsive” could be applied and, in fact be accurate as an illness.

If a person has the ability to see more than the average person such as having the skills of a visionary, then there is no ADD pathology about involved.

If an individual has a high energy level and feels expressive, then it is hard to see how being whimsical and joyful are a symptom of illness.

Finally, if an Analogue person has been forcibly constrained by his culture for most of his life, wounded by virtue of deprivation creates a “deprivation need” such as is found in any person with any BrainStyle because of a lack of trust that his or her needs will be met. Thus the person precipitously grabs anything and as much as can possibly be acquired as fast as possible with no thought. That is not a symptom of ADD but of deprivation.


Dx: Impatience (DSM): The synonyms for impatience include words that are positive and tend to be attached to Analogue processors: enthusiasm, excitement, keenness—high energy attributes. Antonyms of impatience include apathy, indifference, detachment, and unconcern.  It is hard to see the positive attributes as a “symptom”of ADD.

ID: Impatience (LW): Because of quick thinking, Analogue processors often know where something is going, be it a conversation, or rapidly realizing the outcome of a process or action. Knowing where a speaker is going part way through her verbalization feels like a waste of time to have to await the speaker to finish the sentence. This leads to interrupting a slower processing speaker. It may be impolite, but it’s certainly understandable. Maybe the slower processor could be assigned the pathological label of “Hypo-processing Disorder.” (Just kidding. People are simply different.)


Dx: Show emotions without restraint (DSM): Acceptable expression of emotions, positive or negative, is a culturally defined belief. In the United States,at least in part due to its religious and cultural history and parenting styles, there is a much tighter constraint on emotional expression than in most of the rest of the world. Many of the settlers were extremely emotionally inhibited and often depressed.

ID: Emotional expression seen as a natural part of a person. (LW):

Comfort with a wide range of emotion results in emotional expression. Because of broad view and participation in life, Analogue people tend to feel and display a wide range variety of emotions. they also tend to enjoy the expression of feelings with both joy and action. Analogue folk may be more emotional than non-ADD people. Or is it that non-ADD people are emotionally deficient?


Dx: Trouble waiting for things they want (DSM): To remain stationery in readiness or expectation. How is this measured?

Indecisive whether this applies differently to most people regardless of brainstyle. It tends to occur to people who have lost trust that good things will happen for them if they have too often been told they would get something or to be able to achieve a result and then are let down.

ID: Trouble waiting for things they want (LW) The same response as for DSM. In addition, those with ADHD attributes are likely to communicate their displeasure or difficult verbally. But this is not a measure of how hard it is for people to wait.


Dx: Inattentive (DSM): Not paying attention.

Doesn’t pay attention to what is going on around. Must question the type of activity  being attended to and the way in which the attention is measured. Analogue people do not have any bigger problems attending to tasks that fit than do Linear people. It’s a matter of interest and finding one’s fit.

ID:Inattentive (LW): An exercise in fit.

The reason for the inattentiveness must be know for inattention to be called a symptom. If the process of exposure to the material is slower than the ability of a person to integrate and work with the material, it is likely that the person will begin to integrate it with other knowledge he or she has. The integration will claim their attention so they may appear inattentive.

For people with ADD attributes, if the material is given in a linear manner, not providing the big picture through which the whole process must be learned, interest is likely to decline, with attention being directed elsewhere.


Dx: Easily distracted (DSM): Unable to think about or pay attention to something or to concentrate.

Of greatest importance is the fit of the task to the BrainStyle of the person being considered. For the “behavior” to be considered a symptom, the person must have problems with distraction when doing a task that is the same as his or her BrainStyle.

Also, the term “easily” does not clearly describe environmental conditions. Analogue people’s acute sensitivity may make them more keenly aware than Linear people of any all distractions.

ID: Easily Distracted (LW):

Distraction does not tend to occur when the material or assignment or job fits the style of brain construction of the person, i.e., an Analogue task for an Analogue person.

Tackling a task that fits the brain construction is more important than having interest in a task for all people. Interest plays a factor, but is secondary to the fit of the task.White noise, a radio, TV or ambient noise that is relatively constant actually assists an Analogue person to concentrate, even on a less than interesting task.


Dx: Maintaining Focus: (DSM): Focusing on a subject that is being discussed or studied.

Both Linear and Analogue people “tune out” and have trouble focusing on the style of presentation that is different from their own.

ID: Trouble Maintaining Focus (LW): Has a high tolerance for what “fits” them as Analogue people. Generally there is little trouble maintaining focus on creative, self-identified material of interest that is being presented in an Analogue or semi-analogue manner as long as the person is being allowed to move about or stay quietly active during the presentation.


DxBored: (DSM): Being made tired and annoyed by being uninteresting or the activity is repetitive, too much the same.

This is simply the same issue of not being interested in what is being done or knowing where something fits in the big picture. If a chore must be done for near-survival purposes, such as learning one’s multiplication table, then it is imperative for that to be seen in relation to the big picture (the end result) and then be taught in an active, kinesthetic way.

ID:  Bored: (LW): This is simply the same issue of not being interested in what is being done or knowing where something fits into the big picture.

If a repetitive task must be done for emergency purposes, the Analogue person is likely to be maintained by the adrenal creative by the urgency of the situation and continue to work unabated until the danger is past. Boredom does not appear to be issue at such times and often the person will work extraordinarily long hours. Firefighters fit this example to a T. Exhaustion doesn’t occur until the danger is past.


Dx: Task Completion (DSM): Finishing an assigned piece of work

As with non-ADD people, a task that is not completed does not show the individual the meaning of the task—what is the end result that has value for the individual. Also, if a persons is more interested in the interaction between self and others than in doing “things,” reaching goals, then as an Interpersonal Learner, they may lose interest in the task because for them, it’s been accomplished. The end goal of a task may need to be framed in a setting of achievement for the “team” and not the self in isolation.

Task completion can carry the connotation of an assignment form an authority. Clarification needs to be made of whether the task is one chosen by the doer or assigned as a part of a job to which the person is obligated by virtue of being paid for his/her time.

Before assignment of the label “symptom” to the activity of task completion, the goal of the task must be clarified as well as establishing whether there is a hierarchical power structure that assigns the task, or it is a task chosen by the individual.

ID: Task Completion (LW): Finishing an activity

Goal clarity is essential. Curious creative people tend to pursue work with a task as long as they are learning. Once the have achieved understanding, they are likely to have completed the task that is important to them.

The ordering of elements of a task is best left up to an Analogue individual because an ordering sequence that is Linear will not fit. Also, if a person is more interested in the interaction between self and others than in doing “things” or reaching goals, they may, as an Interpersonal Learner lose interest. Their goal has been accomplished. The end goal of a task may need to be framed in a setting of achievement for the “team” and not the self in isolation. Then, the Analogue person will work to completion for the team.


Dx: Day Dreams or doesnt seem to be listening (DSM): Defining terms for “day dreams” vary from delusions and illusions to visions and fantasy.

The question arises of whether a Linear individual experiences “day dreams,” and, if not, there may be absence of knowledge and understanding of what is going on in the minds of people who are labeled day dreamers.

Experience shows that frequently people, especially Analogue people, accused of not listening, when asked what was said to them can accurately repeat it back. They may judge that what they are thinking about is more important to the than what is being said, or they hear what is said and understand with only a few words spoken, what the point is. They simply switch channels to go on to something more interesting since they know where the speaker is going with the communication.

ID: Day dreams or doesnt seem to be listening (LW):

Big picture people and those who think in terms of how things function usually take each new bit of information and quickly relate it to the other information in their brain’s data bank of information. Thus, they appear to day dream, but are already using the information to make sense of it, or place it in a context of usage in their mind.

Also people who relate to the process of how things work rather than the identification of discreet elements (details) of what is being communicated, will tend to immediately focus on that process.

There are times when the ADD person’s creative/pictorial mind simply sees associations between what is being communicated and applies it to other experiences they have had. They also apply their associations to problems they need to solve or sensitive issues they are dealing with. At that time, the focus of attention switches to the issue of most importance.


If you’re interested in seeing ADD as a Diversity Issue so that you can reach your potential using means that fit your particular style of brain construction without being wounded, then you can find a pathway to Wholeness and Equality of Opportunity to function as the True You on behalf of yourself and others with whom you work and live.