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ADDitude Readers Take a Stab at Renaming ADHD

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What’s in a name? To many people, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is an inaccurate term for a condition marked by hyperfocus and, less frequently, by outward hyperactivity.

The name also ignores the combination of strengths, advantages, and challenges that accompany a diagnosis.ADHD was not included in the DSM until 1968, when it was called Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood.

The name was changed to attention deficit disorder in 1980. Doctors and scientists once used the terms “Clumsy Child Syndrome” and “Organic Brain Disease.”ADDitude asked readers whether they thought ADHD was a terrible name for the condition: 52% said yes, 34% were neutral, and 14% said the name was appropriate.

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