ABOUT Distinctions & Definitions

Defining our Terms
Learning when and why they’re useful

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Introducing the Distinctions & Definitions Series

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click image for source – in a new window/tab

Through the years I’ve become known for my love affair with words and, to my clients and students, for my facility with definitions and distinctions.  I truly love the specificity of the English language — and I like to share.

ADDandSoMuchMore.com regulars have probably noticed that more than a few of my articles offer, in addition to the content of the articles themselves, a definition of a term or two that I’m not sure all of you will find familiar.

I also tend to explain terms that I have coined — especially those that have become part of the ADD Coaching lexicon. These include words and terms we coaches use in a manner that is slightly unfamiliar, inviting consciousness to the conversation.

Occasionally I offer a definition of a word or a term I have coined that has not been adopted by the ADD Coaching field in general — those that I use in my writings, or in the coach trainings and other groups and classes that I offer from time to time.

For example:

Alphabet City — Note the slightly lighter color of that term, by the way – more dark grey than the black of the text that follows.  That’s because it is a link, in this case to the article that explains the “Alphabet Disorders” concept.

Unless you choose to focus there, it remains quietly out of the way of your thoughts as you follow mine.

Place your cursor over the link (but don’t click) and watch what happens. 

Did you hover long enough to see a little box pop up with a bit of information about what to expect when you click?

THAT’s how the links work on this site, for those of you who haven’t read the explanation on the skinny sidebar, always there to remind you  ====>

Most links on ADDandSoMuchMore.com open in windows or tabs of their own, so that what you were reading before you clicked awaits your return exactly where you left it. No need to search for some glimmer of recall that might remain frustratingly illusive.

Anyway . . .  some of you may dimly remember seeing, at the top or bottom of a particular definition, something like the text below:

© From my upcoming ADD Coaching Glossary

I’ll bet you’re waiting for my definition of “upcoming”

UNTIL my dominant hand was smashed in a mugging, leaving hand and forearm cast-immobilized and my ability to type or do much of anything at all dead in the water for almost three months, I was on-schedule to announce a publication date.

Life kept dishing it out, and I am now well over TWO YEARS behind on everything.  To maintain what’s left of my sanity I have decided I must push this particular project down on my to-list, postponing publication targets until a few other projects are completed.

So I want to tell you how I’m going to handle sharing definitions and distinctions meanwhile.

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

In the Meantime . . .

Between now and publication, I will periodically post an article explaining the use of one or two of the terms I get asked about most often**, along with their definition from my glossary — in an ever-growing list of similar articles I am calling the Distinctions & Definitions Series. (**so ASK, ok?  down there in the comments)

You will be able to locate the majority of these articles quickly by clicking the “Distinctions & Definitions Series” tag at the bottom of most of the articles where distinctions have been offered (in teensy-weensy type). Many (but not all) will be topped by the following:


I may eventually find the time to gather them all into a Distinctions & Definitions LinkList (letting you know which term you will find in a particular article), but for now the search box or the “related content” below each post in the Series are your best and only options.** (see UPDATE below before you go) **

So if you are as much of a word-geek as I am, you will be able to use the search box at the top of this site to find ALL of the posts that define and distinguish by searching for the name of the Series.

microscopeFor Non-Geeks too

Each of the Distinctions & Definitions articles will endeavor to explain WHY putting a particular term under the microscope might be important to you — besides being able to understand its meaning in the articles on ADDandSoMuchMore, I mean.

There is wisdom in words.

Coaches are in the Wisdom business.

It is our job to share with clients the language and awarenesses
they need to get what they want.

One of the ways to share wisdom is to do something called
“drawing distinctions.”

Distinctions are just a fancy way of saying that we give the client
the proper language for what they really want to say, be or do.
~ Thomas J. Leonard

Here’s to actuating our potential to obtain everything we really want to be or do!

An additional objective


I’m also hoping to create a bit of anticipatory demand for the Dictionary itself — without making everybody wonder if perhaps this upcoming dictionary of coaching terms is nothing but the big tease of an over-promise!

  • So, start looking for the articles from the Distinctions & Definitions Series peppered among the articles you are already used to seeing from me.
  • The first one posted — coming soon — will take on aha!s, duh!s and pattern-interrupts.


A Coaching Glossary YEARS in the Making!

Seriously — YEARS! I’ve been defining terms for my various materials and book drafts since 1994.

Each of the modules for the comprehensive ADD-specific Coach training I developed and delivered through OFI (The Optimal Functioning Institute™ – my own company) included module-specific definitions of words, terms and concepts.

For the last TWENTY odd years, whenever I found myself with a slice of time not quite long enough for a more comprehensive piece of writing – between clients or classes, for example – I would pop open one of the alphabetical list of terms I had already defined and create the definitions of an additional term or three.

To give you an idea of the scope of the upcoming glossary, some of those modules included:

  • ADD-101, Neurology, Medication, Non-pharmaceutical alternatives,
  • Law & Legalities, Memory, Coaching Fundamentals,
  • Listening, Languaging, Systems, Practice Management (and more)

Into each module I inserted an abbreviated version of my coaching glossary, confined to terms most relative to that one particular module. I have always planned to gather them into a comprehensive ADD Coaching Glossary one day.

Preparing for Publication

In anticipation of that day — that time when I could concentrate on the task of combining them all into a completed work — I have been copying and pasting every definition or distinction I come up with into one of 26 different documents – ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY and Z, easily available for additions, edits and updates.

I arranged them in a manner that would be easy for me to find a definition I wanted to reuse in a new context – either for a book, a conference or as part of new curriculum content, for example — OR in one of the articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com.

As time went by I began to think that if I didn’t publish the darned thing soon, it could end up being a dictionary nobody could lift.

NOT REALLY!  However, it IS fairly a fairly comprehensive sampling, however:

  • a gathering of coaching words and terms from both the “vanilla” and ADD Coaching fields, along with
  • quite a few definitions of words, terms and abbreviations that the neurodiverse and their Coaches or parents might need to look up, like
  • terms from all of the related and comorbid disorders in the attentional spectrum — the alphabet disorders, including terms from the Sensory Integration field, and
  • terms from fields with acquired attentional deficits and dysregulations, like the TBI or stroke, for example, and
  • frequently heard words,  terms and abbreviations from the fields of psychology, medicine and psychophamacology, and especially
  • words and terms that you’ve seen on ADDandSoMuchMore.com — in particular, the brain-based terms from assorted neuro-fields,

THEN there are all the words and terms from the sleep-science field, and the memory field, and the . . . well, you get the idea.  Fairly comprehensive.

So cross your fingers that all goes well for me for long enough to allow me compilation and editing time, and that I will be able to announce the publication date right on whatever turns out to be the amended schedule.

I’m hoping that its sales will support me in my old age. 🙂

**UPDATE: I have begun the LinkList project, and you will find it HERE

© 2014, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”

As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
(in case you missed them above or below)

Some prior articles containing definitions & distinctions

Other supports for this article – on ADDandSoMuchMore.com


About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

10 Responses to ABOUT Distinctions & Definitions

  1. Looking so forward to the book.

    Liked by 1 person

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