When your kid was in second or third grade, you may have thought attention deficit disorders were the diagnosis du jour. Perhaps you gazed at other families who medicated their mildly hyperactive kids, children you thought merely had ants in their pants, and thought it was just overmedicating run amok. Meanwhile, your otherwise brilliant, impulsive child routinely forgot assignments, did homework and neglected to turn it in, and generally sabotaged himself at every turn. Progress reports popped up with horrifying regularity and teachers called to complain that if only your child would apply himself... But somehow, he scraped by on charm and fast thinking. Now, he's in college and suddenly it's a disaster.
Guess what? It might be time to re-think your views on attention deficit disorder, especially if your child is headed for academic probation or dismissal. Maybe your kid just isn't cut out for the demands of college life - but it could also be an attention deficit issue that has gone undiagnosed for a decade. So, it's at least worth the time to do a little reading, review symptoms for childhood ADD/ADHD and, even more importantly, the symptoms in adults - which your child is now - and then talk to a doctor about getting an evaluation.
Then pick up these two excellent books: ADD/ADHD expert Edward Hallowell's "Delivered from Distraction" delves into the issues facing teens, college kids and adults with those disorders and offers practical, helpful and incredibly reassuring advice. And the memoir "ADHD & Me: What I Learned from Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table" offers a fascinating, inside look at the challenges - and strengths - from the perspective of UC Berkeley student Blake Taylor.