I also posted under another topic on the boards, but since we have major concerns re: college applications, I thought I'd post here, also.
Our daughter was just diagnosed (Dec 06) with ADHD/Inattentive type by a private psychologist ~ NOTHING us documented at her private school. This diagnosis certainly explains A LOT of things that have kept us scratching our heads!! She is in her 2nd semester, senior year of high school. She was Gifted identified by the school district in 6th grade (Torrence 99%), but until now has been labeled by all ~ teachers, counselors, and yes, her parents ~ as a gifted underachiever. The psych testing for ADHD showed her WAIS-III IQ as 123, but the W-J III shows predominately average scores (meaning her scores are far below her mental ablilty). Her SAT is 1150, ACT of 26... both respectable. She's had NO AP classes, and her GPA is a dismal 2.5.
When she is applying to colleges/universities, and writing the essays, should any of this be addressed? It's not like she can hide from the obvious discrepancies in performance (mostly Honors classes with C grades).... yet you're supposed to NOT mention any negatives in these essays.
Rising to the challenges of ADHD is, IMHO, not a negative. You have to ask yourself: does she want to *go* to a place that expects perfection?
The GPA and lack of AP courses *is* a great screaming negative. If it's not addressed then there's nothing to counter it. The fact that it's just been dx'd could be used as a positive: a paragraph (not too long) can be written describing just what she's going to do differently that will improve her performance and let her tap her potential.
My approach to essays has been to follow the truth more than the rules - and it tends to be refreshing to the reader. What schools is she applying to?