ADHD is a developmental disorder meaning that certain traits will be delayed in the ADHD individual. These traits will develop but just at a much slower rate than the average person. With ADHD it has been estimated that this lag could be as high as thirty to forty percent in the development of impulse control. Symptoms of ADHD are often seen by the time a child enters preschool. Those with ADHD typically have a greater degree of parent-child conflict and emotional reactivity. The incident of speech problems, central auditory processing difficulties, and coordination problems are all higher than that of the general population. A marked decrease in academic skills such as reading, spelling, or math is common with children who have ADHD.
During the elementary years an ADHD student will have more difficulties with work completion, productivity, planning, remembering things needed for school, and meeting deadlines. Oppositional and socially aggressive behaviour is seen in 40-70 percent of children at this age. Even ADHD kids with average to above average intelligence show "chronic and severe underachievement". Fully 46% of those with ADHD have been suspended and 11% expelled. Thirty seven percent of those with ADHD do not get a high school diploma even though many them will receive special education services. These combined outcomes the expulsion and dropout rate indicate that almost half of all ADHD students never finish highschool. Only five percent of those with ADHD will get a college degree compared to twenty seven percent of the general population. (US Census, 2003)
Social impairment for those with ADHD are seen at both school and work. They often have more troubled relationships with peers or family members. At the workplace they change jobs more often and are more likely to get fired. Their income level does not rise as quickly as their peers even when education level, IQ, and their neighborhood is accounted for. Thirty five percent of all ADHDers will be self employed in their mid-thirties. Those with ADHD are at greater risk of: injury, abnormal risk taking, smoking, having learning disabilities, other mental disorders, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, involvement with the criminal justice system, and having a poorer driving record.