Understand the diagnosis and treatment options for children diagnosed with this disorder. It is treatable.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder, also known as ODD, is a “pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least six months.” The difference between ODD and Conduct Disorder is that children with ODD are not aggressive towards people, property or animals and they do not show a proclivity towards theft or deceit. The diagnosis of ODD is invalid if the individual is diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).
The following criteria is established to determine if a child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
In order to receive the diagnosis there must be markable distress for the family and it must interfere with academic and social functioning. Children with ODD can escalate if they also suffer from ADHD and depression. A mental health professional can help determine if additional issues are present in your child.
Take a breath and get ready. It will take patience and consistency in order to see changes happen. The good news is that many of the recommended approaches include family participation. Learn more about the disorder and techniques that help intervene. The lessons and classes on Smarter Parenting are ideal for ODD. These skills have derived from the Family-Teaching Model which was created by adults and parents working with children who were referred by the juvenile court system. These skills work.
The following therapeutic approaches are recommended for children who have been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder:
There are no primary medication to treat ODD. Stimulant medications can reduce defiance and impulsive or retaliatory aggression however it does not cure ODD. The focus of treatment is on learning new behavioral skills.
Some experts believe that ODD may derive from various developmental inconsistencies beginning with ineffective parenting practices. This is followed by problems with authority figures and poor social skills. As a child grows older these behaviors escalate and eventually become a pattern. Early detection and intervention addressing negative behaviors in a positive manner as well as positive social interactions can improve the overall functioning of the child and diminish their opposition. There are no definitive causes of ODD however the focus of treatment on skills, behavior modification and communication indicate that there exists a need for the child to learn strategies to function. The lack of medication treatment for ODD also indicate there are no physiological issues.
All the lessons on the Smarter Parenting website help address ODD behaviors. Smarter Parenting does recommend The ABC’s of Behavior, Correcting Behaviors and Decision Making first for parents. Once parents and children have mastered these two lessons they should continue to learn the other skills on Smarter Parenting.
Watch the video and understand the concept of Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence. Teach this to your child so they understand behaviors do not just occur.
A child with ODD will often need to be corrected. Watch the video first.
Help your child find their own alternatives to negative behaviors using this method. By predetermining what course of action to take, your child will have a better chance at behaving appropriately in difficult situations.
There are more tips, ideas, suggestions and activities to help you teach these lessons in an engaging way to your child on this website. Visit each of these lessons pages for more information.
Smarter Parenting has the following blog posts that provide additional parenting help.
John Hopkins provides additional information on Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
The Mayo Clinic also has information on ODD.
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