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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)What Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) ?

ODD is a behavioral disorder, usually diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by uncooperative, defiant, negative, irritable and annoying behaviors towards parents, peers, teachers and other authority figures.  Many children, particularly adolescents, can be oppositional.  However, the oppositionality of ODD persists despite reasonable parenting strategies.  The most concerning form is that of early onset which can occur even in preschool years.  It puts very considerable pressure on the families.

What Are The Symptoms Of ODD ?

Many children, especially when they are tired, upset or hungry tend to disobey, argue with parents or defy authority. However, in children and adolescents with ODD these symptoms occur more frequently and interfere with learning and social relationships.

Symptoms may include:

  • • Frequent outbursts/Explosiveness
  • • Excessive arguments with adults
  • • Refusal to comply with adult requests
  • • Always questioning rules; refusal to follow rules
  • • Behavior intended to annoy or upset others
  • • Blaming others for her behaviors or mistakes
  • • It is never her fault!
  • • Easily annoyed by others
  • • Frequently has an angry attitude
  • • Speaking harshly or unkindly
  • • Seeking revenge

It is often very difficult to tease out the extent of ODD symptoms in relations to possible autistic spectrum difficulties and even emotional volatility or bipolar disorder with mood instability.  This warrants very careful assessment and sometimes these conditions may coexist together.

What Causes ODD?

The cause of ODD is not known.  However, while different professional groups tend to have differing viewpoints, there is increasing recognition that oppositional defiant disorder of early onset almost certainly has a biological component.  Studies show that most children with early-onset ODD have underlying ADHD and/or autistic spectrum disorder.

Only about 10% of cases are ODD alone.  The high prevalence of associated ADHD has led some professionals to consider that there should be a form of ADHD diagnosed as the oppositional form of ADHD.  Almost certainly the early onset form is not due to environmental influences alone but it does cause difficulties and significant family dysfunction. Studies show that at least 40% of children with ADHD have coexisting oppositional defiant disorder.

How Is ODD Diagnosed?

A detailed history, clinical observation and sometimes, psychological testing contribute to the diagnosis.  ODD is a clinical diagnosis and the diagnosis is reached by discussing with parents whether or not the child meets criteria for ODD, how long the symptoms have been present and whether or not they have failed to respond to reasonable parenting support.

What Can Be Done For ODD?

This will be determined by the age, extent of symptoms, expectations, opinions and preference but they may include; Individual Psychotherapy, Family Therapy, Peer Group Therapy, or Medication.

If your child is displaying signs have ODD, Providence Pass may be the answer. Call today to speak with an admissions specialist to determine if your daughter is a candidate for help in our therapeutic residential setting.

Resource: Lanc.org

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