ODD- Oppositional Defiant Disorder Treatment Strategies
Oppositional Defiant Disorder- ODD help for parents
Does your child have Oppositional Defiant Disorder-ODD? Are you looking for information concerning Oppositional Defiant Disorder- ODD or ADHD treatment and medication?
If Oppositional Defiant Disorder- ODD child behavior is your concern and you want ODD treatment ideas, you have come to the right place.
How to Tell if Your Child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder- ODD
Take this ODD screening test
Which of This Oppositional Defiant Disorder- ODD Behaviors did Your Child Display in the past 180 days?
To ‘earn’ the official diagnosis for Oppositional Defiant Disorder- ODD your child has to display Oppositional Defiant Disorder- ODD behavior “more often” than is normal for children his age.
So what is “more often”? This is a very vague definition. Basically, what you need to do is to compare your child with others of his age group.
Remember that as your child goes through different stages as he grows. So when your child is three-four times a week might be normal for certain behavior, but at seven even twice a week can be “more often” than normal.
How Many of This Oppositional Defiant Disorder- ODD Behaviors Does Your Child Display?
1- Gets angry and loses temper at least 2x a week
2- Talks back or argues with adults at least 2x a week
3- Chooses to defy or obey the requests of parents, teachers, or those in authority or to obey their rules at least 2x a week
4- Intentionally tires to bother others at least 4x per week
5- Refuses to take responsibility for his mistakes or misbehavior and blames them on others at least 1x in the past 3 months
6- Is overly sensitive or easily bothered by others at least 2x a week
7- Becomes angry and resentful at least 4x a week
8- Behaves in a vengeful or unforgiving manner at least 1 x in the past three months
If your child displays 4 out of these eight behaviors, then he or she might have Oppositional Defiant Disorder- ODD.
How to Treat Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
Oppositional Defiant Disorder vs. Normal Defiance
Some children are a bit more difficult by nature. Other children go through stages of oppositional defiance, such as during the teenage years. However, if your child is easily angered, continually argues, and intentionally disturbs others he might be one of the 5-10% of children who have Oppositional Defiant Disorder, the most common of all childhood psychiatric disorders.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is one of the three disruptive behavior disorders defined by the American Psychiatric Association in their handbook of mental disorders, the DSM-IV. Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder display belligerent and antagonistic behavior towards parents, teachers, and other adults in authority roles. These children tend to quarrel frequently with their peers and intentionally do things to irritate others. They also are easily annoyed.
Due to their difficult behavior, ODD children have a lot of problems in their interactions with others. Although it is the behavior of these children that is the root of most of their conflicts, ODD children do not see it that way. They usually blame others for the problems they encounter and do not take responsibility for their actions.
Does Your Child Have Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
It can be hard to tell the difference between the behavior of a stubborn child who is normal and a child who has Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Children display a wide range of behaviors and even a child with a high degree of oppositional defiance can be normal.
The difference between oppositional defiance, which is normal and an oppositional defiance disorder is a matter of degree. How do you tell the difference?
If your child’s oppositional defiant behavior is persistent, has been going on for at least six months, and is disrupting your family life, his home and school environment, and is clearly interfering with his ability to function normally, then your child’s oppositional defiance may meet the criteria to be classified as a disorder.
Your child may have ODD if your child is regularly and consistently:
- Quick to take offense
- Aggressive toward other children
Oppositional Defiant Disorder children display their defiance by:
- Talking back to adults
- Refusing to obey requests from adults
- Blaming others for mistakes or misbehaviors
- Deliberately flaunting rules
- Willfully annoying others
- Being quick to anger
- Speaking harshly to others
- Seeking revenge
- Having frequent temper tantrums
- Having difficulty maintaining friendships
If your child is persistently disobedient, willfully defiant, constantly negative, or incessantly hostile toward you or other figures of authority, you may have a reason for concern.
Diagnosing Oppositional Defiant Disorder
It is difficult to accurately diagnose Oppositional Defiant Disorder. These children are very similar to normal children. Most children display defiance toward adults at times. The difference between ODD children and other normal children is only a matter of frequency and intensity, making the diagnosis of ODD more of a judgment call.
If you suspect your child’s defiance is not normal for his age, you need to consult a qualified mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, who has experience working with and diagnosing ODD in children. Your child should have a full evaluation, including a medical screen for problems such as sensory processing defects, muscle coordination problems, and an evaluation for learning disabilities.
If you would like to do a quick preliminary assessment yourself you can try this ODD Test
Why do Some Children Have ODD?
The most accurate answer is that nobody knows. There are two predominant theories.
The first theory is that Oppositional Defiant Disorder comes as a result of disruption of normal behavioral development. Most two to four-year-old children demonstrate oppositional defiance that is quite similar to ODD. Researchers feel that ODD children may get stuck in this stage of development and never fully grow out of it. However, parents of ODD children often report that their children were more demanding and inflexible even at a young age, suggesting that ODD is not just a matter of arrested development.
Proponents of the second theory suggest that the defiance of Oppositional Defiant Disorder children is a result of negative interactions with adults that these children have while growing up.
There seem to be several physical factors that influence the appearance of ODD.
There are sexual differences. At younger ages, boys tend to have ODD more frequently than girls. However, as the children get older the sexual discrepancy goes away and in older children, the rate of oppositional defiance is about the same.
There are strong indications that ODD can be an inherited trait. Also, mothers who smoke or drink excessively while pregnant have a greater chance of giving birth to children who will develop an oppositional defiance problem.
There are psychological and social factors that contribute to the likelihood of ODD occurring. Children who grow up in abusive or unstable homes or in homes where there is only a single parent are more likely to develop Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Also, children who are brought up in an environment where there are poverty, alcohol, and drug abuse, or violence are more likely to develop oppositional defiance.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is almost never a child’s only problem. Usually ODD is one of several problems or disorders that a child has.
What other conditions accompany Oppositional Defiant Disorder? If your child has ODD, then there is a:
- * 50-65% chance he also has ADHD
- * 35% chance he will eventually develop an affective disorder
- * 20% possibility he will develop a Bipolar disorder or some other mood disorder in the future
- * 15% chance he will eventually have some type of personality disorder
- * Significant possibility he has an overlooked learning disorder
For this reason, if you think your child might have Oppositional Defiant Disorder you should have him evaluated for other problems as well. You need to uncover these other problems because that will give you the keys to effectively treating his oppositional defiance in many instances, as we shall soon discuss.
What will happen to your ODD child? Is he going to grow out of it? No one can tell for sure, but children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder usually follow one of four pathways.
- There are children that do outgrow their oppositional defiance. 50% of younger children who are believed to have ODD will no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for this condition by the time they are eight years old. However, if a child still has ODD when he is eight, there is only a 25% chance he will ever outgrow it.
- Occasionally, what was thought to be ODD when a child was younger is really a precursor of some other condition. 5-10% of preschool children who were believed to have ODD have their diagnosis changed later on to ADHD. At times the oppositional defiance of these children deteriorates and they eventually meet the criteria for Conduct Disorder, the most serious of the three disruptive behavior disorders in children. If the child is going to go in this direction, it is usually evident early in his life. Most children who have ODD for several years who have not yet shown signs of Conduct Disorder will probably never develop it.
- 5% will continue to have Oppositional Defiant Disorder and nothing else.
- Most children will continue to have ODD, but show signs of some other co-existing disorder.
Treatment of Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Medical treatment for ODD focuses on treating the accompanying conditions first.
Research shows that ODD children who also have ADHD have a 90% chance of eliminating their oppositional defiance if their ADHD is treated effectively. This is true even when the severity of ADHD by itself was not enough to warrant medical intervention.
Omega-3 oils and vitamin E were tested in ODD children. Both seemed to help with the behavior to some degree.
The most effective way to address your child’s Oppositional Defiant Disorder is through parent management training. These programs can be quite expensive. They often cost $100/week or more and last from several months up to half a year. Insurance usually will not pay for such programs. Given all that, some form of parent training program is vital if you really want to help your child.
Generally, the younger your child is when you enroll in such a program, the better the outcome will be. However, recently a new extremely effective method for addressing ODD teenage behavior was developed. If your oppositional defiant child is already a teenager, you still are able to help your child. See the recommended resources below for more information.
Therapeutic Activities For Oppositional Defiant Disorder
What You Need to Do
There is still very little known about Oppositional Defiant Disorder. However, given what we know, the following are the current recommendations.
- 1. Get your child a thorough medical and psychological evaluation. You must know exactly what your child’s problems are before you can take steps to eliminate them.
- 2. After you identify any other disorders that your child has, treat them aggressively. Addressing the conditions that accompany ODD can often be the quickest way to eliminate your child’s oppositional defiance.
- 3. Consider giving your child an Omega-3 supplement and a vitamin E supplement. There are no ill effects of giving these nutrients and most children are deficient in them.
- 4. Enroll in a parent training program, either locally if you have the financial resources, or online.
It is hard to raise a child who has Oppositional Defiant Disorder. However, it can be done.
If you identify your child’s other problems and treat them; AND if you develop your parenting skills through a specialized parenting program, then you will be successful.