Struggling with a child exhibiting Oppositional Defiant Disorder symptoms?
If you’re a parent with a child who was recently diagnosed with ODD, you probably have a lot of questions. What is ODD? Does my child have ODD? What causes ODD? How is my child diagnosed with ODD? What does ODD do to a child? How can I help my child overcome ODD?
Childhood comes with many stressors, obstacles, and pitfalls. Children have to navigate the
complexities of their peer groups, family group, meet parents behavioral expectations, meet
academic expectations, all the while forming their own identities.
Children often do not have the verbal capacity nor confidence to verbally express themselves and will at times act out when frustrated. As a child transitions through the stages of childhood and adolescence it is quite normal for a child to be defiant and oppositional from time to time. If a child had a bad day in school, or had some issues with his friends, or didn’t get enough sleep the night before it could affect his behavior and cause them to be more irritable and defiant.
As an adult think of how you feel if you didn’t get enough sleep, are under the weather, or got into an argument with your significant other, you to might appear irritable, argumentative, or defiant. However; at what point as parents do you become concerned about your child’s behavior and start worrying that your child might be suffering from ODD.
When is problem behavior a disorder?
A child’s behavior becomes problematic when the severity and frequency of the behavior begins to affect their functioning. If your child’s behavior has been ongoing for 6 months and it is affecting his school performance, peer relationships, and family relationship it could be a sign something more significant is occurring.
So what is ODD?
ODD is a disorder that is characterized by an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and
hostile behavior toward authority figures which significantly affects their daily functioning.
What causes ODD?
There is no known cause of ODD and is most likely caused by a combination of environmental,
biological, and psychological factors.
What types of ODD are there?
There are two types of ODD; early childhood onset and Adolescent onset. ODD is found it both boys and girls and it has a high prevalence with ADHD. Statistics show about 10% of children will develop ODD and 1 out of every 4 children diagnosed with ADHD also show symptoms associated with ODD.
What are the symptoms of ODD?
According to the DSM 5, a manual used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental illnesses, in order for a child to be diagnosed with ODD they must meet the following criteria:
1. At least 4 symptoms from the following categories must be present:
- Angry and Irritable Mood:
- Often Loses temper
- Is often touchy or easily annoyed
- Is often angry and resentful
- Argumentative and Defiant Behavior:
- Often argues with adults or people in authority
- Often actively denies or refuses to comply with adults request or rules
- Acting spitefully at least two times in the last 6 months
2. Occurs with at least one individual who is not a sibling
3. Occurs on its own, rather then as part of the course of another mental health problem.
4. Symptoms must last at least six months
What are the treatments for ODD?
ODD can be treated using multiple interventions and usually consists of a combination of either
behavioral therapy, family therapy , and medication management. The Behavioral Therapy will
consists of learning anger management skills, improving impulse control skills, improving
frustration tolerance, and improving communication skills so a child can better express themselves.
Family Therapy for ODD
Family Therapy will consists of providing support to parents, identifying parenting skills exacerbating ODD symptoms or reinforcing negative behaviors, and teaching parents new
more effective positive parenting strategies.
Medication for ODD
Although there isn’t a specific medication for ODD medications can be used to target aggression and impulsivity.
Get help now
Untreated ODD can have long term effects and consequences; including affecting a child’s academic career, relationships, legal troubles, and other mental health disorder such as depression and anxiety. If you are concerned about your child’s behavior call Thriveworks,
Media for an evaluation. At thriveworks Media we have licensed Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Professional Counselors who can help.
Thriveworks Counseling in Media, PA, Delaware County, offers a premier counseling experience with highly qualified staff trained to meet your family’s needs and improve your child’s chances to success.
Same and next-day appointments!
We also know how difficult it can be to get an appointment with a qualified therapist who accepts your health insurance. Many practices don’t even answer the phone, much less call you back if you leave a voicemail. At Thriveworks, we always answer the phone and typically are able to offer same and next-day appointments.
We accept insurance!
We accept most major insurance plans and typically offer appointments within 24 hours of your initial call.
We are conveniently located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, at 600 N Jackson St, Suite 300, Media, PA, 19063, and are accessible by public transportation via SEPTA Regional Rail, Trolley, and bus. We also offer ample free parking.
Call 610-808-9923 to schedule an appointment, or fill out a contact form and we’ll call you!