Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Oct 31 | Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Everyone who has children or who has worked with children is aware of the "terrible two's." The majority of the children will grow from the "no" stage to become inquiring, comfortable children. But a few children don't reach that goal. Instead these children develop a pattern of chronic aggression filled with open hostility, and defiant toward authority figures. When this behavior develops into a behavior trait that interferes with day-to-day functioning, they may be classified as having oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).
Typically ODD behavior is first observed in the 8 year old bracket, but many parents have reported that their child was more rigid and demanding then the child's siblings from an early age. The causes of ODD are not known but apparently are linked to biological, psychological and social factors. More boys than girls suffer from ODD.
*frequent anger and resentment of others
*frequent arguing with adults
*deliberately annoys others (adults and children)
* blames others for his/her mistakes
* mean and hateful when upset
*few or no friends
*constant trouble in school
If the child persists in this behavior for more than 6 months, he/she is not following normal childhood behavior, and the parents should seek help. Help should include a comprehensive evaluation. Other causes should be ruled out such as learning disabilities, mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, and ADHD. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ODD are inseparable. Forty percent of children with ADHD also suffer from ODD. Both are marked by many of the same tendencies. The reasons, however, are not identical. The ADHD child may exhibit oppositional characteristics because he/she can't control impulses. Also, the ADHD child may exhibit ODD symptoms as a means of coping with the frustration and emotional pain associated with having ADHD.
Treatment for the ODD child must include not only the child but also the parents. The parents may be asked to attend Parent Management Training Programs. Family psychotherapy may be needed in order for the family to improve communication and understanding. Individual psychotherapy will be necessary for the child to develop proper anger management. Social skills training will increase the flexibility and improve the child's social skills and frustration tolerance with others on his/her age level. Both the parents and the child will benefit from cognitive problem solving skills that will assist both in learning problem solving which will decrease negativity between both parties.
A child with ODD is a very difficult child for the parents. Not only does the child need help but the parents need support and understanding also. Both parents and child will benefit each other if parents realize a few good points.
*When there is a conflict, take time out to make a decision. The child may need a time out too.
*Build on the positives - give praises, positive reinforcement when the child is flexible or cooperative.
* Pick your battles. Don't argue with the child. Let him know what he needs to do. Give a consequence. Walk a wary.
*Set up reasonable, age appropriate limits. Give consequences. Don't bend.
*Manage your own stress level. Break when you feel the need. You are the parent.
Never lose sight of the fact that your child has a lot to offer. He/She has their own way of looking at the world.