Does My Child Have Oppositional Defiance Disorder?

Monday February 18, 2013

By Amy Morin

I often have parents come into my therapy office asking if their child has oppositional defiant disorder. And the vast majority of the time, the answer is, "No."

It's normal behavior for kids to sometimes be defiant and non-compliant. As they grow more independent they are going to test the limits. Whether they are 4 or 14, it's healthy for kids to assert themselves sometimes.

ODD goes beyond the typical non-compliance though. Kids with ODD must meet specific criteria in order to warrant a formal diagnosis. A doctor or mental health professional can make the diagnosis.

Kids with ODD tend to be angry, argumentative, and easily annoyed. They also tend to annoy others on purpose. They also tend to break the rules and seek revenge.

Obviously these behaviors can describe a lot of kids. Which is why it is important to seek professional help if you are concerned about your child's behavior.

If your child does have ODD, the best treatment involves parent training. There are specific discipline skills needed for ODD. A trained professional can assist you in learning these skills to improve your child's behavior.


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