How to Treat Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
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: * Angry * Disobedient * Argumentative * Quick to take offense * Malicious * Vindictive * Aggressive toward other children * Resentful * Cruel 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.
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