Health Education

Understanding and Managing Oppositional Defiant Disorder in ADHD Children

Understanding and Managing Oppositional Defiant Disorder in ADHD Children

May 15, 2015

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a common, yet little-understood disorder. At Woodburn Pediatrics, we understand that this condition can be challenging for families to cope with. We’ve outlined some of the most important ODD facts and some of the treatment options available for it.

Understanding Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Children with ADHD are often co-diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, also known as ODD for short. This condition is characterized by continuous defiant, uncooperative and aggressive behavior towards authority figures such as parents, teachers and older siblings. The three components of ODD are:

  • Angry behavior—may have a short temper and become irritated easily
  • Argumentative behavior—defies guidelines or requests from authority figures and defers responsibility for mistakes or bad behavior
  • Vindictiveness—often displays spiteful behaviors

 Symptoms

 When it comes to ODD, behaviors can vary greatly in severity. Disruptive noises and gestures, screaming, and hitting or throwing objects are common in kids with ODD. These behaviors typically occur daily and without provocation. While symptoms most often emerge in the home setting, they may also happen during school hours and out in public, making it difficult to manage without effective treatment.

 Oppositional Defiant Disorder Treatment

A variety of treatment options are available for children with ADHD and ODD. One-on-one and family counseling is often used to increase communication and encourage children to talk things out before getting upset. Psychotherapy and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) are also commonly used alone or in conjunction with other treatment methods. These options focus on replacing problematic behaviors with functional coping strategies.

ODD doesn’t just affect your child; it affects your entire family. Starting a treatment plan is the first step towards helping increasing healthy coping strategies. If your family could benefit from developing an effective treatment or you have further questions about ODD, get in touch with us today.