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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a recurring pattern of negative, hostile, disobedient, and defiant behavior in a child or adolescent, lasting for at least six months as compared to the behaviors of children the same age, which cause significant problems in home, school, or social settings. ODD is normally more prevalent in boys than girls and is often accompanied with other behavior disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. ODD is usually not diagnosed in children until they are approximately eight years old.

Symptoms of ODD may include; frequent temper tantrums, excessive arguing with adults, active defiance and refusal to comply with rules, deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people, blaming others for mistakes or misbehavior, being overly sensitive and easily annoyed, frequent anger and resentment, speaking of others in mean and spiteful ways, and seeking revenge.

The causes of ODD are unknown, but may be related to; the child’s temperament and the family’s response to it, an inherited predisposition to the disorder, a neurological cause, like a head injury, or a chemical imbalance in the brain. Oppositional Defiant Disorder appears to be more common in families where at least one parent has a history of mood disorders, conduct disorder, ADHD, antisocial personality disorder, or a substance abuse problem.

A child with symptoms of ODD should have a comprehensive evaluation by a professional. Other disorders will be considered and treatment will be based on all conditions that may be present. Treatment plans may include individual therapy, family counseling, parent training, anger counseling, social skills training, behavior modification and, if necessary, medication. A child with ODD can be very difficult for parents. The parents need support and understanding from other adults-relatives, co-workers, and neighbors. The following are some ways parents can help their child with ODD:

Some tips for children with ODD to help cope with the disorder: