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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a childhood psychiatric disruptive behavior disorder.

ODD children typically are aggressive toward others.  They tend to intentionally bother and irritate those around them.  In addition, these children rebel against authority and will refuse to obey instructions for no particular reason.  Oppositional Defiant Disorder children cause a lot of problems for those around them and are particularly difficult for parents, teachers, and other adults whose position demands obedience and authority.

Oppositional defiant children have trouble taking responsibility for their actions.  Every problem, obstacle, or setback is always someone else’s fault.  These children are stubborn and continually test limits.  They frequently and unpredictably get angry, throw tantrums, and try the patience of those around them.  ODD children break rules and refuse to take direction, even early in childhood.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder children tend to be manipulative.  They are quite skilled at causing conflict all around them.  They are very good at pitting adults against each other.  Often an ODD child in the home will turn parent against parent, parents against teachers, and induce discord in those around them.

In short, ODD children:

  • Easliy lose their temper
  • Constantly argue with adlits
  • Refuse to carry out requests
  • Won’t obey rlies
  • Intentionally bother those around them
  • Continually test limits and authority
  • Refuse to accept responsibility for their own mistakes or misbehavior
  • Are easily annoyed
  • Frequently get angered, resentful, spiteful, or vindictive.
  • Are mean when upset
  • Take revenge when they feel wronged
  • Throw temper tantrums even when older

There are a number of drug interventions that are used to treat ODD children.  The focus of these drugs is to treat the other conditions that often accompany Oppositional Defiant

Disorder in the hope that the ODD will also improve.  However, to date, there is still no proven medical treatment that addresses Oppositional Defiant Disorder directly.

At this time, the primary way to treat Oppositional Defiant Disorder is through parent training programs.  These programs are extremely effective in improving defiant behavior and are the only effective way to deal directly with ODD.

The main problem with parent training programs is that they are extremely expensive.  Usually these programs are led by a psychologist or another mental health professional, last many months, and can carry a price tag of several thousands dollars.   However, parents who have the money and are willing to spend it, find that these programs do make a difference.

However, a new study now suggests that parents have a better option.

Recently, researchers at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago tested three different ways of administering parent training programs.  The purpose of the study was to determine if a professionally directed parent training program was more effective than a self-administered home based program in treating Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).  They studied 117 parents who received either  psychologist led parent training, nurse led parent training, or a home based self-administered parent training program.

The results were quite significant.  Even one year after the study, all three groups of parents had significant improvement in their homes.  However, it didn’t matter which group the parents were in.  They all experienced about the same amount of improvement.  The only significant difference was in the length of time parents enrolled in the program.  Those who spend more time, got significantly better results.

What this study means for you is that you don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars to get the help you need for your ODD child.  You can get the same results in a much more cost effective way, by enrolling in an online program, such as How to Improve Your Child’s Behavior for children ages 2-12 or in How to Handle Your Difficult Defiant Teenager for children 12 and older.

The main thing is that you must use a program that is designed to give you step by step instructions.  It is important to note that this study did not show that just books on parenting help at all.


    Anthony Kane, MD
      P S Please leave a comment because I would really like to get your reaction to this.

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