It can be perplexing to determine the difference between a headstrong or obstinate child and a child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Emotional or obstinate behavior is customary during certain stages of a child’s development. The determining factor most times is the magnitude of the child’s acting out.
Signals that your child may be displaying ODD start as a rule of thumb before 8 years of age, sometimes it manifests later, but always before the pre-teen years. ODD in children displays itself gradually and worsens as the months and years pass. Indicators of ODD behavior as opposed to simply developmental moodiness are:
- The behavior is persistent over time.
- Lasts for 6 months
- The behavior is clearly intended to disrupt the home or school setting.
The behaviors normally associated with ODD in children are:
- persistent negativity
- hostile disobedience
- aggressiveness towards authority figures
A diagnosis of ODD in children by mental health professionals usually occurs when the following symptoms are consistently displayed.
- Is incessantly argumentative with adults and authority figures
- Refrains from compliance of adult direction or requests
- Assigns blame to others for their own behaviors
- Intentionally annoys others
- Is easily annoyed by others
- Displays an inordinate amount of anger, spite or resentment
ODD in children can often display when other mental health issues are present in the child, such as ADHD, anxiety disorder and depression. ODD symptoms can be troublesome to ascertain from those other disorders. The importance of determining and treating the other disorders if present is vital in treating the ODD, along with any possible substance abuse which may also be contributing to the child’s volatility or behavior change.
ODD behavior varies in degree. Some children may simply seem moody and contentious for a period. Others may be punching holes in walls and physically aggressive. But, if the behavior is approaching 6 months, then you’re probably not dealing with a moody child. You’re dealing with a child that requires professional help.
Most children with ODD are oppositional from time to time. They can be self-absorbed, cranky, thoughtless and defiant. Growth cycles and hormonal body changes play havoc with a young brain. But, if your child exhibits any of the traits listed above, professional help is advised.
Start your search for help at ParentResources.info. We can refer you to professionals that specialize in restoring a child’s self image. We assists parent with managing a child with ODD, 24 hours per day. So, give us a call now.