What you need to Know about Children and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

November 12, 2012

What you need to Know about Children and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Do you have a child that is difficult to handle? Does your child disregard or defy anything that you ask of them? Your child may have Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). These individuals often have negative and even hostile attitudes towards adults or other authority figures. You’ll need to set up an appointment with your physician to get a proper diagnosis. In general, the behavior has to be present for at least six months to be diagnosed. It is possible that your child is just going through a phase but to be on the safe side make a doctor’s appointment to make sure. It is best to take care of this as soon as possible as if left unchecked can pass well into adulthood where it can really become annoying. Oppositional Defiant Disorder left unchecked will cause serious learning complications and when a child reaches adulthood will not be able to hold down a job.

To be diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a healthcare professional looks for at least four distinct behaviors. Does your child lose his temper easily over nothing, does he/she argue with individuals that are in authority, does your child refuse to follow rules or actively refuse a request, and does your child blame everyone else for their own mistakes? What about annoying people just for the sake of doing so? If you are seeing these behaviors consistently, chances are your child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

The general classifications of Oppositional Defiant Disorders are seen as an inability to compromise in just about any situation and just plain being stubborn about everything. This child will constantly push limits by verbally arguing as well as ignoring an authority figure by simply walking away. Bear in mind that this is a verbal interaction or a walking away from the problem and not physical in nature. Forms of physical aggression are generally classified as Conduct Disorder and not an Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

How will know where to observe Oppositional Defiant Disorder in your child? Well, this is one disorder that presents itself your very own home especially in the early phase. In fact, it is unlikely that your child will demonstrate these behaviors while he/she is at school or other areas, at least not initially. Children are less likely to defy authority figures they don’t know. It will take time for your child to become familiar with another adult before these behaviors appear. Keep this in mind when taking your child to the doctor. Your child may not have met the doctor before or have seen the physician a few times. If you can, keep a log on your child’s behaviors including the specific behavior and under what circumstances those behaviors occurred. This will help your healthcare provider in making a proper diagnosis.

What should you expect if your child doesn’t get help? If Oppositional Defiant Disorder is left unchecked this will effect every aspect of your child’s life carrying into adulthood. Clinical studies indicate that a defiant child demonstrates measurable deficits in social interactions, learning disabilities and a lack of being able to function properly in the work world. In other words, these children may develop a lower IQ, have an inability to establish meaningful and lasting relationships, and won’t be able to hold down a job for any length of time.

If you observe hostile and negative behaviors towards authority figures in your child and it appears excessive, keep track of it and make record of it. If these behaviors persist and perhaps worsen, contact your physician to get a proper diagnosis. With the proper therapy, your child’s behavior can return to normal as well as bring about peace in the household.

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