What is oppositional defiant disorder?
Oppositional defiant disorder is a behavior problem in which a child is negative, difficult, and repeatedly disobeys teachers and parents.
Many children act this way sometimes, but a child with oppositional defiant disorder acts this way over and over again. To be considered a disorder, the child's behavior has to be serious enough to harm relationships or schoolwork.
Children with this disorder commonly:
Argue with adults
Lose their temper easily and often
Ignore rules and instructions
Annoy people on purpose
Blame others for their own mistakes
Seem angry and resentful
Are easily annoyed
Don't have good social skills
However, children with oppositional defiant disorder do know the difference between right and wrong.
Oppositional defiant behavior usually starts in preschool. However, it may not start until elementary school or even middle school.
How can doctors tell if my child has oppositional defiant disorder?
Doctors will ask about your child's symptoms and behavior.
Doctors make sure your child doesn't have another problem that can cause similar symptoms. Such problems include anxiety Overview of Anxiety Disorders in Children Anxiety is being worried, scared, or nervous. Some anxiety is common and normal at all ages. For example, many young children are afraid of the dark. Older children are often anxious when they... read more , depression Depression in Children and Adolescents Just like adults, most children have times when they're sad or feel down. It's normal to have a low mood when something sad happens, such as losing a friend or family member or having a disappointment... read more , or ADHD Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder that makes it hard to focus, pay attention, and sit still. It often causes problems at school and home. ADHD symptoms can... read more (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).
How do doctors treat oppositional defiant disorder?
Doctors treat oppositional defiant disorder with:
Behavior management methods such as using steady discipline and rewarding good behavior. Your child’s therapist can teach you and your child’s teachers how to use these methods
Sometimes, group therapy with other children to help them improve their social skills
It's important to treat other mental health problems, such as ADHD or family problems, that could be making your child's behavior worse.