Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder


Behavioral disorders require just as much attention and specialization as any other disability a child may have. Oppositional defiant disorder is the behavioral disorder I will focus on in this paper.

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Oppositional Defiant Disorder

I’m sure we’ve all had moments where we just didn’t want to be bothered. Chances are we’ve probably “snapped” on others once or twice. Children go through the terrible two’s, school-aged children push buttons and adolescents; well, they go through a transformation where they’re unrecognizable at times. It’s safe to say though that these isolated occurrences are somewhat normal or growing pains. But, what if it is wasn’t normal or isolated incidences? There is a condition known as ODD that is being used to identify those individuals (mainly children) whose behaviors are considered out of the normal range.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional disorder (OD) first appeared in DSM-III (1980) and then ODD replaced it in the DSM-III-R (1987) (Tucker, Weller, Petersen & Weller, 2007). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines O.D.D. as a pattern of angry/ Irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior or vindictiveness lasting at least 6 months as evidenced by at least four symptoms of the following categories and exhibited during interaction with at least one individual who is not a sibling. The etiology of O.D.D. remains unclear. It is believed that a combination of biological, genetic and/or environmental factors might play a role.

ODD is more commonly diagnosed in childhood as symptoms typically begin to show between the ages of 6 and 8 years. In the earlier years, it is more common in boys than girls. In school age children and adolescents the condition occurs about equally in boys and girls. How will you know if your child or a child may have ODD? First let me say that O.D.D. requires a medical diagnosis however, there are some characteristics you can observe that are commonly associated with ODD.

Characteristics of ODD

As mentioned previously some characteristics to look out for are: aggression, anti-social behavior, impulsivity, irritability and/or self-harm. Also, try to observe the child’s level and frequency of defiance as well as any vindictive behaviors. Children with O.D.D. have frequent and persistent patterns of anger, defiance and vindictiveness. They tend to question authority and rules a lot (if they follow the rules at all). A child with O.D.D. is easily annoyed by others yet they often do things to annoy or upset others, including adults. They don’t listen and they’re liable to throw tantrums. How do you deal with a child with ODD is especially a child that isn’t yours? As an educator, how do you deal with this child in your classroom?

ODD in the Classroom

As an educator, you may be faced with challenges on a daily basis. Those challenges may be especially difficult to overcome with a defiant child in your class. Children with ODD can be a distraction for the teacher as well as other students. “The goal of a student with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is to gain and maintain control by testing authority to the limit, breaking rules, and provoking and prolonging arguments” (Davies, 2016). As the teacher, you must create strategies that will help you maintain control of your classroom. You have to get to know your students to figure out what the best course of action would be for each student.

In conclusion, as mentioned in our textbook “the reasons that a student’s educational needs are not being met in the usual educational program can vary (Taylor, Smiley & Richards, 2015). It is our responsibility to work as a team with other professionals and the student’s parents to come up with a plan that will ensure each students needs are being met.

References Davies, N. (2016, January 7). Oppositional defiant disorder in the classroom. Retrieved from http://www.headteacher-update.com/best-practice-article/oppositional-defiant-disorder-in-the- classroom/112142/ Tucker, S. G., Weller, R. A., Petersen, C. L., & Weller, E. B. (2007, April). Do some children diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder develop querulous disorder? Current Psychiatry Reports, 9(2), 99–105. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11920- 007-0078-7.pdf


Taylor, R. L., Smiley, L. R., & Richards, S. (2015). Exceptional students: educating all teachers for the 21st century. New York: McGraw-Hill


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