Just when you got used to ADD you have to learn all about ODD. The fact that Oppositional Defiant Disorder comes with a shorthand for unusual and perhaps a little suspect is entirely coincidental. Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or ODD, may seem more than a little odd to you relative to its being considered a genuine medical disorder. Back in the old days kids who exhibited symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder were just called brats.
Or, a little later in life, rebels.
In a nutshell, Oppositional Defiant Disorder is used to describe kids who reveal a long term pattern of hostility, anger, defiance and lack of obedience to all figures of authority. In most cases, these symptoms have been exhibited to the point of clinical diagnosis by the time the kid reaches the age of eight. What we are talking about with ODD is not just bratty behavior or the occasional temper tantrum. A child must show symptoms even when such behavior has not obvious external stimuli. For instance, if a kid slips into defiance and abusive language when he doesn’t get his way, that can normally be attributed to good old-fashioned spoiled-rottenness.
A child capable of being medically diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder routinely answers with abuse language and can be defiant not just on the basis of not wanting to be dragged to the grocery store, but not getting as many French Fries as his brother. ODD can only be diagnosed on the basis of the defiant behavior explicitly showing a pattern that contrasts with a child’s peers. Go into any kindergarten class in America and you will see examples of defiance. The twenty kids who stubbornly refuse to take part in naptime once or twice a month are just exhibiting the natural defiance of children. The one kid who outright refuses to nap every day and expresses that defiance with profane insults toward the teacher should probably be checked for ODD.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is still a fairly mysterious ailment and you may well find figures that as many as 20% of all kids in America are at risk. That figure is probably at least somewhat high, however, since it remains a rather fluid and developing disorder. A kid general practitioner is certain is exhibiting symptoms of ODD may well be considered as just as average kid engaging in average acting out by a psychologist and vice versa.
The condition may not be entirely psychological. The present medical view on Oppositional Defiant Disorder considers it to be a problem that may have biological, psychological and environmental causes to one degree or another. Because of this cafeteria approach, no singular medical treatment has yet been developed. The medical treatments that are available for ODD tend to target associational problems usually found with the disorder like ADD, depression and psychosis.