Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a behavioural disorder that mainly affects young children and is characterized by a pattern of repetitive and consistent disobedience, opposition and defiance towards authority figures.
While most parents can probably identify those traits in their children from time to time, children with ODD persist in these behaviours for at least six months. ODD can cause significant emotional issues within the family unit, as well as affect the child’s learning and social development.
The primary causes of ODD appear to be family-related, with ODD being more common in dysfunctional households, or where there is serious conflict between parents.
Signs of ODD generally begin before a child is 8 years old. Sometimes ODD may develop later, but almost always before the early teen years. When ODD behaviour develops, the signs tend to begin gradually and then worsen over months or years.
Your child may be displaying signs of ODD instead of normal moodiness if the behaviours:
The following are behaviours associated with ODD:
These behaviours might cause your child to regularly and consistently:
Possible risk factors include:
Stressful changes that disrupt a child’s sense of consistency — such as divorce or changing child care — increase the risk of disruptive behaviour. However, though these changes may help explain disrespectful or oppositional behaviour, they don’t excuse it. If you’re concerned about your child’s behaviour or trouble adjusting to life changes, talk with your doctor
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