Oppositional Defiance disorder

Many children can be oppositional or difficult from time to time. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is diagnosed when there is a history of continuous uncooperative and hostile behaviour that stands out when compared to other children of the same age and developmental level. Around one in 10 children under the age of 12 years are thought to have ODD, with boys outnumbering girls by two to one.

Early intervention and treatment is important, since children with untreated ODD may continue to be difficult and antisocial into their adult years. This can impact on their relationships, career prospects and quality of life. Some children with ODD will develop the more serious conduct disorder (CD), which is characterised by aggressive law-breaking and violent behaviours.

Characteristics of ODD
ODD behaviours usually surface when the child is at primary school but the disorder can be found in children as young as three years of age. Some of the behaviours of a child with ODD may include:

  • Problems controlling temper
  • Continually argues with adults
  • Actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules
  • Deliberately annoys people
  • Blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehaviour
  • Is touchy or easily annoyed by others
  • Angry and resentful
  • Spiteful and vindictive

Source: Better Health Channel

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