If your child is struggling with Oppositional Defiance Disorder (or ODD), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy might help. We have a talented team of BCBAs and BCaBAs who can tailor safe and effective ABA therapies to help with your child’s unique situation. We often find the results are positive and long lasting. Learn more by scheduling a visit to see us at one of our ABA Therapy centers in Colorado Springs:
What Is Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)
Oppositional defiance disorder is a behavioral disorder where a child is defiant, uncooperative, unruly, and hostile toward others. ODD symptoms are generally aimed at authority figures, commonly parents and teachers. This behavior will disrupt your child’s daily life. Oppositional defiance disorder usually shows up in two separate time periods. The first is in the toddler stage. The second is during the early teen years.
While the majority of children become defiant or combative of authority at some point, ODD is a consistent pattern that escalates over time. If your child has ODD, they will show outward signs that make them a bigger problem to others than they usually are to themselves. If not properly treated, ODD can continue into the teen and young adult years. This can have devastating events on functioning successfully in society, maintaining a job, and building strong relationships.
What Are the Signs of ODD?
There are many signs and symptoms that your child is suffering from oppositional defiance disorder, but they will generally show a pattern of being uncooperative, angry, and generally defiant. Some of the most specific signs and symptoms of oppositional defiance disorder include:
- Anger and irritability, often unprovoked
- Consistently testing boundaries with authority figures
- Argumentative, confrontational, and defiant behavior
- Easily annoyed by others
- Disrespectfulness with the goal of causing confrontation
- Vindictiveness and holding grudges for no apparent reason
- Losing their temper easily and frequently
- Over-the-line inappropriate verbal remarks toward authority figures
- Arguing with parents, teachers, and other adults excessively
- Refusing to back down and become more irrational in confrontations
- Refusing to adhere to basic rules and requests
- Going out of their way to upset or annoy others
- Blaming others for their mistakes or issues
- Saying mean and hateful things when upset
Additionally, if your child has ODD they may likely have at least one other mental health issue. These multiple issues are usually related in some way. These other mental health issuesyour child may struggle with can include:
- Anxiety disorder
- Depression or other mood issues
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD)
- Learning issues
- Impulse control
What Causes Oppositional Defiance Disorder in Children?
Researchers believe the oppositional defiant disorder is usually a complex combination of three factors. These factors include genetics, biological issues like a chemical imbalance in the brain, and environmental factors like chaotic family life or peer rejection.
Additionally, there are two main theories for why your child has developed oppositional defiance disorder.
- Learning Theory. This theory states that ODD is caused by learned attitudes and behaviors. The learning theory centers around negative reinforcement or lack of acknowledgment that would increase your child’s defiant behaviors. Basically, if a parent lets their child get what they want when they act out defiantly or with anger, it reinforces the idea that they can get what they want through that type of behavior.
- Developmental Theory. This theory states that ODD begins in the toddler years as part of normal development issues. Yet, instead of your child naturally growing out of those issues, they continue on past the toddler stage. They stay independent and overly emotionally attached to a parent or other person in their life.
How Can ABA Therapy Help with ODD?
Applied behavior analysis therapy is exceptionally beneficial for oppositional defiant disorder due to the fact that its core goal is to study and modify behavior in real-life situations. ABA therapy also stands apart from other types of therapy because it is driven by strong science and is tailored to every patient’s specific needs and environment.
If your child is suffering from ODD, they clearly have unacceptable behaviors that you are hoping to improve so they can succeed. Your trained ABA therapy professional will first speak with you to discuss the issues you are noticing and any specific examples will be helpful. Next, they will meet with your child to do a thorough evaluation. From there, they create a customized treatment plan that involves a variety of techniques and activities your child can actively participate in. They set measurable benchmarks for success. By using a system of positive reinforcements, the goal is to empower your child to understand their actions and improve upon them, making them less defiant and more successful in society.
Get Started Today!
Get started with ABA therapy for ODD today: