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bree
bree asks:
Q:

What do we do?  Our son has Oppositional Defiant Disorder and we're at our witts end

I was just wondering if anyone has a child out there with ODD that could help me understand what to do. My son gets special treatment to avoid getting in to fights. My daughter gets most of the arguments with him and I feel sorry for her. None of us know what to do. We as a family are at our witts end. We have went though family counsiling and the hospital thing and nothing has worked. My husband is about to go crazy.

thanks,
bre
In Topics: Special needs
> 60 days ago

|

Expert

lkauffman
Jan 2, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

Hi Bre,

It is understandable that you and your husband are frustrated and discouraged! Oppositional Defiant Disorder, defined by disobedience, defiance, and hostility toward authority figures lasting longer than six months, is a behavioral condition that would challenge any parent.

You mention that you have tried family counseling and a hospital (a psychiatric hospital?). Can you say a little more about the age of your son and for how long he and your family have been struggling with ODD? What aspects of his treatment have worked thus far? What has not worked?

In general, parents of children with ODD typically need a lot of support in learning techniques for setting limits with reasonable consequences, setting consistent routines, picking battles, and recognizing positive behaviors. You have most likely had some guidance in this area, but as you know, implementing these strategies with a child with ODD is very difficult and requires a great deal of time. Thus, you will need a lot of support. Also, it is very important that you and your husband practice taking care of yourselves, as well. If you aren't in a calm and relaxed space, it will be hard to get your son there.

These are just a few thoughts. I'm curious to know more about your son and your previous experience with treatment.

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Additional Answers (1)

Developmentalist
Development... writes:
Bre - One of our expert Pediatrician's offered a few more tips consistent with what Dr. Compian has noted above. &nbsp;Best, Denise<br />
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Many children who have ODD also have ADD--as many as 37% of children with ADD have one or more behavioral syndromes. &nbsp;Along with the advice given by Laura to be consistent, set limits, have planned punishments that the child understands, &nbsp;I would &nbsp;recommend two other avenues.<br />
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First, work with your school. &nbsp;Many systems have &quot;behavior counselors&quot; &nbsp;who can help for various ages or a principal who can work with the teacher and classroom. Consider a 504 designation or an IEP that would allow for an aid in school to help with behavior patterning.<br />
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Second, consider a formal evaluation by a child psychiatrist or pediatric behaviorist either through your pediatrician or a social service agency in your community. I am not sure what the &quot;hospital&quot; situation was as described. It is rare to hospitalize a young elementary school child. Also consider after school programs that focus on social skills.<br />
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Finally, consider the basics e.g. lead levels in the blood, allergies, sleep disorders and other environmental issues that may predispose to this behavior.<br />
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This boy sounds as if he would benefit from consistency in sleep, daily rituals, food, and exercise. If all that is in place, and a relative is sometimes available, it would benefit the parent to take a break and enjoy respite from time to time.<br />
<br />
> 60 days ago

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