Oppositional Defiance

When children act out persistently so that it causes serious problems at home, in school, or with peers, they may be diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). ODD usually starts before 8 years of age, but no later than by about 12 years of age. Children with ODD are more likely to act oppositional or defiant around people they know well, such as family members, a regular care provider, or a teacher. Children with ODD show these behaviors more often than other children their age.

Examples of ODD behaviors include

  • Often being angry or losing one’s temper
  • Often arguing with adults or refusing to comply with adults’ rules or requests
  • Often resentful or spiteful
  • Deliberately annoying others or becoming annoyed with others
  • Often blaming other people for one’s own mistakes or misbehavior


Treatment for Disruptive Behavior

Starting treatment early is important. Treatment is most effective if it fits the needs of the specific child and family. The first step to treatment is to talk with a healthcare provider. A comprehensive evaluation by a mental health professional may be needed to get the right diagnosis. Some of the signs of behavior problems, such as not following rules in school, could be related to learning problems which may need additional intervention. For younger children, the treatment with the strongest evidence is behaviortherapy training for parents where a therapist helps the parent learn effective ways to strengthen the parent-child relationship and respond to the child’s behavior. For school-age children and teens, an often-used effective treatment is a combination of training and therapy that includes the child, the family, and the school.

Amiel Segal works with children and teenagers  suffering from oppositional-defiant disorder and uses home-based solutions throughout towns on Long Island, NY such as Seaford, Wantagh, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, BellmoreWilliston Park, Long Beach, Garden City, Uniondale, Merrick, Woodmere, Oceanside, Hempstead, FarmingdaleCopaigue, Island Park, Bethpage, Syosset, New Hyde Park, Hicksville, Levittown, AmityvilleMassapequa, Massapequa Park, East Meadow, Great Neck, Westbury, Lindenhurst, Rockville Centre, Manhasset, Freeport, Cedarhurst, Plainview, Melville, Franklin Square, Lawrence, Hewlett, and Glen Cove.

Additional Resources

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