While most children are oppositional or defiant at some time in their lives, children with Oppositional Defiance Disorder show an ongoing pattern of behaviour over at least 6 months which is disproportionate to their age peers and causes disruption at home and school. This is usually directed outward at parents, teachers and other authority figures.
The cause of ODD is not yet known but may be due to the child’s temperament, neurological causes or a chemical imbalance.
Girls with ODD are often more aggressive with words (eg. lying) and boys are more likely to lose their temper and argue with adults.
Students display behaviours which are more extreme than expected of students of that age.
Children with Oppositional Defiance may display a number of behaviours:
It is important to distinguish these behaviours from those which are symptoms of mood disorders such as depression. In some children this may evolve into a conduct disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder. This can be addressed through therapy and behaviour modification.
Teaching students self-management strategies can be of great benefit: allow for self-imposed time-outs, identify stressors, teach calming strategies, set goals and develop consistent routines.
Matched cognitive demands to ability?
Included extension activities for interest and engagement?
Issued handouts of summaries and lesson notes?
Rearranged lessons to incorporate periods of high engagement?
Developed subtle signals between student and teacher?