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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)


Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a disruptive disorder that causes children to misbehave in specific ways. While all kids can act up from time to time, children and adolescents with ODD consistently talk back, ignore rules and seek revenge.

Parents and caregivers often struggle with how to handle this extreme form of negative behavior. Aurora understands that ODD is a condition and not a reflection of parenting habits or a child’s personality. If your kids’ pattern of bad behavior is negatively affecting their lives – or yours – it may be time to ask your doctors about ODD.

Signs & Symptoms

Children with characteristics of oppositional defiant disorder show frequent negative, angry and defiant behaviors – especially with parents, teachers and other authority figures.

Affected children may demonstrate the following symptoms of ODD:

  • Moodiness, anger, irritability and resentfulness
  • Refusal to behave or follow rules
  • Spite and vengeance
  • Loss of temper
  • Arguing with authority figures
  • Blames others for their mistakes

Risk Factors

Like other mental health disorders, ODD can be caused by a combination of genetic, family and social factors. Children with ODD may inherit chemical imbalances in the brain that make them more prone to the disorder. 

Other risk factors for ODD include child abuse or neglect, inconsistent parental attention and discipline, low socioeconomic status, marital conflict between parents, and having a parent with a mood disorder, conduct disorder, attention deficit disorder or substance abuse disorder.

Services & Treatments

Therapy and clinical treatment with Aurora’s child and adolescent behavioral health team can significantly help families facing ODD.

Child and Adolescent Day Treatment is available for families affected by ODD. Through a combination of medication, therapy and education, children and their parents can learn to manage the symptoms of ODD. Our therapists teach children social skills and problem-solving tools – and work with parents to create a home life based on appropriate discipline, consistent attention and loving support.

Call 414-454-6600 to schedule a consultation for your child to see how we can help them overcome their symptoms of ODD.

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