What is the Next Step for my Teen with Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a condition which is characterized by a consistent pattern of disruptive, violent or defiant behavior. Although the disorder generally presents before the age of 8, it can be undiagnosed or mistaken for another condition until the adolescent years. Without therapeutic intervention, ODD can cause extreme disruption to the family as well as the home and school environments. Some of the specific indicators of ODD are:
- Refusal to comply with basic requests
- Blaming others for mistakes and
- Easily annoyed and deliberately annoys others
- Anger and resentment
While all children exhibit these behaviors at some point, those with ODD show a persistent pattern of four or more of the symptoms for a period of at least six months. Because Oppositional Defiant Disorder frequently co-exists with similar conditions, such as ADHD, children with suspected ODD should be evaluated by a qualified mental health professional. Although early therapeutic intervention is the most effective way to deal with ODD, it is never too late for parents to take steps to help their child overcome the disorder.
What Do I Do With My Oppositional Defiant Disorder Teen?
Teens with Oppositional Defiant Disorder can be extremely difficult to parent. Because their condition often causes them to feel wronged, they think they are entitled to lash out. When this results in violence or extreme aggression, parents and teachers may be intimidated into complying. Teens with ODD are very resistant to instruction or anything they feel is an attempt to control them.
Treating teens for ODD requires intensive efforts on the parent’s part, as their reactions and discipline style are crucial to the healing process. In addition to individual therapy, a mental health professional might recommend an exercise called Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT). This involves covert coaching from a therapist watching a parent and child interact through a one way mirror. Through this exercise, parents learn more effective techniques for managing their child. Cognitive problem solving training in order to manage daily triggers and social skills training can also be valuable for a teen with ODD. In some cases where a teen is completely unresponsive to any attempt at therapy, it may be necessary to consider a therapeutic boarding school for teens with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
If this is the case, your next step is to select a facility that is both safe and highly experienced in treating teens with ODD. For almost 15 years, Liahona Academy has specialized in helping teen boys with Oppositional Defiant Disorder gain the tools they need to overcome daily triggers, communicate more effectively and repair their important relationships. The immersive therapeutic environment at Liahona Academy allows troubled teens to have full time access to mental health professionals in a safe and supportive environment.
For a free consultation, contact us at Liahona Academy 1-800-675-8101.