Oppositional Defiant Disorder

1. Definition

“Oppositional defiant disorder is a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior
toward authority figures” occurring on a frequent and persistent basis. (Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia)

2. Typical Characteristics

Students who exhibit oppositional and defiant behaviors engage in a persistent pattern of manipulative or noncompliant behavior. These behaviors, which occur frequently for a minimum of 6 months, may include a combination of the following:

  • Refusing to comply with rules.defiant_disorder_080519_mn.jpg
  • Blaming or arguing with others.
  • Losing their temper.
  • Being easily angered, frustrated, and annoyed.
  • Cursing and using inappropriate language
  • Having low self-esteem.
  • Appearing to enjoy annoying and bothering others.
  • Seeking attention (Understanding and Addressing Oppositional and Defiant Classroom Behaviors)

The exact cause of ODD is not known, but it is believed that a combination of biological, genetic, and environmental factors may contribute to the condition.

In the following video, psychologists Ross Greene and Jordan Peterson define Oppositional defiant disorder and describe some of the typical characteristics:

3. Instructional Considerations

  • Establish clear classroom rules. Be clear about what is nonnegotiable.
  • Post the daily schedule so the student will know what to expect.
  • Make sure academic work is at the appropriate level. When work is toohard, students become frustrated. When it is too easy, they become bored. Both reactions lead to problems in the classroom.
  • Pace instruction. When the student with ODD completes a designated amount of a non-preferred activity, reinforce his/her cooperation by allowing him/her to do something they prefer or find more enjoyable or less difficult.
  • Systematically teach social skills, including anger management, conflict resolution andhow to be assertive in an appropriate manner. Discuss strategies that the student may use to calm him/ or herself down when they feel their anger escalating. Do this when the student is calm.
  • Select materials that encourage student interaction. Students with ODD need to learn to talk to their peers and to adults in an appropriate manner. All cooperative learning activities must be carefully structured, however.
  • Minimize downtime and plan transitions carefully. Students with ODD do best when kept busy.
  • Allow the ODD student to redo assignments to improve their score or final grade.
  • Structure activities so the student with ODD is not always left out or is the last person picked. (Suffolk Public School)

4. Assessment Considerations

  • use observation and analysis method of assessment in an ongoing, intentional and predictable manner153525463_63cb5ad846.jpg
  • communicate expectations clearly in advance so students are well aware and can emotionally/psychologically prepare themselves for assessment
  • observe and record times/sites of inappropriate behaviour to avoid these reoccurring themes during assessment (example: ia student consistently acts out after lunch, plan assessment for alternate time
  • Use options wherever possible to empower and engage the student; this will help to
avoid power struggles (Ontario Ministry of Education)

5. Social/behavioral Considerations

  • Positive Reinforcement: focus on the positive behaviour by encouraging the student with praise, especially when they show flexibility or cooperation
  • To avoid escalating a conflict, model positive behaviour with breaks and time-outs, and encourage the students to decide to use this option themselves
  • Prioritize conflicts: Maintain focus on the issue you want to resolve, and choose a consequence that reflects the conflict (American Academy of Child andAdolescent Psychiatry)

Psychologists Greene and Peterson discuss strategies of dealing with children suffering from oppositional defiant disorder.

6. Treatment

Treatment for ODD is determined based on many factors, including the child's age, the severity of symptoms, and the child's ability to participate in and tolerate specific therapies. Treatment usually consists of a combination of the following:
  • Psychotherapy : Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) is aimed at helping the child develop more effective ways to express and control anger. A type of therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to reshape the child's thinking (cognition) to improve behavior. Family therapy may be used to help improve family interactions and communication among family members. A specialized therapy technique called parent management training (PMT) teaches parents ways to positively alter their child's behavior.
  • Medication : While there is no medication formally approved to treat ODD, various drugs may be used to treat some of its distressing symptoms, as well as any other mental illnesses that may be present, such as ADHD or depression.

7. Annotated Bibliography

7.1 Ministry Documents

  • Ontario Ministry of Education. (2005). Education for All: The Report of the Expert Panel
on Literacy and Numeracy Instruction for Students With Special Education Needs,
Kindergarten to Grade 6. Toronto, ON: Author

This resource provides insight into differentiated instruction, universal design for
learning, and practical assessment strategies to incorporate students with ODD
effectively in the classroom.

7.2 Journal Articles

Salend, Spencer, and Shawna Sylvestre. "Understanding and Addressing Oppositional
and Defiant Classroom Behaviors." Teaching Exceptional Children 37.6 (2008): 32-39.
Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Dec. 2010

This journal article discuss characteristics, labeling concerns, strategies for helping
students with oppositional defiant disorder.

  • Multifaceted functional behaviour assessment for students with externalizing behavior disorcers
Olympia, D.E., Tuesday Heatherfield, L., Jenson, W. R., & Clark, E. (2002). Multifaceted functional
behaviour assessment for students with externalizing behavior disorcers. Psychology in the Schools, 39(2), 139-155.

This article provides insight into the assessment of students who present with behavioural disorders, and managing these in a differentiated environment.

7.3 National/Local Support Organization

adolescent psychiatry. (2009, July).

This is a comprehensive resource including facts; links to clinical resources, books,
research and training, and where to get help; and frequently asked questions pertaining
to ODD.

Children's Mental Health Ontario, . (2009). Resources for professionals.

This local organization provides resources for professionals for early diagnosis, teaching and management strategies, and social inclusion tactics within the classroom. It also provides services and resources that teachers may direct parents and students to utilize.

7.4 Websites

December 7, 2010.

This resource provides a brief overview of the definition, symptoms and diagnostic testing
of ODD.

8. References

Education for All: the Report of the Expert Panel on Literacy and Numeracy Instruction for Students with Special Education Needs, Kindergarten to Grade 6. Toronto: Ministry, 2005. Print.

Salend, Spencer, and Shawna Sylvestre. "Understanding and Addressing Oppositional and Defiant Classroom Behaviors." Teaching Exceptional Children 37.6 (2008): 32-39.Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Dec. 2010.

"Oppositional Defiant Disorder." American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. July 2009. Web. 07 Dec. 2010. <http://www.aacap.org/cs/ODD.ResourceCenter>.

"Oppositional Defiant Disorder: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. 15 Nov. 2010. Web. 07 Dec. 2010. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001537.htm>.

"Oppositional Defiant Disorder." Suffolk Public Schools. Web. 07 Dec. 2010. <http://www.spsk12.net/departments/specialed/odd.htm>.

"Mental Health: Conduct Disorder." WebMD - Better Information. Better Health. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. <http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-conduct-disorder?page=2>.

1. Definition | 2. Typical Characteristics | 3. Instructional Considerations | 4. Assessment Considerations | 5. Social/behavioral Considerations | 6. Treatment | 7. Annotated Bibliography | 8. References