ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

This excerpt is from Dr. C & Elwood’s Introduction to ADHD Volume 3 - ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Counseling Elwood’s parents about O.D.D.

Dr. C: So, have you noticed any differences now that Elwood is taking the medicine?

Mrs. Splinter: Yes, we have. He’s able to entertain him self, and sit still when we watch a movie. He’s also not arguing with us as much.

Mr. Splinter:I have to admit, I see a real difference. There’s a lot less yelling in the house than there used to be.

Dr. C: I’m glad to hear that things are going better, but you need to remember, it’s important that you de-emphasize the medication and remind Elwood that he is doing better, because he is trying. He needs to know that HE, not the medicine, is responsible for his improved behavior.

Mrs. Splinter: We‘ve been complimenting his efforts a lot, just like you told us.

Mr. Splinter: He did have one bad day, when he refused to mind and got into an argument, but all the other days have gone pretty well.

Dr. C: Well, we don’t expect him to be perfect. We just want him to try. When he tries, little problems shouldn’t become big ones. It’s also important that on bad days, you don’t say to your selves”Uh-oh, here we go again.”, but you say instead “He’s having a bad day. Tomorrow will be better. ”

Mr. Splinter: What if he just starts having one bad day after another?

Dr. C: If the momentum really shifts and he’s doing worse, we’ll try to come up with a new plan and encourage him, again, to try.

Mrs. Splinter: Well, so far, so good.

Dr. C: Today I want to talk about O.D.D. Many children with ADHD also develop ODD.

Mr. Splinter: Are you trying to tell us that our child is odd?

Dr. C: No, I’m not. ODD stands for Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Children with Odd often argue with adults, lose their tempers, refuse to comply or follow rules, annoy people on purpose, blame others for their mistakes, become easily annoyed, angry and resentful, and are often vindictive or spiteful.

Mr. Splinter: Some of those are similar to what you listed for ADHD.

Dr. C: As we learned more about ADHD, we are seeing a significant overlap between the two disorders. But children with ODD don’t have to have ADHD and children with ADHD don’t necessarily have ODD.

Mr. Splinter: A lot of that does sound like Elwood.

Dr. C: I think that when we deal with oppositional children, there are certain things we need to look at. To begin with, we need to reduce the amount of energy we put into the conflict. The more energy we put into an argument, the bigger the problem becomes.

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