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Oppositional Defiant Disorder

What is ODD?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a behavioral condition that involves a combination of emotional dysregulation and interactional/social conflict. You might notice a pattern of anger/irritability, low frustration tolerance, argumentativeness, deflection of blame, and (sometimes) vindictiveness. Parents, partners, and others who are close to the individual with ODD might find themselves “walking on thin ice” frequently, or making extensive arrangements to appease their preferences. It is quite common for the ODD symptoms to occur with only one or a few people (e.g., parents, partners, teachers, a supervisor) and not with others. Sometimes one or both parents can feel as if they are doing something wrong, when others don’t observe the same problem. Diagnosis of ODD can help to clarify the root causes of these behavioral patterns and provide a clear path to help.

ODD is quite common among individuals with ADHD, because ADHD often involves emotional dysregulation and can result in a pattern or habit of negative interactions with the environment due to other executive function deficits. ODD can also occur without ADHD, and it is important to consider this as a possible contributing factor when the symptoms of ADHD don’t quite line up.

ODD causes a lot of stress for the individual and those who are close to them. The good news is that ODD is a treatable condition, and there are specific things that can be done to help the individual with ODD interact in a more positive way with their environment. 

Who can have ODD?

  • Young children 
  • Adolescents
  • Adults

How Neuropsychology Can Help

A neuropsychological evaluation considers ODD as a potential differential diagnosis when concerns about argumentativeness, quickness to anger, and refusal to comply with expectations arise. The neuropsychologist looks carefully at potential sources of these types of struggles. With data from various sources, the neuropsychologist integrates information to gain insight into an individual’s emotional and behavioral patterns. With this data, we are able to clarify whether an ODD diagnosis is applicable, and provide recommendations for supports, interventions, and other resources. 

The ODD Evaluation Process

The neuropsychological evaluation includes a careful review of concerns through clinical interview, history, and standardized behavioral questionnaires data obtained through comprehensive cognitive assessment. With this information, we are able to provide objective data and perspective on test results and stated concerns. We sit together for a feedback session in which we revisit concerns through the lens of data and formulate a plan of recommendations for accommodations, interventions, supports, and other resources. You’ll receive a written report summarizing all test findings, diagnosis, and recommendations.

Contact Us

To refer a patient, inquire about an evaluation, or set up an appointment, contact us by email or phone.