Opposition defiant disorder

Opposition defiant disorder (ODD) is a psychiatric condition which causes a child to act in a negative and disruptive manner, particularly towards authority figures such as parents and teachers.

Children with ODD tend to observe basic social rules but will act in a persistently disobedient and disruptive manner. ODD can also cause a frequent loss of temper, arguments, an inability to accept responsibility, resentment of others and vindictiveness.

Support for ODD is typically therapeutic. The focus is to encourage positive behaviours and respect for others. Some children can respond positively to this.

ODD can have profound and significant impact on the ability to access education resulting in special educational needs (SEN). If a child has ODD it is important that it is recognised quickly as children can often be labelled as ‘naughty’. Often, an EHC needs assessment will be appropriate. In our experience, SEN additional support may be adequate, however, typically an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be necessary. Special educational needs advice can be helpful to assess what level of support is required.


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