Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a condition in which a child displays an ongoing pattern of defiant, uncooperative, hostile, and frustrating behaviors to those in authority. If your child has ODD, you may have noticed that his or her behavior disrupts normal daily activities, especially those within the family and at school. Your child may throw temper tantrums, actively refuse to help you around the house, argue incessantly with adults, and seek revenge when he or she feels wronged. Your family life may be in chaos and your child’s school life may be no better. While you may feel frustrated and alone, the staff at Ascent Children’s Health Services understands ODD and can help you and your child learn to overcome this challenge so that peace may be restored.
Why Seek Treatment For Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
If your child is struggling with ODD, you’re not alone. Many children have ODD and are able, with the proper types of therapy and counseling, to overcome the disorder and learn to properly manage their emotions. If your child has ODD, you’re probably familiar with the calls from school about his or her behaviors. You may find your home life in a constant state of chaos as your child displays anger, tries to upset you on purpose, and seeks revenge if he or she feels threatened. Your child may display inappropriate language and act out against adults, which can mean that leaving the house together to do fun things may be impossible. You know that your sweet, loving child is in there somewhere, you just don’t know how to reach him or her.
A child-focused outpatient or day program that includes all disciplines of behavioral health, such as doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, dieticians, and therapists– such as occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists—is one of the best ways to overcome oppositional defiant disorder. Under one roof, your child will be able to meet with specialists who have worked with many other children who have ODD and helped restore harmony to many families. A center devoted to treating children will allow all disciplines of behavioral health to meet on a regular basis to discuss interventions for your child and make changes to treatment plans in order to ensure that your child is receiving the best possible care for his or her behaviors.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Ascent Children’s Health Services, our philosophy is based upon the realization that every family who comes to us for help is unique, just as every child that we work with is unique. We know that there is no cookie-cutter approach to treatment of oppositional defiant disorder and we’re willing to take an eclectic approach to treatment of each child who comes to us. We seek to enhance the emotional, social, cognitive, and physical development of each person we work with, while instilling a sense of independence and hope in our children and families. Ascent is determined to ensure that each child we see receives the most appropriate and effective interventions, treatments, and therapies.
Treatment for Oppositional Defiant Disorder at Ascent Children’s Health Center
At Ascent Children’s Health Services, you will find a multidisciplinary team ready to help your child overcome oppositional defiant disorder. After you have been referred by your physician into our program, your child will undergo a series of evaluations and examinations by our pediatric specialists to determine if your child is struggling with additional behavioral health problems, as well as to determine your child’s eligibility for care and appropriate treatment approaches. After our evaluations, you and your child will meet with our treatment team to discuss the plan of care for your child. Treatment of ODD is often based upon a number of factors, including your child’s age, the severity of symptoms, and the ability of your child to tolerate specific therapeutic interventions.
Parent-Management Training: PMT allows us to teach parents and loved ones how to appropriately manage your child’s behavior. We’ll teach you techniques for positive reinforcement and ways to promote effective discipline.
Individual Therapy: Children who have oppositional defiant disorder may benefit from individual psychotherapy to help them develop additional problem-solving skills, anger management, and more adaptive coping skills. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an approach we often employ for children with ODD as it allows us to reshape the way your child thinks in an effort to control behaviors. Children who have ODD only know how to interpret and react in negative ways to real-life situations, and CBT can help them to see situations in a new light and respond in more appropriate manners.
Group Therapy: Ascent offers a variety of group therapies that are aimed to help children with ODD practice their social skills with peers. Through group, your child can learn positive social interactions, learn ways to improve their school work, practice anger management techniques, learn coping skills, and work on appropriate ways to respond to real-life situations.
Family Therapy: We offer family sessions at a rate of no less than once per month as a way to make certain all family members are on board with the treatment plan and to enhance communication. Consistency is key for children with ODD, and we’ll spend time evaluating your interactions with your child to see if we can help improve communication between you. Children who have ODD often sign a behavior contract and use a reward system that has clear cut rewards for positive behavior and consequences for negative behaviors. Family therapy sessions are child-focused and strive to get all individuals in a child’s life on the same page when it comes to treating oppositional defiant disorder.
Medication: While there are no medications that are aimed at solely treating oppositional defiant disorder, there are a number of medications available that can help to decrease the severity of certain symptoms. Our pediatric physician may place your child on medication to control some of the distressing symptoms or to manage any co-occurring mental disorders. Many children who have ODD have other behavioral problems such as ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, or learning disabilities. Medication can help control some of these disorders.
As Ascent aims to treat the whole child, we work hard to offer a number of holistic treatment methods to accompany traditional therapies for oppositional defiant disorder. These may include:
- Sensory rooms
- Therapy gym
- Nutrition and meal planning
- Handwriting Without Tears
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
At Ascent Children’s Health Services, we are proud to offer a number of programs to meet your child’s needs. Our Child Health Management Services (CHMS) is designed for children who have developmental disorders and focus upon management of these conditions and any co-occurring conditions. CHMS is offered as a day treatment or an outpatient basis. We also offer Rehabilitative Services for Persons with Mental Illness (RSPMI) for children struggling with various mental health conditions at the day treatment or outpatient program level. We will make sure that your child is enrolled in the least restrictive setting based upon the findings of the treatment team.
Each year, we will conduct assessments and evaluations to determine if your child is still in need of our services. If your child has been deemed able to step-down into another program, Ascent offers a formal discharge transition to ensure that there is a set plan for continuing treatment needs when the time for discharge grows near. Your child may transition from our day program to our outpatient program or from our outpatient program into the public school system. We’ll continue to monitor your child’s progress and ensure that the aftercare plan meets all of his or her ongoing treatment needs. We offer follow-up visits to your home to check in on your child’s progress.