ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) is nearly always a co-occurring condition , so one needs to ask - is it ODD on its own or is it co-occurring with ADHD or another condition?
About 40 percent of individuals with ADHD have oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).
Among individuals with ADHD, conduct disorder (CD) is also common, occurring in 25 percent of children, 45-50 percent of adolescents and 20-25 percent of adults.
ODD involves a pattern of arguing with multiple adults, losing one's temper, refusing to follow rules, blaming others, deliberately annoying others, and being angry, resentful,spiteful, and vindictive.
Treatment of the person with ADHD and ODD/CD requires efforts to discourage delinquent behaviors so that the person will increasingly choose pro-social behaviors.
ODD and CD usually require strong, clear structure with reinforcement of appropriate behaviors as well as a positive behavior management plan to extinguish antisocial behaviors.
It is very difficult as a parent to accept that there is something ""wrong"" with a child, especially when you can't see it, when it's hidden as neurological condition that resides in the brain. My grand daughter had a diaphromatic hernia that pushed all her organs to the wrong place while in the womb - we could understand that, and it was still so traumatic for all concerned.
Yet when it is a neurological condition, a problem in the brain, it becomes infinitely more difficult to deal with. Even though great strides have been made in recent years in our learning about the brain, we are light years behind our knowledge of the rest of the body. In fact we know only a tiny little bit about the brain and it's mysterious workings and especially it's impact on personality and behaviour.
I urge you to find an informed and appropriately qualified person you trust, and who has the interests of you and your child at heart, and then follow the path.
Whatever you do, don't blame others, (like the teachers) work hard at finding solutions, tackle each condition separately, treat your child holistically, and above all with love at all times.
Be careful of continuous treatment to try and reach some lofty state of functioning. The psychological damage that is done is almost irreversible as the child experiences a continuing message that there is ""still something wrong with you.""
Finally but by no means least, it is very seldom that a child is just strong willed or naughty - that is fixable, these conditions - ODD and CD - are real conditions and need treatment that will eventually produce a human being who is is able to live a contented and productive life.
PS: This article was written in response to a client question.