ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) Specialist

Dr. Messina & Associates -  - Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Messina & Associates

Clinical Psychologists located in Southlake, TX

All children exhibit challenging behaviors at times, but persistent patterns of anger, defiance, arguing, and vindictiveness toward parents and other authority figures may be a sign of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Psychologist Michael Messina, PsyD, provides testing and treatment for ODD in children and adolescents at his practice in Southlake, Texas. If you think your child may have ODD, call or book an appointment online today.

ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) Q & A

What is oppositional defiant disorder?

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a behavior disorder that most often occurs in early childhood, around ages 2-3. However, ODD may develop in teenagers as well. 

Children with ODD are defiant and hostile toward parents, teachers, and other authority figures. Most of the time, ODD is a greater burden to teachers and parents than to the child themselves.  

How do I know if my child has oppositional defiant disorder?

Symptoms of ODD may resemble those of other conditions, like mood or anxiety disorders. The only way to be sure that your child has ODD is to get a psychological evaluation and accurate diagnosis from a trained professional like Dr. Messina. 

Children with ODD often display several of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Has frequent temper tantrums
  • Argues with adults
  • Refuses to do what an adult asks
  • Does things to deliberately upset or annoy others
  • Always questions authority and refuses to follow rules
  • Blames others for their own mistakes or misbehavior
  • Is easily annoyed or irritated
  • Is often spiteful and vindictive

Keep in mind that it’s normal for young children to lose their temper and question authority sometimes. Children with ODD display these behaviors more frequently and intensely than most of their same-aged peers. 

Some children display ODD symptoms either at home, in school, or with friends. Severe cases of ODD involve these behaviors in all three settings. 

How is oppositional defiant disorder diagnosed and treated?

Dr. Messina specializes in evaluating and treating ODD in children and teens. After performing a complete psychological evaluation, he discusses your child’s best treatment options with you. 

ODD treatment depends on the age of your child and the severity of the disorder. Dr. Messina usually recommends a combination of parent behavioral training and individual and family therapy. 

He uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help children with ODD learn to control anger and impulses and communicate more effectively. 

With early diagnosis and treatment, you can prevent future problems related to ODD. If your child displays defiant and vindictive behaviors toward peers and authority figures, call the office of Dr. Michael Messina or book an appointment online today.