Behavioural issues in children can lead to stress and frustration for the entire family. In young children, these issues may not yet be categorized as a specific diagnosis, but a child with significant behavioural issues may exhibit signs of anxiety, have frequent and severe tantrums, be manipulative, and/or be repetitively defiant towards those in authority.

Often these children are labelled by teachers, peers, and parents as disruptive, frustrating, mean, or even “bad.” Sometimes children who demonstrate significant behavioural issues are given a formal diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder. Often behavioural issues are identified along with another diagnosis like ADHD or Asperger’s. In many cases, behavioural issues never receive a formal diagnosis but nonetheless are a major issue in a child’s ability to make and keep friends or succeed in school. They often require intervention due to the impact on family life and disruption to everyday activities.

Symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Signs of oppositional defiant disorder in children are usually apparent before the age eight. Behaviours may occur most with people the child knows well, such as family members or care providers. These behaviours are frequent, not age appropriate, and cause significant issues at school, at home, and/or with peers. Signs of ODD include (1):

  • Losing one’s temper often.
  • Frequent arguing with adults or refusing to comply with adults’ rules or requests.
  • Often getting angry or being resentful or vindictive.
  • Deliberately annoying others; easily becoming annoyed with others.
  • Often blaming other people for one’s own mistakes or misbehaviour.

To learn more about the specific symptoms of ODD, please refer to the DSM-IV criteria for these disorders.

Thanks to brainbalance.com