Help with ODD

Hanging In

New Member
This is all new to me. My 11 yr old son looks like he is being diagnosed with ODD. As you know it is a hard go...especially with school. Any words of wisdom and next steps are welcome.


Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help us point you in the right direction for help.
What kind of doctor is evaluating and diagnosing your son?
What symtpoms are you seeing that concern you?
How does he do in school, both academically and with peers?
Any mental health issues or substance abuse in the family tree?
Any sensory issues (sensitivity to clothing, loud noises, food textures, for example)?
Any speech or developmental delays?

Generally, ODD is not a stand-alone diagnosis, but a symptom of an underlying disorder. Once the underlying disorder is identified and treated, the oppositional behaviors typically subside.

A book that is highly recommended around here is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It has helped many of us parent our extra-challenging children.

Again, welcome.

Hanging In

New Member
We are just in the primary stages of diagnoses. Have met with the GP and have read a lot. Right now don't know is there is underlying issues...we aren't there yet. As for symptoms..if you take the list of he has them. School has been very hard. He is very smart and that is what is saving us right now but behaviour is an issue. Mostly defiance to do work. He is a loner and has few friends. My guess is he probably will have depression diagnosed..he worries a lot...and Grandmother and Uncle both suffer.

Will get my hands on the book...thanks. Can use all the support I can get.


Hello and welcome to the site. I'm glad you found us.

You mentioned the term GP, so I'm assuming you're in Canada or the UK or even Australia? It helps to know as the systems work differently.

Smallworld hit all of the questions. :smile: And I second her in that ODD is rarely a stand-alone diagnosis, but rather a basket of symptoms with an underlying cause. You mentioned that he worries a lot. That could be anxiety and it's not uncommon for depression and anxiety to go hand in hand. For my daughter, anxiety is the biggest issue and it feeds into her depression. For some children (and adults), it's the depression that creates anxiety. It's good that you are aware of these things with your son. You're off to a great start!

It's important to remember that typical parenting techniques aren't really effective with our kids and that you have to get creative and think outside of the box. Sometimes I find something that works by accident. I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. :smile: It's a lot of trial and error and takes a lot of patience.

Make sure to take time for yourself. It's important for you and your child. Just like the airplane and oxygen mask analogy.

There is also a lot of information in the Archives section of this forum (thanks Fran for reminding us this morning :smile: ) . You may want to browse around there as there is a lot of good information from old threads.


New Member
welcome! i hope you find this place as much of a help as i have.

i came to this board with-inital thoughts and possible diagnosis of odd but it turned out to be bipolar so make sure you have the psychiatrist get a through family history and evaluation.


Well-Known Member
With his symptoms, I'd have him see a Psychiatrist AND a neuropsychologist. A GP, in my opinion, should not even try diagnosing. It's not his field. ODD almost never stands alone and your son sounds like he could have a few things that need checking into. I hope you make some appointments with well-credentialed professionals. He's getting older and, if not treated correctly, it can get worse in the teens, whatever it is. Doubt it's ODD alone.


Well-Known Member
Hanging In,

Sounds a lot like my 11 year old who carries a diagnosis of adhd (combined) and depression. He's quite smart but has this defiance issue wtih classwork if he just doesn't feel like doing it. It is extremely challenging.

What we have done in school is make sure that his recess is not taken away for not completing schoolwork and making sure that classwork not completed is sent home to do for homework. That has helped since he doesn't want to spend more time that he has to on homework.

He's not diagnosis'd with odd at this point, but does have some symptoms. However, he is much different at home than he is at school. I believe there is some school anxiety there as well.

Socially, he's like your son. He has a couple friends at school, but is, by no means, part of the pack.

I highly recommend Ross Green's book as well.

Glad you have found your way here.