ODD Specialist


Youth Home Providing Behavioral Health & Mental Health Treatment located in Cleveland, OH

It’s often challenging to manage the occasional oppositional outbursts that are a normal part of childhood. The toll on family life is severe and difficult to overcome when a child with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) engages in explosive outbursts, arguments, and willful disobedience daily. The compassionate team at OCEC Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, has helped many children and their parents learn to manage the behavioral challenges of ODD. If you have questions about ODD or you’d like to learn more about the in-patient services available at OCEC Foundation, call or book an appointment online.


What is ODD?

Oppositional defiant disorder or ODD is a behavioral problem diagnosed in children. A persistent pattern of angry, irritable, argumentative, and disobedient behaviors that are directed at individuals other than siblings defines the condition.

The difficult behaviors caused by ODD are more intense, frequent, and longer-lasting than the oppositional and defiant behaviors that are typical during childhood. For example, ODD behaviors in children younger than five occur on most days for at least six months.

What symptoms occur in children with ODD?

When children and teens have ODD, they:

  • Are easily annoyed
  • Often lose their temper
  • Are frequently angry and resentful
  • Often argue with adults or authority figures
  • Actively defy or refuse to comply with requests or rules
  • Deliberately annoy others
  • Blame others for their misbehavior
  • Are spiteful or vindictive

ODD usually starts before the age of eight but is evident no later than 12 years.

How is ODD associated with developmental delays?

More than half of all children with developmental delays have a mental health disorder diagnosis. Of those, 43% have an ODD diagnosis. Psychiatric experts believe that ODD may begin at an early age in children who didn’t meet all their developmental milestones. As a result, their ODD behaviors reflect normal developmental issues lasting well beyond the toddler years.

How is ODD treated?

Your child’s treatment plan depends on their age, the severity of their behaviors, and whether they have a coexisting mental health condition. However, treatment for ODD generally includes behavioral therapies such as:

  • Cognitive problem-solving skills training
  • Social skills training
  • Parent-management training
  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy

To change the behaviors associated with ODD, parents should be prepared to consistently apply the same behavioral techniques used during therapy. For this reason, the OCEC Foundation works together with parents, teaching them the techniques they need to support their child.

The team also identifies developmental problems that may trigger ODD, such as delays in language processing, executive skills, social skills, and emotional regulation. Then they develop a treatment plan and work toward teaching the appropriate skills during in-patient therapy.

When children have severe ODD or they don’t respond to out-patient therapy, OCEC offers an intensive in-patient program where your child has 24/7 support and constant guidance from caring and highly trained mental health professionals.

The ODD program at OCEC Foundation takes a holistic approach that incorporates nutrition, medication management when needed, and sensitivity to LGBTQ+ challenges. The center welcomes children from all backgrounds without prejudice.

If your child struggles with ODD behaviors, call OCEC Foundation, or book a consultation online.