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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Learning that your child has a behavioral health problem is upsetting and worrisome for any parent. Rest assured, however, that here at Boston Children's Hospital, your child and family are in good hands.
How is oppositional defiant disorder treated at Boston Children's?
ODD is typically treated with one or a combination of the following methods:
Parenting guidance and modification
Your involvement as a parent is crucial to the treatment of your child's oppositional defiant disorder. Here at Boston Children's, we've learned that the best approach to ODD is helping parents learn and use effective parenting strategies; anticipate and prepare for problematic behavior; manage and respond to outbursts and tantrums; and implement structure and consistency in the child's life and daily routine.
Parenting modification strategies taught at Boston Children's focus on:
Social-emotional skills training
Strengthening the impact of the parenting modification techniques you are learning, therapy for ODD will also focus on providing social-emotional skills training for your child. Through the course of therapy sessions with the clinician, your child will learn:
In addition to therapy, your clinician may recommend medication to treat your child's oppositional defiant disorder. There currently are no drugs prescribed specifically for ODD, but certain symptoms of the disorder, when found in conjunction with another disorder, can respond very well to medication in conjunction with psychotherapy (which is also referred to as "talk therapy").
Drugs that may be prescribed to treat ODD symptoms include:
Stimulants for ADHD
Antidepressants for depression or anxiety
Other medications that may help decrease disruptive behaviors
Boston Children's Department of Psychiatry has a specialized Psychopharmacology Clinic to help determine whether psychiatric medication might be a useful addition to a child's treatment plan, but we never prescribe medication as a standalone treatment. Medication, when prescribed, is always part of a two-step approach in conjunction with talk therapy.
Learn more about psychiatric medications for children and adolescents.
In addition to the condition-specific information provided here, Boston Children's offers the following resources for support:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”