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ADHD & Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)

Recent studies have found that almost half of children diagnosed with ADHD also have oppositional defiance disorder (ODD). Boys tend to have the highest incidence of ODD in this population. In addition to the typical hyperactive, impulsive behaviors of ADHD, these boys will often be highly defiant and can be destructive, belligerent, and physically violent. Many such children end up in trouble at school and with the police. They may destroy property or take extreme risks. This group of boys has a high risk of ending up involved in the criminal justice system. They may steal, set fires, or act recklessly.

When a child has both ADHD and ODD, parents have a number of challenges they must face. The temper tantrums and hostility can lead to problems among family, peers, and teachers.

It is extremely important that such children be identified at as young an age as possible and that they receive therapy to curtail socially unacceptable behaviors. Some signs that a boy with ADHD also has ODD may be sudden bursts of temper and overreactions to frustration, such as punching a school mate over a minor incident or kicking a hole in a door when the parent asks them to do something they simply do not want to do.