ODD: Diagnosis

To distinguish symptoms of ODD from normal childhood or adolescent rebellion, professionals depend on a detailed history of behaviors in various situations. For children younger then 5, the behaviors should occur on most days for at least 6 months; for those who are 5 or older, they should occur once a week for 6 months. Since children with ODD may show symptoms only in one setting—usually at home—and are more likely to be defiant in interactions with adults and peers they know well, the symptoms may not be in evidence in the clinician’s office.