ODD: Treatment

ODD is treatable, usually with behavioral therapy or a combination of behavioral therapy and medication.

Psychotherapeutic: When treating a child for ODD, repairing the parent-child relationship is a priority. This means that parents play a big role in treatment. Parent training programs are frequently recommended to help parents learn to train their child’s behavior through setting clear expectations and consistently praising kids when they follow through and using effective consequences when they don’t.

Parent training programs might include sessions with parents and children working together, or just parents alone. Some different programs include:

  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
  • Parent Management Training (PMT)
  • Defiant Teens
  • Positive Parenting Program (Triple P)
  • The Incredible Years

Some children might also benefit from social skills training to improve their peer relationships or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) if they are struggling with anxiety or depression. Children struggling with extreme emotional dysregulation may benefit from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Pharmacological: There is no FDA-approved medication for ODD. However, antipsychotic medications like Abilify (aripiprazole) and Risperdal (risperidone) are frequently prescribed if a child is at risk of being removed from school or the home.

Stimulant medication may be prescribed if a child also has ADHD or is struggling with excessive impulsivity. Children with underlying depression or anxiety may be prescribed an antidepressant (SSRI).