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In my opinion, ODD is a catchall used to explain behavior. Behavior can always be linked to a reason, so I personally believe that an ODD diagnosis is useless. This is my personal opinion and not the opinion of the magazine.
Behavior is communication. If you haven’t, I strongly suggest reading Ross Greene’s books, “The Explosive Child,” or “Raising Human Beings.” He explains behavior, lays out possible reasons for it, and outlines a parenting approach that works for “strong-willed” / defiant / oppositional / struggling kids. I actually think we should parent all kids this way, but that’s another topic.
If you feel strongly that there’s atypical struggles with your daughter, keep seeing new clinicians until you find one that you feel really listens and hears you and who values your input.
This online self-test may help put your mind at ease that you’re on the right track…
ADHD is diagnosable at age 6. In fact, the last update of the DSM states that it can be diagnosed as early as age 4 now. My own son was diagnosable at age 6, but his symptoms were so severe that it was truly undeniable.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism