Reply To: Therapy for ODD

Penny Williams

Kids with ADHD (and autism) often dislike being questioned. My own son won’t do family dinners anymore because he hates being questioned about his day (he’s about to turn 15, ADHD and autism). Homework causes a lot of arguments for us. If I don’t check that he did it, he won’t do it or he’ll try to get away with not completing it or not fulfilling the instructions entirely. I only check that it was done though, not the content — that helps to avoid a lot of arguments.

There’s a lot of finesse to Ross Greene’s collaborative problem solving (what he teaches in The Explosive Child). Here’s a free replay of an awesome webinar he did with ADDitude on parenting kids with ODD and ADHD:

Free Webinar Replay: ODD and ADHD: Strategies for Parenting Defiant Children

You didn’t offer your son’s age, but if he’s 10 or older, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) could be really impactful. It’s much more systematic than play therapy (although play therapy can be very effective too).

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works

Parent training can also be very effective.

I know what your son said to you was very hurtful. To survive this special parenthood, you have to learn to not take his behavior personally. His developmental delays, poor frustration tolerance, and weak emotional regulation are the reasons for his outbursts and hurtful actions, not that he actually wants a new mom. In those moments, you have to remind yourself that it’s not his heart talking at that time, but his disorder. I know it’s hard, believe me, but it’s crucial to your own self-care. And, it helps you remain neutral in these situations, which helps his behavior.

ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism