Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Children with ODD can lead us on a fast moving train from frontal cortex –  where we are thinking – to brain stem – where we are reacting. As educators and parents working with children with ODD or oppositional behaviors, we need to develop ways to keep ourselves in frontal cortex. Plan for how you are going to react when the child tells you things like:girl standing with hands on hips

“You are stupid.”

“I hate this class.”

“I hate this family.”

“You can take this ^&*&^% ing $%^%$ class and shove it….”

These are all buttons on our vending machine and if we aren’t careful, we will deliver the wrong goods when those buttons get pushed.

Ideas for You:

  • Practice Yoga breathing – you can find videos on the Internet
  • Learn to Count in your head before you react
  • Learn to smile even though you want to do something else

Ideas for Talking to ODD students:

  • Whisper from the back of the head into the right ear – Research in three countries shows that the right ear is connected to the side of the brain that is more conducive to compliance. Not up close and creepy though. Just from the right side.
  • Use statements like: “I need you to….” Refrain from saying things like, “Cut that out right now.”
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