We have received many questions from concerned parents asking: “Does my child have ADHD, ODD, or BOTH”? There may be a link between having ADHD and developing ODD. The correlation rate for being diagnosed with ADHD and ODD is staggering, ranging between 60% and 80%. It is the most common co-existing condition associated with ADHD. People with ADHD are 11 times more likely to be diagnosed with ODD than the general population.
In this blog we will discuss each of the disorders as separate entities and conclude with the interrelationship between the two. In Part II we will discuss how to deal with the effects of these disorders in relationship to each other.
ADHD as defined by the Mayo Clinic: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Children with ADHD also may struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school.
Signs and symptoms of ADHD may include:
- Difficulty paying attention
- Frequently daydreaming
- Difficulty following through on instructions and apparently not listening
- Frequently has problems organizing tasks or activities
- Frequently forgetful and loses needed items, such as books, pencils or toys
- Frequently fails to finish schoolwork, chores or other tasks
- Easily distracted
- Frequently fidgets or squirms
- Difficulty remaining seated and seemly in constant motion
- Excessively talkative
- Frequently interrupts or intrudes on others’ conversations or games
- Frequently has trouble waiting for his or her turn
Play Attention can improve all of these skills mentioned above. Click here to view the cognitive skills addressed within the Play Attention software. Take our survey to see if Play Attention is right for you.
ODD by definition: Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is defined by as “a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least six months as evidenced by at least four symptoms from any of the symptoms and exhibited during interaction with at least one individual who is not a sibling”.
Children with oppositional defiant disorder are not aggressive towards people or animals, do not destroy property, and do not show a pattern of theft or deceit.
Signs and symptoms of ODD may include:
- actively refuses to comply with majority’s requests or consensus-supported rules
- performs actions deliberately to annoy others
- is angry and resentful of others
- argues often
- blames others for their own mistakes frequently loses temper
- is spiteful or seeks revenge
- and is touchy or easily annoyed
These patterns of behavior result in impairment at school and/or other social venues
So, the question is – what is the link between the two disorders? According to Dr. Russell Barkley, clinical scientist and researcher in the field of ADHD, there absolutely is a link between having ADHD and developing ODD. In fact, Dr. Barkley believes that if you have ADHD you have a propensity for developing Oppositional Defiant Disorder from the start. Why? Because, he believes that ADHD involves one more vital component that has been left out of the Clinical diagnosis for ADHD – Emotional Dysregulation: deficits in inhibiting and regulating emotions.
Emotional Self-Regulation is the ability to manage your behavior in relation to the events that happen in your life. This can involve suppressing or inhibiting your response, self-soothing to calm or comfort yourself, prolonging your pleasurable experience, or refocusing your attention to a more positive goal directed activity. By providing compelling evidence where he analyzed neuro-anatomy, psychological evidence, and clinical research, Dr. Barkley found that children diagnosed with ADHD also exhibited difficulties in Emotional Self-Regulation. He found that every rating scale that is given to children who have been diagnosed with ADHD that measures symptoms of emotions is elevated dramatically for hostility, anger, frustration and impatience. These children exhibited much stronger emotional reactions and had much greater difficulty in controlling their reactions once elicited.
To be continued . . .
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