What Are Some Efficient Ways to Work With Students With Oppositional Defiant Disorder?


Quick Answer

Some tips for working with students who have oppositional defiant disorder include not responding to them with anger, setting clear boundaries and not taking their behavior or attitude personally. Other suggestions for teachers who work with children with this disorder in classrooms are allowing children a period to cool down when they are angry or upset, asking confrontational students open-ended questions and assigning reflective essays after incidents of misbehavior.

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Full Answer

Oppositional defiant disorder is a psychological illness in children characterized by anger, irritability, defying authority, vindictiveness and being uncooperative. ODD is more common in boys than in girls and affects up to 16 percent of the school-aged population in the United States.

Teachers who work with children diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder should be careful not to respond in anger toward these children because it escalates the interaction. Teachers should also set behavioral boundaries with students and be clear and consistent with repercussions to misbehavior. Allowing students with oppositional defiant disorder to cool down when they are angry gives them the opportunity to calm down and think about their actions. Teachers can also assign essays to children with ODD asking them to reflect on their behaviors, how it violated the rules of the classroom, and how they can work to prevent conflict from happening in the future.

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