Anyone have an older teen/young adult who was diagnosis'd with ODD as a child?


Warrior Mom since 2007
My son was diagnosis'd with ADHD and ODD in Kindergarten. He still has these characteristics at age 17.

What has helped your child? Are they still like this? Did they outgrow it? How is their life now?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

⚠️Angry and irritable mood:

✓Often and easily loses temper
✓Is frequently touchy and easily annoyed by others
✓Is often angry and resentful

⚠️Argumentative and defiant behavior:

✓Often argues with adults or people in authority
✓Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules
✓Often deliberately annoys or upsets people
✓Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior


✓Is often spiteful or vindictive
✓Has shown spiteful or vindictive behavior at least twice in the past six months

Your child isn't likely to see his or her behavior as a problem. Instead, he or she will probably complain about unreasonable demands or blame others for problems.


Well-Known Member
Grandson was diagnosed with ADHD, definitely had many characteristics of ODD, but not the spiteful, vindictiveness stuff. He always had a lot of embarrassment, shame, and guilt when he would lose it at school and hurt someone. He was always very empathetic to others, kind to animals and children. He has high anxiety still, and was diagnosed with DMDD. He's 13 and half now and many of these behaviors have gone away or reduced to the problem of not being much of a problem. He's a teenager, so there's that.

He's in a wonderful school for kids with behavioral challenges and he's learning so many coping strategies from the therapists there, and he's like a different kid. We also took him off all the medications he was on. His doctors kept changing medications and dosages and we couldn't tell what was going on. We had the genetic testing done and it showed that traditional ADHD medications weren't likely to work as expected. He hasn't been on any medications for over a year, no melt downs at all at home, and once in a great while at school, but it's often because of a peer and it's always handled appropriately and the staff makes sure that it's a learning experience. There are consequences and he's learning to take responsibility for his actions.

It's been rough, but the progress has been amazing and we are so grateful. If he had stayed at a regular school, I'm not sure where we would be right now. He's in a program that the school district placed him in. It's a three year program before they get transitioned out (with a lot of support). I don't think he'll have to be there the whole three years. If the student hasn't had an unsafe or melt-down event in six months, they start transitioning them back to their regular school, which will be high school, in his case. Personally, I wish they could keep him there through college!
Hi TiredSoul. My son wasn't ever officially diagnosed with ODD, but he very definitely has pretty much all of the "symptoms." From about the age of 7 or 8 on he gradually got worse and worse. Jr High/High school was an absolute nightmare. My wife and I divorced during those years. The police were involved as well as Child & Family Services (in Canada). Then from about late 16 on things "sort of" cooled down. I mean it was never good...never comfortable. But we managed to get through. He got his high school diploma - although it was basically just gifted to him in order to move him along. He lived with me from about 13 on until he managed to convince his mom to let him move in with her a few months before his 18th Birthday. He's still living with her now just past his 19th birthday. The past few months the situation has started to heat up again. He can find jobs, but he can't get beyond the probationary period. His attitude and demeanor stinks I assume (he has very little communication with me. Hates me). When he has money, it's gone in no time. There was a blow up about a month ago and my ex was basically ready to boot him out but we all had a discussion and he managed to get another chance - he is a master manipulator and he expertly makes our complaints regarding his behavior seem petty and stupid when we try and make our case. At that time though he was working and he agreed to pay a bit of rent every month. Now however that job has come to an end like all the others. He has no money coming in...and has a cell phone bill of his own to pay now. Back to sleeping all day up all night. There's another explosion just around the corner.

Basically, I live life with a constant, low level hum of anxiety churning inside me because I know sooner or later the stuff is going to hit the fan. I have a younger son - 14 - who exhibits none of his older brothers characteristics. I have a tough time when he's not with me because I worry about what's going on at Mom's. I don't see any way out of this insane nightmare.


Roll With It
Hi Tired Soul! I have been here for many many years. My oldest has an alphabet soup of diagnosis. He was an incredibly violent child and it got worse as he got older and bigger. We had to find a new living arrangement for him when he was 14. Someone was going to end up dead or maimed and he was going to jail or going to end up dead. He legit was that violent. For such awful things as me saying "Good Morning." We sent him to live across town with my parents. My dad had just retired from teaching junior high and was driving my mother nuts. They thought they could get through to him. So they tried.

Miracle of miracles, by about age 20 he had done much of the work to rebuild his relationships with each member of the family. He has had the same job since age 16, and now manages the grocery store he works at. We are incredibly proud of him. Everyone at work likes him no matter what he does. He isn't universally customer friendly though. He is a bit too blunt sometimes.

What helped him? Not living with 2 younger siblings and parents who had their own things to do. My parents have a sprawling house and his room was on the other end from theirs. So if he needed time alone, he didn't even hear my parents watching tv or whatever. He really needed that and he needed to not live with younger siblings. We were told this after we had 2 other kids! I remember asking the psychiatrist exactly what I was supposed to do with that information. It isn't like I was going to stuff my kids back where they came from! The doctor had no answer to that.

My oldest son also has Asperger's. He is incredibly high functioning. But when he gets a notion in his head, good luck getting it out of there. One reason I was fine with my son going to my parents is that my father also has Asperger's. Not formally diagnosed in my dad, but he fits more of the criteria than my son does. I find it hilarious to hear my son and my father have a disagreement. They are both so stubborn! I think my dad was the only person who could make my son do something he refused to do. One thing that drove my oldest nuts was having to do yardwork as a punishment. My dad would go out with him and work alongside him, just to make sure he wasn't reading a book somewhere out of sight. The funny part of all that was the look on my oldest's face the day he realized that if he wasn't always breaking the rules, my parents would have paid him to do all that yardwork. He realized that he cost himself several thousand dollars over the years.

My oldest son tells us that his conscience is not as loud/certain as other people's. He has some very close friends. He goes to them if he doesn't think his impulses in a situation are right. They are good friends and if he is thinking of doing something really mean or messed up, they tell him. And he listens to them. He never used to listen to anybody.

Another thing that helped was an analogy my mother came up with. My dad and my youngest son are both color-blind. My mom explained my son's lack of understanding in social situations as being his version of color-blind. She cannot explain green to my father, but she can tell him if the color is important to whatever is going on. My oldest son doesn't understand social cues the way my dad cannot see green. This clicked in his head when he was about 17. That is when he started asking people he trusts about social cues.

I hope some of this helps. I remember the bad old days.