Most children, even those with normally excellent behavior, will defy authority occasionally. As part of growing up, they may go through periods of arguing with parents, disobeying teachers, or talking back to adults in general. However, when this contrary behavior is extreme and goes beyond the bounds of what is typical for the child's age, it may mean that the child has a type of behavior disorder called oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). ODD is characterized by an ongoing (at least six months) pattern of temper tantrums, stubbornness, anger, disobedience, and hostility toward authority figures. If your child shows signs of ODD, it is important to get help from a mental health professional as soon as possible. A qualified therapist can help the child to develop ways to cope with their anger and improve their communication skills.

Local experts in ODD

Lilly Shaffer (She/Her)

Clinical Social Work Associate


I specialize in working with children (ages 2-12) with mild-severe behavioral concerns in a variety of environments (i.e., school, home, social settings, etc.). I believe that children are not giving us a hard time, they are having a hard time, and deserve patience, acceptance, and respect despite any behavioral challenges they may be experiencing. I provide a safe environment for children to explore their interactions with the world through their natural language (play!).

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