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Behavior: oppositional defiant disorder

Date: September 1st, 2016
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: When you have a child who has a real oppositional defiant type of a conduct disorder, that’s when we have to make sure that we are as consistent and predictable as possible. Those are the kids that we say what we mean, and mean what we say. And we follow through every single time. That’s how they will be able to overcome and learn.

But if we keep negotiating, we keep changing the behavior plans, and we keep changing the reward, if you will, it won’t happen. Those kids have got some stamina, don’t they?

We can say, “This behavior plan isn’t working. I’ve been doing this for three days.” Well, that’s not OK anyway. But you know what, it might take a few months before you start to see change.

The problem is we tend to roll and don’t stick to our plan, and those kids know that. They know that if they keep it up, you’ll eventually change the plan and, therefore, they can still be oppositional. We’ve got to be aware of that, stick to it.