Hudson Valley Parent

October 2013

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Does my child have ODD? 6 signs that might point to oppositional defiant disorder   By MEAGAN RUFFING I knew my son was different when his tantrums lasted hours at a time. I would dread waking up in the morning because I didn't want to have to face another day with Dylan's defiant behavior. Each day was an all-out war between the two of us and it was over anything and everything. Sometimes he would yell at me because his underwear was too high or too low and it wasn't "right." He wouldn't wear sneakers because they were too big or too small, even though he'd worn them just the day before. Sometimes he'd spit at me because I'd send him to "time out" for telling 12 Hudson Valley Parent n October 2013 me hated me. Situations like these would go on every day, all day. My husband suggested that we try parent-child interaction therapy, a treatment program that re-establishes the relationship between parent and child. Therapy programs like PCIT are imperative to changing the dynamics in a household where a child has a disruptive behavioral disorder such as ODD — oppositional defiant disorder. Kim Ellison, a counselor who specializes in PCIT at Hudson Valley Family Therapy in Highland, says, "Many parents living with children who have disruptive, aggressive and defiant behaviors lose the opportunity to enjoy their children. Parent-child interaction therapy helps repair the family bond and allows parents to truly enjoy spending time with their child. Research has proven that this is a very effective form of treatment for oppositional and defiant children between 2 and 7 years old." Ellison has dedicated the last decade to providing social services to clients in the Hudson Valley, focusing on PCIT for the last five. She implements the PCIT approach, focusing on positive parenting skills, active ignoring and calm, consistent limit setting. She suggests these three things to consider when dealing with oppositional and defiant behavior: 1) Early intervention is imperative; 2) Ignore minor misbehaviors; 3) In order to change the behavior of the child and parents must first change the way they are managing the behavior. "The most successful clients are

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