The marker of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) versus typical, everyday defiance is severity. Every child pushes boundaries and tests the rules to some degree, but when it crosses the line of blatantly ignoring the rights of others, seems overtly malicious, there’s little remorse, and if these behaviors occur most days--one may want to consider if it's something more. Poor emotional control is also a hallmark of ODD.
Distinguishing from ODD and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is again a question of severity and developmental age. DMDD is typically seen in children between the ages of 6-10 years old. Unlike ODD, DMDD is associated more with poor emotion regulation rather than disruptive/rule breaking behaviors. Outbursts occur in more than one setting, so school and home for example. Frequent anger or emotional outbursts that appear outside of what is considered typical for the child’s age is a key characteristic of this disorder.
Reach out to us here at Emotesy if you think you may have a child struggling with these or any other emotional/behavioral issues. Or if you'd just like more information. We're here to help.