Devon: Oppositional Defiant Disorder

by PammyMcB

Personal Reaction

I have never fully understood oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Until I saw this video, I believed that people with ODD choose to act the way the do. I never before believed that people could not control their actions. However, after listening to Devon, I have come to realize that the control does not come easily to everyone. Some people have to be taught anger management techniques and other behavioral management skills so they can control their disorder. I am able to see that Devon shows remorse when he has lost control. In comparison to Ashley, he does seem to fully understand the implications of his actions and does care how his disorder affects how others view him.

Essential Points

Characteristics of ODD. Devon states that he swears too much and gets in fights at school. Devon argues with his parents and has to take medication to help him control his anger. Devon states that he does not think when he fights, he just reacts. Once he becomes angry, he pushes anything that gets in his way. He said it was like he could not control his arms and legs and they react in a way that he did not want. It has taken three teachers to hold Devon down when he is angry. He states that he does not become afraid when he is restrained and often has to be out of the sight of the person who has angered him in order to regain control. Devon knows that kids fear him and that brings him down.

Impact of ODD on Education. Devon has been expelled from his school. He is no longer able to attend the private school that he loves. He states that he misses his old teachers and his friends. Devon often reacts negatively when he is playing sports. He feels that teachers could be more helpful by providing warnings and giving him time and space for regrouping. He feels that teachers who argue with him push the issue too much and cause the problems to worsen. Devon worries about his grades and is afraid his mood disorder will prevent him from playing college basketball and being a NBA basketball star. Other students at school fear Devon, and he has very few friends.

Positive Impacts of Therapy. Devon states that he is now beginning to understand his disorder. In counseling, he is being taught behavior management skills as well as anger management techniques. Devon knows that he has choices when he is angered and knows that he should walk away when confronted. Though Devon still engages in fighting, he is able to calm down once he is pulled off of other kids and teachers. Devon does say that counseling has taught him to calm his anger by counting to ten, thinking of something else to do, or thinking happy thoughts. Sometimes Devon is able to stop his rage when prompted to stop. He does not like getting into fights and tries to forget about them, but counseling helps him to own up to his behavior, as well as helping him to get things off of his chest. Devon knows if he could control his anger, school would be much better and he would not be grounded as much.

Application of the Essential Points

I feel this video helped me to understand oppositional defiant disorder to an extent. I will probably teach students that have anger issues in my classroom to use the anger management tools taught to Devon. I would also be sure to give space to students once I realize that an outburst is about to happen. I will not push students who are being defiant and will give them space to regroup.

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