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A child’s tantrums, especially during teens, are quite common. However, there could be some children who could be exhibiting an extreme version of these symptoms. This is known as oppositional defiant disorder.
Children with this disorder become easily irritable, angry, argumentative, defiant and feel vindictive against most elders (parents, teachers, and others). While this is something very common and can be ignored to be a part of teenage tantrums, the issue is when these symptoms do not seem to end. If they persist for beyond 6 months, it is time to worry. These may then begin to interfere with their daily activities including schooling, where they may not be easy for the teacher to manage.
Diagnosis of ODD: With the changing behaviour of teenagers, it is often difficult to pinpoint and say there is ODD. However, some guidelines for diagnosis are listed below. Angry/irritable, argumentative, defiant and vindictive. If these symptoms are seen for more than 6 months with no inducing reason, happens with non-siblings, and is affecting learning and playing, it is highly likely the child has ODD.
These symptoms can occur at home, at school, or in other settings – seen respectively in one, two, or more settings. Some of the symptoms are listed below.
- Repeated temper tantrums
- Anger bursts, swearing, using obscene language
- Extremely argumentative, especially with people in authority (teachers, parents, etc.)
- Annoying others and getting annoyed easily
- Noncompliance to rules and regulations at school and institutions
- Defending one’s mistakes and blaming others for it
- These result in poor academic performance, antisocial behavior, substance abuse, and higher suicidal tendencies.
Treatment depends on the presenting symptoms, the age of the child, and supportive care available. The child should be able to actively take part in psychotherapy to reap good benefits. It would otherwise be a task with no results.
- Psychotherapy will help the child improve its cope and express and control anger. This also improves problem-solving skills.
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy tries to mould the behaviour.
- If required, the parents also would be involved to improve family’s involvement in the treatment. Caretakers are given special training if required so that they can support in long-term medical care.
- The child also needs to be trained for appropriate behaviour under different circumstances.
- Rewards for positive behaviour and punishments for negative behaviour are useful ways.
Prevention: Early identification can help in minimizing distress to the family and help in the early arrest of the disease. The family is also taught basic and simple steps which can help in supporting therapy. Early rejection at school and loss of learning, can happen which can be managed with early intervention. A nurturing and supportive family can help manage the child very well. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Having a baby is a beautiful experience and it is important for first time parents to learn the ropes of taking care of a newborn. A mother should consider getting help after the birth of the child as that particular time period can be overwhelming and hectic to take care of the baby all alone. You can get started by nursing your child by taking assistance from specialists and nurses who tell you how to change the clothes of the baby, hold the baby and how to take care of your baby.
How to take care of a newborn
You can hire a maid who can help you look after your baby. If you have relatives, you can request them to help you out. It is important to keep the following things in mind while taking care of a baby.
- Babies are susceptible to infection quickly and hence it is necessary that we wash our hands properly with a hand sanitiser before carrying the baby.
- Make sure you carry the baby properly by providing the infant with proper support below the neck and head. The same rules apply while laying the baby down in the cradle.
- Do not shake the baby vigorously, even by mistake, as it can cause bleeding in the brain of the baby, which can cause death.
- Any member of the household should not throw the baby in the air or try any rough play as a newborn baby is not ready for it.
- Sponge bath should be given to the baby until the umbilical cord falls off and only after the navel heals totally. It can take about 1–4 weeks for this to happen.
- It is very vital that you use clean diapers for your baby, and if the diaper is wet, it must be removed immediately to avoid any rash in and around the genital area. It is important that the genital area is cleaned well by the use of cotton balls and water.
- In case you are using cloth diapers, then it is advisable that you clean it with detergents that are fragrance free.