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A female asked:

pediatrics: when should a parent get their child tested for oppositional defiant disorder (odd)? my 4 year old has been acting provocative and oppositional to adults which is beyond our control. the child frequently tantrums, constantly questions rules an

5 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robin Ifft
Pediatrics 43 years experience
Your's : Your's child's behavior is obviously disrupting his life as well as yours. It sounds like you have tried some behvior modification techniques and haven't been successful. The first place to start is with your pediatrician to help guide you to resources in your area for child psychologists or developmental/ behavioral pediatric specialists. These specialist can help determine if this is a simple behavioral problem that can be managed with behavioral techniques or if there he has a disorder such as odd, adhd. It sounds like it's time to ask for help.
Dr. Todd Zimmerman
Pediatric Emergency Medicine 26 years experience
Tantrum or worrisome: It is common for 4 year olds to have tantrums. Some tantrums will be worse than others. It would be a stretch and actually quite difficult to classify a 4 yr old as being od. I would say to utilize some patience while watching your child closely and setting clear boundries and limits as to acceptable and non acceptable behaviors. But again keep in mind...He/she is only 4 years old.
Dr. Andres R Villar
Pediatrics 40 years experience
Better question is..: What should the parent be doing? What are the triggering factors? How long has the behavior been going on? Why? When? Where? A behavior therapist could be of greatr help identifying and helping correct inconsistent parenting behavior and atypical , defiant child response.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
Yes, evaluations by : A developmental/behavioral pediatrician ; a child psychologist will clarify if your child has a neurodevelopmental disorder or is just a strong-willed 4-year-old. Your school district's child find team can assess for eligibility for early childhood special education. If not, try a structured pre-school. Join a parent behavioral management training class to learn effective discipline techniques.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
Provided original answer
"Little People" by Dr. Ed Christopherson (on Amazon) is still one of the best books for teaching how to "Catch'em being good" & how to use time-out effectively. Walk your child into time-out from behind, without talking or making eye contact. Repeat as many times as child leaves time out +1. The behavior will get worse before it goes away, but it will go away if you consistently ignore it.
Apr 1, 2014
Dr. Nayyara Dawood
Pediatrics 30 years experience
Behavior: If it has been problematic it is wise to consult with a child Psychologist to see if any intervention is needed.

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Last updated Apr 9, 2018

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