Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a childhood mental health disorder that is characterized by patterns of behavior that are hostile, disobedient, and defiant towards parents or other authority figures. These children will argue with adults, experience chronic feelings of anger and spitefulness towards anyone around them, deliberately annoy people and willingly destroy friendships, and typically refuse to comply with any rules or requests presented to them by adults.
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we understand how extremely challenging it can be to live with a child who is struggling with the symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder and we offer thorough programming that is designed to meet the unique needs that this disruptive disorder elicits. We have years of experience working with children and adolescents who have faced a number of different mental health concerns, including oppositional defiant disorder. Located on 37 acres of beautiful landscape, our two residential treatment centers provide children and adolescents with a comfortable, serene setting that they would not be provided in a traditional, high-rise locked hospital. Our newest facility opened in February of 2014 and we are proud of the modern, clean atmosphere it has allowed us to provide for our clients as they begin on their path to healing. You and your child do not have to continue suffering. At Millcreek, we want to provide you with the help you need, the help that you deserve.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If your child has oppositional defiant disorder, you are likely to be struggling with your own array of emotions. You may even be feeling a sense of defeat because nothing that you have tried has made a difference in your child’s behavior. You may feel as though you are walking on eggshells each day in an attempt to avoid an unnecessary outburst. If you are unsure as to whether or not your child’s behaviors truly are symptomatic of ODD, here are some examples to look out for:
- Chronically getting into physical and/or verbal fights with peers
- Actively defying you as the parent, teachers, or other authority figures, despite any negative ramifications that occur as a result
- Unwillingness to compromise
- Blatantly refusing to follow rules
- Willingly destroying friendships
- Acting in ways that have the sole purpose of upsetting or annoying others
- Acting out in violent temper tantrums that seemingly come out of nowhere and without provocation
If you have noticed that your child is behaving in such ways, then it is of the utmost importance that you seek out treatment for him or her. If left untreated, oppositional defiant disorder can lead to many problems in your child’s future.
Why Consider Treatment at Millcreek Behavioral Health
Oppositional defiant disorder can cause severe issues to develop in all aspects of your child’s life. He or she is probably struggling not only at home, but at school and in social settings as well. When the behaviors associated with ODD go unaddressed, and the disorder remains untreated, the negative consequences will likely continue to worsen. This can result in detrimental effects on your child’s future, including the possibility that he or she will have difficulty successfully completing school, obtaining and maintaining a career, and developing healthy, long-lasting interpersonal relationships. Untreated ODD also has the potential to lead to a later diagnosis of conduct disorder, possibly followed by the development of antisocial personality disorder. By engaging in treatment and addressing the concerns, however, your child’s future can be a bright one.
Residential treatment centers have shown to be remarkably successful in helping children and adolescents overcome the challenges that they face as a result of ODD. When children enter a residential treatment program, they are afforded the chance to step away from the stressors and negative triggers of their normal, everyday routines, and instead surround themselves in an environment where their sole focus is to become well. Through participating in a residential program, children are provided with the chance to work with other children who have similar struggles, while also receiving the intensive treatment that they need in order to make dramatically positively changes in his or her life.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we have made it our mission to help the children who come to us for treatment learn to make better choices and implement positive changes in all aspects of their lives, changes that will have a lasting effect on them as they continue to grow. When children and adolescents come to us for treatment, we meet them where they are at, based on their individual needs. We tailor treatment plans specifically to each child and adolescent by utilizing an integrated, multicomponent programming model that is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT has long been proven to be an extremely effective model for treating a variety of populations and a variety of diagnoses. CBT is an evidence-based therapeutic model that works by targeting specific thinking errors and correcting maladaptive thoughts by replacing them with new problem-solving techniques and appropriate coping skills. The members of our compassionate and highly qualified staff dedicate themselves to working with children to facilitate change and to help them identify problematic behaviors and take responsibility for the changes that need to be made.
Types of Treatment Offered at Millcreek Behavioral Health
Prior to being admitted into one of our programs, children and adolescents who come to us for treatment will first complete a thorough diagnostic assessment and a psychiatric evaluation, which allow us to gain a full understanding of any presenting concerns and identify specific treatment needs. The findings of these assessments will be then be used by an interdisciplinary treatment team of professionals to develop a master treatment plan that will then be reviewed further by one of our psychiatrists. This master treatment plan will specify objectives and identify treatment goals for each individual client, including tailored intervention components that will aid in meeting the child’s unique needs.
The program model at Millcreek is divided into four distinct phases, which include:
- Why am I here?
- Making the connection
- Learning new skills
All residents are required to complete all aspects of each phase in order to advance to the next phase in treatment. Some of the therapeutic methods that are used and some of the activities that residents will participate in as they advance through the program may include the following:
Medication: One part of successfully treating the symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder might be through the use of certain psychotropic medications. While there is no specific medication designed to treat ODD in particular, there are medications that can help alleviate other symptoms that these children may be suffering from, such as anxiety or depression. Children who are placed on medication will be consistently monitored by their treatment teams in order to ensure the therapeutic effectiveness of the medications, as well as to make any changes that might be necessary.
Group therapy: Group therapy is held multiple times throughout the week, offering sessions that cover a wide range of topics. The groups that the children participate in will be determined based on their individualized treatment plans, but some of the topics that are covered in group therapy may include coping skills, social skills, and behavior management.
Recreational therapy: All of the children and adolescents in our programs will participate in recreational therapy, which includes participating in activities such as creative arts, sports, social outings, park outings, adventure programs, and leisure. These activities are designed to aid in the development of appropriate social skills.
Education: Every individual in our residential program here at Millcreek will attend our fully accredited school program, which is held Monday through Friday. Each child will be given a distinct, individualized education plan based on his or her specific academic needs.
Depending on the treatment track in which your child is enrolled, in addition to the presence of any specific treatment needs, he or she may also participate in some, or all, of the following:
- Individual therapy (provided on a weekly basis)
- Family therapy (held at least 2 times each month)
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Student council
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
Once your child has completed the residential treatment program, our case managers will meet with you and your child in order to help identify what the next best plan of action should be. These case managers can help schedule any necessary follow-up appointments with outpatient providers and can provide you and your child with specific resources that are available for support within your community. Additionally, for those patients who qualify, there is the option of entering into a waiver program where individuals can return home and still receive any additional assistance with daily living skills that may be needed. At Millcreek, we will do everything in our power to make your child’s transition back into his or her home life as smooth and seamless as possible.