Five-to-Ten-Year-Olds and ODD
If a child has ODD but wasn't diagnosed in the preschool years, chances are the symptoms will become unmistakable now and could even develop into the more severe CD. It's at this age, too, that a diagnosis of ADHD is made because the symptoms become more apparent and disruptive to classroom learning.
ODD and ADHD
Remember from Chapter 4 that kids with ODD can get worse without professional intervention. This does not mean you're a failure or can't parent effectively. It does mean that your whole family can benefit from the support, structure, and perspective that therapy can offer, and that your child's behavior is severe enough that new parenting strategies must be undertaken quickly and with extra help. If you know or suspect your child has ODD, seek professional help.
Also remember that ODD and ADHD often go hand in hand: about half of kids with ADHD also have ODD. If your child already has ADHD, or if you suspect he does, consider the possibility that he could also have ODD. This doesn't mean you should go through life thinking your cup is half empty; only by confronting obstacles can you overcome them.
Warning Signs of CD
As explained in Chapter 4, ODD can develop into the more severe CD if it is left untreated. At this age, a child with ODD has enough history that a CD diagnosis is possible, so if you see your child's behavior worsening to the point where he bullies, steals, physically harms people and animals, carries a weapon, damages property, or breaks into homes, cars, or buildings, seek immediate help.