It’s not unusual; it’s ODD (Part 1)

I first wrote this article for SEN Magazine and it featured in their August 2011 edition

The acronym ODD may be seen as rather an ironic one for such a misunderstood and difficult-to-determine behaviour disorder. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), however, is alive and well, and living in our college classrooms. Looking at research papers and observing young people who display ODD, I think that these symptoms were evident in some of the people I went to secondary school with in the 1970s, who were labelled “strange” or, indeed, “odd”. Our teachers did not cope well with ODD and the kids almost never went to college. Did these schoolmates go on to lead successful lives? I don't know, because they escaped from school as soon as possible and disappeared from sight. Now, though, college beckons and will soon be mandatory at age 16.

ODD rarely occurs on its own. Indeed, it is estimated...