ADHD and ODD: What’s the Connection?

I’d really like to rewrite these two sections of the DSM-5.

ADHD and ODD: what’s the connection?

Also: can we talk about the irony of hyperfocus? We ADHDers, who are known for being distractible, are also more likely to get stuck on something and unable to tear our attention away from it.

The PFC is like the cool-headed friend who is supposed to hold back the hot-headed amygdala when they start to get worked up. The PFC is meant to calm the amygdala, as well as communicate to the motor cortices to slow down and think before acting.

“You can’t have two people pushing against each other if one of them doesn’t participate! You can’t have a power struggle with only one person engaged.”—(Stiffelman, 2013)

Based on this, and my other writings on these topics, I would argue that ODD is an unnecessary and harmful label that places unfair blame on the child, and usually one with an underdeveloped PFC to begin with.

This “diagnosis” stigmatizes developmentally and situationally appropriate behaviour, and worse than that, it labels and stigmatizes children. Once adults hear a child is “ODD”, they’re likely to view all their behaviour through that lens, and assign malicious intent to potentially benign or innocent behaviours.

People with ADHD and other divergent brains already deal with stigma and ignorance on a regular basis, we really don’t need to add to it.

If you’re a Medium member, continue reading on Fourth Wave.

If you’re a News Break user, continue reading on NewsBreak.


Published by Jillian ADHD 2e MB

Jillian has Child and Youth Work diploma as well as a BA in Psychology. Jillian worked on the front lines of Social Services agencies from 2003 - 2012. Jillian has taken numerous continuing education courses and has attended various workshops focused on supporting neurodiverse children, in particular children with ADHD.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: