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Advice on How to Manipulate Students Labeled ODD


Looking at this causes me too much pain to critique it right now. It is sick.

Which reminds me of this quote by Maslow


Sick people are made by a sick culture; healthy people are made possible by a healthy culture. But it is just as true that sick individuals make their culture more sick and that healthy individuals make their culture more healthy.



Encouraging cooperation from students with oppositional-defiant disorder

The following classroom management ideas may be helpful for teachers who are working with students who have oppositional-defiant challenges.


1. Avoid direct positive reinforcement. Using this technique can backfire with these students. Because they feel compelled to do the opposite of your request, especially in front of peers, they may retaliate with an unwanted response (e.g., tearing up a paper you had praised) when you praise them directly, publicly, and obviously.

2. Use indirect reinforcement. To avoid public praise but still encourage the student for desired responses, the following techniques may be useful:

Whisper. Brief whispered encouragement without sustained eye contact allows a positive response. Comment on the product rather than your feelings about it.

Leave notes. Leave a brief message in a note on students’ desks, mail it to them, or hand it to them as they leave the room.

Provide rewards. Concrete reinforcements can be used so long as you place stickers or marks on a chart without verbal comment. Give rewards without fanfare simply by placing them in their desks, or give them a note that tells them what they have earned. Avoid using response cost, a method that involves subtracting points or taking away rewards. This can backfire because students with this condition may view this as proof that they are not complying with what you want.

3. Avoid arguing. Arguing can reinforce their oppositional position. Enforce the consequence and let it go.

4. Defer control. Re-label who or what is in control. For instance, say, “The clock says it’s time to go” rather than “It’s time to go.”

5. Provide choices. By giving the student limited choices, the student retains a sense of control. If the student refuses to make a choice, you will need to make sure the consequence is clear.

6. Anticipate problems. Prepare the student for difficult times or activities. By saying that you know this might be difficult, students can be placed in a double bind. This paradoxical approach may encourage them to prove it will not be difficult.

7. Allow students to release anger. Physical activity can help students dispel anger in a manageable way. Sports, working with clay, or even punching a pillow or tearing up an old magazine can be acceptable ways to release anger. Avoid emphasizing involvement in competitive sports until students have adequate control of their anger.

8. Outline consequences. Having oppositional-defiant disorders does not excuse these students from taking responsibility for their behaviors. Provide students with a specific list of behaviors and consequences and enforce them consistently.

9. Offer therapy or counseling. Make sure that the therapist or counselor you recommend is familiar with the needs of these students.

Notes: From “Managing Children With Oppositional Behavior.” By D. Knowlton, 1995, Beyond Behavior, 6(3), pp. 5-10.

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