Noah: A Look at Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- By Amanda Ingram
Noah is an outgoing teenager who loves participating in all sorts of activities. Often a sign of innate compassion, Noah’s favorite activities involve animals and other children—activities that require participants to be of a gentle nature. His aunt, Sarah Collins, 26, of Ocala, Florida says “he has a way of reading people. He can tell you what you are feeling although you don’t know it. He is empathetic, and shows great compassion if someone gets hurt.”
But Noah also struggles with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Mayoclinic.org says this about ODD:
“Sometimes it's difficult to recognize the difference between a strong-willed or emotional child and one with oppositional defiant disorder. It's normal to exhibit oppositional behavior at certain stages of a child's development.
Signs of ODD generally begin during preschool years. Sometimes ODD may develop later, but almost always before the early teen years. These behaviors cause significant impairment with family, social activities, school and work.
ODD can vary in severity:
Mild. Symptoms occur only in one setting, such as only at home, school, work or with peers.
Moderate. Some symptoms occur in at least two settings.
Severe. Some symptoms occur in three or more settings.
For some children, symptoms may first be seen only at home, but with time extend to other settings, such as school and with friends.”
Noah is raised by his grandmother, Kathy Elizabeth, who is a warrior for him even though things can be difficult. Mrs. Collins says “the most difficult thing about Noah suffering from ODD is how hard it is on him. He gets frustrated easily at times. Other times nothing phases him. But the worst thing is how other people treat him. Many do not have much compassion for him, although there have been a few along the way who understand. Sometimes, people know exactly what his Nana is going through because they may have someone in their family with special needs. As for others that “don’t get it” it is only because they haven’t been exposed to it. But, no matter the difficulty on our end as parents, our job is to love and protect our children and to also make sure they get to enjoy life to the fullest.”
But compassion is something that comes easy to Noah. Mrs. Collins says that the greatest thing about her nephew is his compassion. “He doesn’t want to see someone else get injured or hurt. It truly upsets him. His Nana cannot watch certain TV programs because he can’t differentiate between reality and fiction in the shows. For example, SVU, it is a crime show. He cannot stand that people are getting injured or killed.”
Often times, mental disorders are overlooked by people who do not understand that the brain can work in all types of different ways. The way society is structured doesn't adhere to all types of brains and many people get left behind. Also, it is hard for the public to understand something they cannot "see" on the outside. Many people with depression and other mental illnesses can tell you of the struggles that come with trying to make other people understand that they are indeed suffering. But luckily, for those that seek it, there is treatment. Noah takes an oral route medication. He has a counselor that comes to the house to work with him. He is also homeschooled to offer a more accepting and stable enviornment. Noah's mother was only seventeen when he was born. His father left the home before he was born. Noah suffered from abuse and neglect at the hands of his mother and his mother's boyfriend. When his mother became pregnant again, she left Noah with his grandmother and moved out. Since then, Kathy Elizabeth has been working to help repair any damage that may have happened during the development of Noah's brain.
Many mental illnesses and disorders are created in early childhood. As a society, it is our job to care for our children whether we can see the illness or not.
Share with others to help the special needs community!
- Published on April 08, 2016
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