• Understanding Autism from the Inside

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Disruptive Behavior Disorder; ODD—Oppositional Defiance Disorder?

I officially received the report from the Tantrum Tot’s autism evaluation that was one month ago (July 19th) at UMSC in Charleston. I wrote about that experience, here, here, and here.

The report, about 15 pages long, outlined all the tests and social interaction the doctor’s had with the Tot and their reasoning for deciding that he does not, or no longer fits the criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Their observations were based largely on his social interaction with the examiner, and their observation of several tantrums.

I concede that the Tot had TANTRUMS, not MELTDOWNS during his evaluation.

The interesting part of the report is that they actually gave him a diagnosis of Disruptive Behavior Disorder/ Oppositional Defiance Disorder, which left me scratching my head a bit—this is a first for us. What exactly makes an oppositional in a two—year old a disorder?  Aren’t all two-year old oppositional by nature—or was that just me?  I wonder if I would have received that diagnosis as a child had it existed with the way my autism presented itself?

Does anyone else have a child diagnosed with ODD?  Do you think it possible to put a label like that on a child so young?  I think for me, some more research is in order since I admittedly know very little about Disruptive Behavior Disorders.

The report sent to me, did also maintain the Tots developmental delays, and repetitive/expressive speech delays, and recommended early intervention services for those delays.  I think that they ruled-out autism strictly on the social interaction they perceived.  I suppose only time will tell at this point which way the Tot is going to go as far as development is concerned. I will be keeping a very close eye on him though.


On a positive note: I have observed a tremendous improvement in the Tots speech and social development since he has been attending his daycare/preschool full time.  He loves it now.  I really think he is enjoying the structure they give him.

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.