We generally think of Oppositional Defiant Disorder as affecting teenage boys, but many of the girls here at FFS struggle with the behavioral challenges of ODD as well. Along with being openly defiant, they are often argumentative, annoying, spiteful and vindictive. When one newcomer lost her temper and stormed out of a classroom, a couple of senior girls who knew all about being "ODD" followed her and were able to help. Unwilling to respond to staff at that point, she was open to her peers and eventually calmed down enough to talk through some of her feelings.
Peer-to-peer support is a major strength of a therapeutic boarding school, especially for teens who lack the interpersonal and social skills they need to make and keep friends. For this student, the incident was the beginning of a successful recovery process that included opening up to a counselor and within a support group, and eventually to sharing her own experience, strength, and hope with others.