Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a very real disorder that affects kids and adults. It can be difficult to diagnose in children, and unfortunately, it's often misdiagnosed or over-diagnosed. For some medical professionals, too much falls under the ADHD umbrella, which leads to kids being medicated when they don't need to be. One mom and her son went down a very winding road which seemed to lead right to ADHD, until she happened upon a completely different explanation for her son's behavior and aggression issues. Melody Yazdani shared her story on Facebook, and it is a must-read for all parents. It just goes to show you, sometimes (OK, a lot of the time), our maternal instinct is right on.
Melody's 8-year-old son Kian was having a hard time. In school, at home, everywhere. His behavioral issues started in first grade, with outbursts and tantrums. His anger and aggression got worse at home, and the smallest little thing could set him off on a major tantrum. As he got older, and his peers' moved beyond tantrums, Kian's seemed to get worse. Melody says she was contacted by the school near daily about physical altercations, inability to stay in his seat, and on and on. Kian began seeing a therapist, who recommended ADHD testing.
Kian was also being treated by a pulmonologist for a persistent cough, and was seeing an allergist as well. Around the same time, Kian's dentist made an offhand remark about his teeth being ground down, meaning Kian has been grinding his teeth at night. Then, Melody stumbled upon the article that changed their lives, and got the ball rolling on getting Kian the help he really needed.
The article in the Washington Post made the connection between ADHD symptoms, sleep-disordered breathing, and mouth breathing. Melody recognized her son in all of the symptoms mentioned in the article, and immediately made appointments with a sleep center, an orthodontist, and an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Test showed that Kian's sinuses were almost completely blocked, and he was not getting ANY REM sleep at night. Kian had his tonsils and adenoids removed, and Melody says the change was immediate.
He began breathing from his nose immediately, whereas he had never breathed from his nose before, only his mouth. Even more, Kian's behavior improved almost overnight! No more tantrums, no more anger and aggression. Once the kiddo was able to breathe properly at night and get actual sleep, all his symptoms resolved.
Melody is urging parents to pay attention to the symptoms their children might have, before assuming it's ADHD. If you suspect your child might have a sleep disorder caused by breathing issues, it's absolutely worth investigating.