Mum Says Her Son's Behavioural Issues Are Directly Linked To His 'Mouth Breathing'
"We have seen a complete 180 in behaviour. No more angry tantrums, no more fixation on little OCD things, it's been an enormous change."
Melody Yadzani is still amazed by her 8-year-old son's miraculous transformation. Only a year ago her boy Kian had explosive tantrums, never had an appetite, and couldn't control himself when he got angry.
Doctors were befuddled by Kian's behaviour, though they suspected that he might be showing signs of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and were hoping that treating Kian's disorder with medication might be just the thing to help him.
That is until supermum Melody came across an article online that totally changed her perspective. The mum discovered that her son did not have ADHD; instead, he had sleep apnea and sinusitis. And it was ruining his life.
Now the mum is sharing her son's incredible story on Facebook as a warning to other parents: "Children should not breathe through their mouths."
Melody shared her story on Facebook, where she explained what Kian's symptoms were and how seriously out-of-hand his behaviour had become.
Melody explained in a post online Oct. 24 that everything started when Kian was in first grade. Her "intelligent, feisty, and extremely active" son had not shown symptoms of behavioural issues in the past, but all of the sudden he seemed to have an explosive temper that would let loose when he was at school.
The mum said she started to get worrying reports from Kian's teacher such as "'Kian pushed so and so' and 'Kian is having a hard time controlling his body'" she wrote. The problem was that was Kian got angry "he gets ANGRY," she said.
"He gets fixated on little things (There is a hair in the shower, it's gross! I can't shower in there! *melt down commences*), his fuse gets shorter and shorter, and he's a picky eater who barely eats," Melody added.
By second grade, Kian's episodes became full-blown "daily spectacles, triggered by the smallest thing." And at home things weren't much better.
Melody said that every morning their day would start with Kian having "tantrum after tantrum, before we even get out of bed."
"Hitting, and throwing things, and the screaming. All the screaming. Starting at 5AM every morning," she added. "We were at a loss -- how did he become this way, what could we have done different?"
On the recommendation of his paediatrician, Melody took Kian to see a therapist who recommended testing the boy for ADHD.
While Kian was in treatment with his new therapist, who was sure that the boy was suffering from symptoms of ADHD, his medical issues just kept piling up. "Kian has a persistent cough that just won't go away, so we are also seeing a pulmonologist, and, against the advice of the pulmonologist, an allergist," Melody explained. And, the mum added, each of Kian's army of doctors were recommending "more and more medications."
"Two inhalers for the cough, an antibiotic (four different rounds) for the postnasal drip, a steroid, and it goes on and on," Melody wrote. "At a cleaning, Kian's dentist makes an offhand comment about his teeth -- they were ground almost half way down, he's grinding his teeth at night."
At this point, any parent would be completely scared about what was happening to their kid. First the behavioural issues, then the cough, now the teeth grinding. What was going on with her boy?
"And then lightning struck," Melody said. "Right at the perfect time. I stumbled upon an article that changed our life."
According to the article, researchers had found a connection between ADHD, sleep disordered breathing, and mouth breathing.
"Every word in this article sounded like Kian," the mum wrote.
Seeing her son described so accurately struck a nerve with Melody and caused her to go down a "rabbit hole" of research. She eventually turned to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, with her questions and finally got the answers she had been searching for.
Kian did not have ADHD. He was suffering from major sleep deprivation from sleep apnea and sinusitis, which exhibit the "exact same symptoms" as the attention disorder. "All the signs were there, right in front of our eyes, and I had no clue," she wrote.
According to Melody, sleep deprivation and ADHD get misdiagnosed often. "Studies have been done where they took medicated ADHD kids, fixed the sleep disordered breathing, and within six months 70% of the children had seen a resolution in symptoms and were no longer medicated," the mum explained.
"As in, their 'ADHD' was cured. Because it wasn't ADHD. In 70% of children. Let that sink in. This means that 70% of those children had been misdiagnosed with ADHD, when they actually had a treatable sleep disorder."
As for Kian, the Yazdanis put him in a sleep study that found that he was getting "exactly 0 minutes of REM sleep during the first study, and oxygen saturation in the low 80%, and his sinuses were 90% blocked." Kian had been getting headaches daily but had become so used to them that he didn't even realize that he should complain to his parents.
Now that Melody knew what was wrong with her boy, the family decided to remove his tonsils and adenoids. "The change was immediate," Melody wrote.
"We have seen a complete 180 in behaviour," she continued. "No more angry tantrums, no more fixation on little OCD things, it's been an enormous change."
Getting Kian's tonsils and adenoids out was only step one of the process. The Yazdanis will also be fixing Kian's jaw and tongue issues, which were a result of his sleep apnea. But for now Kian's progress is a blessing that the family cherishes.
Melody is now using her platform to share her experience and to encourage other parents who might be trying to solve their own "medical mysteries."
"No one, in my 12 years of parenting, ever told me any of this," Melody said.
"Kian's pediatrician, who we loved and trusted, never said a word. The therapist had no clue, the pulmonologist, the allergist, even the ENT and sleep doctor didn't believe me when I insisted he be seen for this invisible health issue. Not during any of our regular appointments, or during any of our sick child appointments. And not until we have tangible proof with sleep study results and sinus imaging did anyone believe."
"I had to find this, diagnose this, and push for treatment myself. And thank God I did," she added.
This article was first published on CafeMom