An eight-year-old boy was misdiagnosed with ADHD when he actually had sleep apnea, and now his mother is warning others about how the symptoms can resemble each other.

Melody Yazdani, of Vienna, Virginia, was left frustrated when her son Kian started acting up in school and at home.

He was irritable, would go into meltdowns, and had trouble concentrating, leaving doctors to conclude that he had ADHD, reports Daily Mail.

But what Yazdani discovered through her own research was that her son was actually suffering from a sleep disorder and his ‘ADHD symptoms’ were just a result of a lack of sleep and struggling to breathe.

Since correcting his breathing – which included removing his tonsils and his adenoids – Yazdani says her Kian’s behavior has immensely improved and he no longer has tantrums or meltdowns.

It comes on the heels of a growing amount of research that suggests some kids are misdiagnosed and do not get enough sleep, resulting in behaviors that mimic ADHD.

A growing number of researchers actually believe that many kids are not getting enough sleep every night, resulting in behaviors that are similar to ADHD.

After researching for answers to her child’s behaviour A sinus imaging scan revealed that Kian’s sinuses were almost completely block and inflamed – meaning he was sleeping with his mouth open at night.

Why is this bad? Not only are children not getting enough oxygen to the brain, which can led to fatigue, but studies have shown kids who mouth-breathe have slower growth and perform worse in school because of fatigue and inattention. Next, the doctors followed up with a sleep study.

Results showed that Kian had exactly zero minutes of rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep.

This is one of the five stages of sleep, characterized by the eyes moving rapidly in various directions and when most dreaming occurs.

Doctors also measured the levels of oxygen in his blood. Values under 90 percent are considered low – and Kian’s was in the low 80s.

Kian was suffering from was not, in fact, ADHD but sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night.

In addition to loud snoring and difficulty breathing, symptoms can include being sleepy during the day, difficult paying attention and irritability – all things Kian was experiencing.

Kian had surgery to remove his tonsil and adenoids, glands located in the roof of the mouth, which Yazdani said ‘immensely’ improved his breathing.

Yazdani said her son’s behavior has completely changed with the correct diagnosis. There are no more tantrums or an OCD-type of fixation on little things.

In the latest sleep study conducted, Kian had 360 minutes of REM sleep, and oxygen saturation above the minimum threshold.

‘No behavior reports in school. His appetite has exploded, he’s no longer a picky eater, and he had a huge growth spurt two weeks after the surgery,’ she wrote.

‘Please share this, you may help someone – I wish I had learned this information years ago!

Her post has been shared nearly 260,000 times.

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  • I used to breathe through my mouth as a child (I remember it vividly) because my nose was always blocked. It’s fine now. This is very interesting.


  • This is a really interesting article, thank you so much for sharing this.


  • My son isn’t this bad, but even after having his adenoids removed he still mouth breathes sometimes due to his narrow nasal passages. He is often tired and you can see it when you look at him. It is heartbreaking when you do everything you can to help them but they still don’t get to have a full nights rest.


  • How things can turn around so quickly.


  • Glad things have turned around for Kian


  • Poor little mite, being wrongly diagnosed. Thankfully they now know.


  • Surely this would have been flagged in a case history. If not, I wouldn’t touch that centre with a barge pole.


  • I’ve been concerned for a long time now at the increased diagnosis of ADHD in kids. I’ve seen one student like a zombie on drugs for ADHD when he had the most tragic home life. I’m no professional, but I’ve no doubt he was seeking attention and acting our because of his family/home situation and not because he had ADHD. The medication changed him into somebody I didn’t recognise – and funnily enough, he barely recognised me when he was on it. I think it became the easy way out to manage him. I think of him often.


  • Oh the poor boy. Thank goodness they found the correct problem.


  • This poor little boy, I’m glad they finally found the cause and yet it just concerns me how many others have been misdiagnosed


  • Wow. That’s an amazing discovery. Wonder how many others are misdiagnosed and being treated for the wrong thing?


  • Why does everyone assume he was on meds for ADHD? Not all kids take medication, and if it wasn’t ADHD the medication wouldn’t have made any difference anyway! I agree this was a shocking diagnosis error, but let’s not jump to deciding he was medicated wrongly as well.


  • Tiredness has a lot of implications. Excuse me while I go check if my children are sleeping with their mouths open..


  • Yes the key here is doctors do not get it right all the time. Always get a second opinion if not happy with the first. So glad this chap is on the road to much better health.


  • Wow even doctors can make mistakes glad they found the real cause of the problem and he stopped taking g the unnecessary medication


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