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Old 03-08-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
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Misdiagnosed ADHD - Actually Sleep Apnea - Anyone have experience with this??

So I took the kids to the dentist last week.

The dentist commented that DS (who is 6) has huge tonsils, significant damage done to his teeth by tooth grinding, and one broken tooth.

He asked me about his sleep and told me that large tonsils and grinding teeth are both signs of apnea and a person struggling to breath at night.
So we checked with our pediatrician and she asked me how does he sleep at night. He is fairly restless and does wake often. So she sent me home with the charge of watching him sleep.

I first watched him when he had just fallen asleep. He is a loud snorer, but not pauses. Then I went back about 3 hours later when I was going to bed and in 10 minutes he did a stop breathing, gasping, rolling over thing - 3x.

So we are headed to the ENT in a couple weeks for him to take a look (DS had his adenoids taken out at 3 - but his tonsils weren't big then - I guess they grow).

DS is very, very, very active. His dad is the exact same way.

So - has anyone had tonsils out and noticed a change in behavior?

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Last edited by fish3737; 03-09-2013 at 08:39 PM. Reason: Updated post with more info
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:43 PM   #2
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Re: ADHD - Sleep Apnea - Anyone have experience with this??

Yes, this exact thing happened with my oldest when he was 7. We had his tonsils removed and everything was fine after that.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:23 PM   #3
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Re: ADHD - Sleep Apnea - Anyone have experience with this??

I have no experience with sleep apnea, but the term ADHD drew me in since I have some experience with that. I'm a little confused though as to why it's in the title. Does your child have an ADHD diagnosis? Is it something a teacher has brought to your attention? Is it something your pediatrician is looking out for? I'm just not understanding the connection.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:12 PM   #4
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Re: ADHD - Sleep Apnea - Anyone have experience with this??

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Originally Posted by mcpforever View Post
I have no experience with sleep apnea, but the term ADHD drew me in since I have some experience with that. I'm a little confused though as to why it's in the title. Does your child have an ADHD diagnosis? Is it something a teacher has brought to your attention? Is it something your pediatrician is looking out for? I'm just not understanding the connection.

Apparently they are finding that there is a connection between some kids that have "ADHD" and that it turns out once they fix the apnea issue it goes away (the ADHD). So basically they were misdiagnosed or mislabeled.

No he doesn't have an adhd diagnosis - but he has always been active kid.

I'm a special education teacher so I have a lot of experience in the area - just the apnea/adhd overlap thing was new to me.

Does that make sense.
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Last edited by fish3737; 03-09-2013 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:45 PM   #5
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Re: ADHD - Sleep Apnea - Anyone have experience with this??

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Originally Posted by fish3737 View Post
Apparently they are finding that there is a connection between some kids that have "ADHD" and that it turns out once they fix the apnea issue it goes away (the ADHD). So basically they were misdiagnosed or mislabeled.

No he doesn't have an adhd diagnosis - but he has always been active kid.

I'm a special education teacher so I have a lot of experience in the area - just the apnea/adhd overlap thing was new to me.

Does that make sense.
Ok. That makes sense. I know that sleep issues/lack of sleep can lead to impulsive ADHD like behavior. Since sleep apnea causes poor sleep...

ETA: I spent a good deal of time ruling out various physical issues with my DS1 who does have ADHD-PI diagnosis. Sleep issues were one of them.
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Last edited by mcpforever; 03-09-2013 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:13 PM   #6
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I'm going through the same thing. My 5 yo needs tonsils and adenoids taken out. He is a horrible snorer and restless sleeper. His focus is nonexistent. The dr explained that his brain does not shut off at night, b/c it's trying to keep him breathing, hence the lack of focus during the day. I'm hoping it helps with other behavior/temperament issues as well, but I think I'm dreaming big :-)!
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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Re: Misdiagnosed ADHD - Actually Sleep Apnea - Anyone have experience with this??

This post got me thinking/researching. DS1 has ADHD symptoms and is a very restless sleeper, he snores, and I've noticed mouth breathing etc. He's mostly dairy free but since allowing him to have some organic plain yogurt he seems to be snoring more often. I'm going to cut out the dairy all together and see if I notice a change. I found this article and thought it was interesting so I wanted to share
http://www.drbriffa.com/2007/02/02/w...breath-easily/
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7mom7
This post got me thinking/researching. DS1 has ADHD symptoms and is a very restless sleeper, he snores, and I've noticed mouth breathing etc. He's mostly dairy free but since allowing him to have some organic plain yogurt he seems to be snoring more often. I'm going to cut out the dairy all together and see if I notice a change. I found this article and thought it was interesting so I wanted to share
http://www.drbriffa.com/2007/02/02/w...breath-easily/
Good article. I agree dairy can cause a big part. I am getting a second opinion, to make sure. The dr told me that my sons tonsils are pushing on his soft pallet. He snores during the day a well. (I didn't know that was possible). Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:49 AM   #9
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Re: Misdiagnosed ADHD - Actually Sleep Apnea - Anyone have experience with this??

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Originally Posted by MamaZnR View Post
I'm going through the same thing. My 5 yo needs tonsils and adenoids taken out. He is a horrible snorer and restless sleeper. His focus is nonexistent. The dr explained that his brain does not shut off at night, b/c it's trying to keep him breathing, hence the lack of focus during the day. I'm hoping it helps with other behavior/temperament issues as well, but I think I'm dreaming big :-)!
Yes exactly this. We meet with the ENT next week. So we will see what he has to say.

I tape recorded his apnea sessions at night and it sort of freaks me out to watch him stop breathing and then start back up that like.
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