Melody Yazdani is a mother of four and has been at this whole parenting thing for over 12 years now. But even after more than a decade of raising babies, Melody learns something new [every day].
This week, she shared a HUGE red flag that all parents should be aware of saying, “it may just change your life.”
In a viral Facebook post that’s now been shared almost 200,000 times since last Wednesday, Melody calls on all parents to be aware of the “huge red flag” in a picture of her son sleeping on her chest.
Do you see it? I didn’t either until Melody “yelled” via Facebook the one thing that makes all the difference in this photo:
“CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BREATHE THROUGH THEIR MOUTHS. Not while awake, not while asleep. Never.”
She starts by giving the history of behavioral problems she began having with her son, Kian, shortly after he started school.
The now-8-year-old who Melody describes as “determined, intelligent, feisty, and extremely active,” had been fine in school all the way through Kindergarten. But when first grade rolled around, they began receiving behavior reports. Kian was pushing fellow classmates, he had a hard time controlling his body and needed to be on a reward system in the classroom.
Things seemed to improve at school, but at home, it did anything but.
“When Kian gets angry, he gets ANGRY. He gets fixated on little things (there is a hair in the shower, it’s gross! I can’t shower in there! *meltdown commences*), his fuse gets shorter and shorter, and he’s a picky eater who barely eats.”
When second grade came around, Kian was only getting worse.
“While other kids are outgrowing their tantrums, Kian’s intensify and turn into daily spectacles, triggered by the smallest thing. The behavior reports from school start rolling in. ‘Kian is pushing,’ ‘Kian can’t control his impulses,’ ‘Kian is having a hard time staying in his seat,’ and it [goes] on and on. Almost daily. And I’m mortified.
Every morning it’s tantrum after tantrum before we even get out of bed. Hitting, and throwing things, and the screaming. All the screaming. Starting at 5 [a.m.] every morning. We were at a loss — how did he become this way, what could be have done different[ly]?”
Melody says that Kian began seeing a multitude of doctors — everyone from his pediatrician to a therapist to a pulmonologist and an allergist. He had a persistent cough that refused to go away, behavioral problems through the roof, and no sign of knowing what was actually the root of the problem.
Kian’s therapist was very confident in the need for ADHD testing, pushing Melody in that direction.
It wasn’t until Kian saw the least-likely of doctors on his long list of specialists that Melody finally got a lead on what was triggering her son’s behavior issues.
A Trip to the Dentist
“At a cleaning, Kian’s dentist makes an offhand comment about his teeth — they were ground almost [halfway] down, he’s grinding his teeth at night.”
That was when everything changed. At the perfect time, Melody stumbled across an article in the Washington Post that studied the connection between ADHD, sleep-disordered breathing, and mouth breathing.
“Every word in this article sounded like Kian. This led me down a rabbit hole of research (the majority of which was done right in our back yard at the National Institute[s] of Health) where I learned the following:
- Mouth breathing is NOT NORMAL and has long term consequences for health. I’ll repeat, because this is important — MOUTH BREATHING IS NOT NORMAL, NOT DURING THE DAY OR AT NIGHT. When a child breathes through their mouth, their brain (and body) is not getting enough oxygen. At night, this lowered oxygen saturation is detrimental to the quality of sleep and their brain’s ability to get enough rest.
- When the mouth is open, the tongue cannot rest in the correct place. Over time this can lead to incorrect development of the upper jaw — narrow and high palette, a recessed lower jaw (overjet and overbite can form), speech problems (r/l mispronunciation) and misaligned teeth. These developments narrow the airways and worsen the problem. Medical professionals have a term for the resulting ‘long’ face caused by these changes — ‘Adenoid face.’
- When sleeping, in addition to the decreased oxygen, the recessed jaw can cut off the airway completely and contribute to sleep apnea in children. To compensate, the body wakes the child and pushes the jaw forward, resulting in disrupted sleep cycles and tooth grinding (bruxism).
“Here’s the kicker,” she says: