Case Study – anxiety and sleep

children's anxiety
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Sleep issues and Anxiety presenting as ADHD 


Parental observations and expectations not being confirmed by assessments 


Full evaluation of history, current situation, and physical elements to understand the situation and support the student and family


Possible medical issues identified as causing symptoms that look like a possible specific learning difficulty combined with and parental pressure causing anxiety. 

We were asked to assess an 11-year-old girl for dyslexia, there were no issues found and she was performing well in school. The parents were still concerned due to her concentration levels at home. Based on the background information and the parents’ concerns we decided to look at possible ADHD. During the assessment and review of the history, it was identified that the girl struggled with her sleep and waking up as she said she felt tired constantly. We also assessed for Anxiety which again, can cause symptoms that mimic specific learning difficulties. This girl scored highly on the scale and open questioning helped uncover her worries about displeasing her parents and the punishment she would be given. Her parents had not realised the pressure they were placing on her.  

Lack of sleep can cause memory problems, and this can result in a person presenting with ADHD symptoms. Medical advice was sort and swelling in the nasal cavity was found and treated.  

Although our profession and training is related to the cognitive areas of learning, development and education it is vital we have an understanding of the physical factors that can affect learning and behaviour. Without this, it is very likely that people will be diagnosed incorrectly, and their issues will continue to go untreated.  

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