Carly is a 5-year-old girl who presents for an interdisciplinary evaluation due to behaviors at school and home suggestive of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parent report of preschool teacher concerns was consistent with ADHD. Psychological testing showed verbal, visual-spatial, and fluid reasoning IQ scores in the average range; processing speed and working memory were below average. Carly's behavior improved when her mother left the room, and she was attentive during testing with a psychologist. Tests of executive function (EF) skills showed mixed results. Working memory was in the borderline range, although scores for response inhibition and verbal fluency were average. Parent ratings of ADHD symptoms and EF difficulties were elevated.CASE:
Carly's parents recently separated; she now lives with her mother and sees her father on weekends. Multiple caregivers with inconsistent approaches to discipline assist with child care while her mother works at night as a medical assistant. Family history is positive for ADHD and learning problems in her father. Medical history is unremarkable. Review of systems is significant for nightly mouth breathing and snoring, but no night waking, bruxism, or daytime sleepiness. She has enlarged tonsils and a high-arched palate on physical examination.CASE:
At a follow-up visit, parent rating scales are consistent with ADHD-combined type; teacher rating scales support ADHD hyperactive-impulsive type. Snoring has persisted. A sleep study indicated obstructive sleep apnea. After adenotonsillectomy, Carly had significant improvement in ADHD symptoms. She developed recurrence of behavior problems 1 year after the surgery.