One of the most exciting things for any new parent to experience is when your child starts talking and is able to communicate with you on a comprehensible level.
Not only does this ability to speak marks a very unique and important milestone in your child’s development, but it also means the beginning of your child’s lifelong journey in learning how to express themselves independently.
In short, this marks when your experience as a parent gets really interesting!
Alas, what can you do as a parent, if your child develops a speech impediment?
In the case of the Motz family, try everything while still loving him anyway. Mason Motz, a fun-loving 6-year-old from Katy, Texas, was born with Sotos syndrome.
This is a genetic condition whose list of symptoms includes, you guessed it, speech delays.
This isn’t helped by the whole host of other issues the genetic condition causes as well, including breathing difficulties. As a result, Mason was non-verbal.
It wasn’t as if the Motzes didn’t try to figure out the problem the best they could.
Since Mason’s birth, the boy had been seen a whole host of medical professionals. Pediatricians, speech therapists, even neurologists, and geneticists.
Yet somehow, despite all these visits, Mason’s speech progress remained as frustratingly slow as ever.
In the end, all those who were involved chalked it up to Mason’s Sotos syndrome.
It wasn’t until he had his first dental appointment did things finally started looking up for the better, all thanks to his sharp-eyed dentist.
The situation was getting critical – Mason’s difficulty in swallowing food had now resulted in teeth problems.
Dr. Amy Luedemann-Lazar, a dentist that specialized in treating children with special needs, was the last one in a long list of dentists who have unfortunately not met the family’s standards.
Dr. Luedemann-Lazar proceeded to sedate her young patient, and it was then she observed something that up till this point no other medical professional had thought to examine – the boy was tongue-tied.
We have all heard the phrase tongue-tied, but how many of us know it as an actual physical condition?
As it turns out, tongue-tie is a condition that develops when the tongue doesn’t fully separate from the floor of the fetus’s mouth.
The most powerful muscle in the body, the tongue reaches much further down the throat than most people realize, and as a result affects nearly all aspects of breathing, swallowing, and speaking.
With the Motzes’ permission, the doctor proceeded to solve this problem with a non-invasive surgery known as the Waterlase laser treatment.
It was as if a miracle had occurred. Within 12 hours, the boy who everyone had thought was non-verbal began to speak as if there was no tomorrow.
Overnight, nearly all the physical ailments Mason had struggled with his entire life became manageable or outright vanished.
The boy could not only just talk, but he could also breathe properly – and by extension, finally get good night’s sleep – and eat just about anything.
Since this incident, Dr. Luedemann-Lazar and the Motzes hope to raise awareness over this health condition, in hopes that one day children in the future will be automatically screened for this health condition in the future.