In an amazing – and also slightly heartbreaking – story, a little boy is now able to speak clearly for the first time thanks to a dentist’s eagle eye.
Six-year-old Mason Motz had been mostly non-verbal for his entire life, a condition doctors put down to a brain aneurysm he suffered at ten days old coupled with a rare genetic disorder called Sotos Syndrome. (Sotos Syndrome can cause learning disabilities and facial bone structure.)
Mason’s mum, Meredith, told Inside Edition that despite various therapies her son had not made much progress with his speech.
“Nothing was really working,” Meredith said. “He had probably a five word vocabulary, and we were looking at alternative means of communication.”
She told The New York Times: “He could pronounce the beginning of the word but would mutter the end of the word. My husband and I were the only ones that could understand him.”
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Hero dentist’s life-saving move
A routine appointment at the dentist – and a ten-second procedure – turned all this on its head. A nervous Mason had been easing into dental appointments over a period of 18 months, and on this particular day, he was relaxed enough to let the dentist take a much better look inside his mouth.
Dentist Dr Amy Ludeman-Lazar quickly noticed that the little boy had a tongue tie – a condition where the tongue remains attached to the floor of the mouth.
“When you’re in utero in your mom, you have webbed fingers and webbed toes, and when you’re developing your tongue is on the floor of your mouth. It separates similarly, through the same process, and a tongue tie is simply an incomplete separation,” Dr Ludeman-Lazar explained to Inside Edition.
Once she realised Mason had an undiagnosed and untreated tongue-tie, she quickly asked his parents if she could take 10 seconds to perform a laser correction. After a quick Google to ascertain what a tongue tie even was, they agreed and Mason’s tongue-tie was corrected.
“It was just shocking”
What happened next was … that Mason simply started to talk like it was no big deal. His family were staggered by the transformation.
“We took him home that evening, and then he started talking about, ‘I’m hungry, I’m thirsty. Can we watch a movie?’ Like, blowing our minds with these full sentences for the first time, within seven or eight hours of coming home,” Meredith remembers. “It was just shocking.”
Shocking indeed because it took six years and a DENTIST to spot the root cause of Mason’s speech issues.
Trust your instincts
Of course, this family is not dwelling on the past. Instead, they are looking to the much chattier future and feeling utterly elated that their little boy is able to speak.
Mason now speaks at the level of a 4-year-old, and by age 13 he’s expected to have caught up with his peers.
His family are encouraging parents to be vigilant when it comes to children’s health issues, as their gorgeous son’s problem could have been diagnosed in the first months of his life.
“[Parents] should trust their gut instincts about their child, and if you think that something is going on, doctors may tell you one thing but keep looking and keep trying, because you’re usually right,” Meredith says. “You know your child best.”