After years in medical school, training, and treating patients, doctors become experts on the human body. For that reason, many parents implicitly trust that doctors know what’s best for their children, especially when they get sick. Yet, sometimes doctors don’t always know what’s best.
For more than five years, doctors have been telling a Texas couple that their young son would never speak because of several health conditions that affected his development. However, in November 2017, the family experienced a miracle thanks to an observant and thorough dentist who did more than any doctor or specialist ever had.
When Meredith and Dalan Motz first laid eyes on their son Mason, like many parents, they instantly fell in love. They couldn’t believe how perfect he was. However, that bliss didn’t last long as doctors later explained he had been born with a genetic condition.
According to doctors, Mason had been born with Sotos syndrome. Symptoms of the genetic condition typically include a distinctive facial appearance, overgrowth during childhood, and learning disabilities. In addition, kids with Sotos syndrome can also experience mental and physical developmental delays.
Too Early to Tell
The couple also learned that Mason might have behavioral problems like ADHD, tantrums, and impulsive behaviors as he gets older. However, at the time, it was too early to tell how Sotos syndrome would affect Mason. Unfortunately, that wasn’t Mason’s only health concern.
Just 10 days after he was born, baby Mason suffered a brain aneurysm. The doctors couldn’t be sure what kind of long-term effects the aneurysm would have. However, they warned Dalan and Meredith that it may cause Mason to have developmental issues or disabilities in the future.
In the beginning, Mason didn’t seem any different compared to other babies his age. However, as the months passed by, they started to notice a few differences as the delays became more apparent. “Since birth, he’s had delays and issues,” Meredith said according to Inside Edition.
The Problems Become Apparent
Some of the first issues Dalan and Meredith noticed were his breathing and sleeping issues. Since he struggled to breath when he slept, he never was able to get a good night sleep. As a result, he was always tired and that exhaustion led to behavioral problems.
Everything Is a Struggle
Mason also struggled to eat his food as he would frequently choke. “Sleeping was always stressful. He would stop breathing. He had trouble eating and swallowing; every single meal we would have to remove something that was choking him,” Meredith said.
Desperate to Communicate
“He didn’t get the nutrition he needed. His teeth started having problems,” Meredith added. Then, when Mason should have been starting to say his first words, he was silent. And as time passed, he desperately tried to communicate but couldn’t get any words out.
Meredith and Dalan were devastated while they watched their little boy struggle with something other children pick up so easily. “He could pronounce the beginning of the word but would utter the end of the word,” Meredith said.
“My husband and I were the only ones that could understand him,” Meredith said. “He wasn’t able to enunciate a word, so instead of saying, ‘Daddy,” or, ‘Dad,’ he would say, ‘da.,’” Dalan mentioned. Around the time Mason was a year old, the couple decided to leave the Army so that they could settle down in Katy, Texas.
They hoped that by staying in one place, Mason would be able to get consistent care for all of his issues. “He’s been in speech therapy since he was a little over 1 year old,” Meredith said. Sadly, the therapy didn’t seem to be much help.
Alternate Forms of Communication
Since Mason couldn’t speak, the family found other ways to help him communicate. “In Pre-K, their answer to it was to find alternative methods of communication between Mason and his teacher, Mason and other kids,” Dalan said. “We did the same at home.”
Searching For Answers
“We had boards all over the house with different objects on them so he could point to what he wanted or needed at the time,” Dalan added. During that time, the couple brought Mason into countless doctors and specialists. They hoped someone would be able to tell them why Mason couldn’t speak or if he ever would speak.
Never Giving Up
“Pediatricians could never give us answers,” Dalan said. Every doctor and specialist guessed that Mason was nonverbal because of Sotos syndrome as well as the brain aneurysm he had when he was an infant. Despite what the doctors told them, the couple never gave up hope that Mason would learn to speak one day.
A Trip to The Dentist
One day, Meredith and Dalan took Mason to the dentist to deal with some unrelated dental work that he needed. Because of his special needs, the couple brought him to the KidsTown Dental since they specialize in working with children with developmental disorders. “The initial appointment was awful,” Meredith said. “He was very scared and non-cooperative.”
However, Mason started to get more comfortable with Dr. Amy Luedemann-Lazar each time he went back for an appointment to deal with his cavities. During one appointment in early November 2017, Dr. Luedemann-Lazar noticed something concerning under Mason’s tongue. “We did detect a tongue-tie,” the dentist said.
A Physical Problem
“Mason was not nonverbal; he was just unable to speak. He had been in speech therapy for years and no one had ever checked under his tongue.” A tongue tie is a condition where a short, thick, or tight band of tissue holds the bottom of the tip of the tongue to the mouth floor. As a result, the tongue’s range of motion is restricted and can cause speech, eating, sleeping, and cavity problems. After notifying Mason’s parents and getting their approval, Luedemann-Lazar performed the simple, 10-second procedure.
An Immediate Transformation
The changes were almost immediate for Mason, who spoke for the first time in his life within hours of the procedure. “Within 12 hours, he was talking and it was amazing,” Meredith said. “I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. Can we watch a movie?” Mason said after the surgery. “We’re sitting here thinking, ‘Did he just say that?’” Meredith said. “It sounded like words.” That night, Mason also got the first night of restful sleep in his life.
Night and Day
“It’s like night and day. He doesn’t have choking episodes anymore; he’s eating different types of food. He’s behaving much better at school. His behavior was a problem because he was getting poor quality of sleep at night, he was constantly tired and was not able to express himself. He doesn’t snore anymore. He doesn’t have sleep apnea anymore,” Meredith said with a hint of relief. Mason is still in speech therapy and is now expected to catch up to his peers by the time he’s 13 years old.
A Message For Other Parents
“He’s always had so much to say, and now he’s finally able to form the words,” Meredith said. Now the family is sharing the incredible story to urge parents to trust their instincts when it comes to their child’s health. They also urge parents to get multiple opinions about a condition. “With the amount of pediatricians we went to, [this] should’ve been caught.”