The 6-year-old Motz was largely non-verbal for his entire life, which doctors said was partially due to a brain aneurysm he had at ten days old. They also believed it was because he has Sotos Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects facial structure and causes learning disabilities.
Motz was working with specialists to improve his speech, but hadn’t made much progress.
“Nothing was really working,” his mom Meredith tells Inside Edition. “He had probably a five-word vocabulary, and we were looking at alternative means of communication.”
She told the New York Times that Mason could say the first part of a word, but the rest was unintelligible.
“My husband and I were the only ones that could understand him,” Meredith said.
Then, during an April 2017 dentist appointment, Dr. Amy Luedemann-Lazar noticed that Mason’s tongue was attached to the base of his mouth, called a tongue tie.
“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,” Luedemann-Lazar explained to Inside Edition.
After seeing this in Mason’s mouth, she ran out to Meredith and her husband Dalan in the waiting room, and asked if she could use a laser to do the 10-second procedure that would correct his tongue tie. After a quick Google search, they agreed.
“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 said. “It was just shocking.”
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Mason is still working with a speech pathologist, and went from speaking at the level of a 1-year-old to that of a 4-year-old in the months since the procedure. They expect him to be back on track with other kids his age by the time he turns 13. He also is finally able to eat without choking.
Meredith said that the experience taught her to fight for your child if you think something is wrong.
“[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,” she said. “You know your child best.”