‘Nonverbal’ Boy Speaks After Dentist Finds And Corrects His Tongue-Tie
Mason Motz struggled with speech, and his parents helped him as best they knew with speech therapy, attention, and love. They were under the impression that Mason’s speech difficulties were due to his diagnosis of Sotos syndrome. Sotos syndrome has symptoms including a distinct facial appearance, delayed mental and motor skills, and overgrowth during childhood. But Tech Times reports that the Motz family was surprised after a recent visit to the dentist.
In November, 2017, his parents brought Mason to Dr. Amy Luedemann-Lazar. She is a dentist who specializes in working with children who have special needs. Mason was brought in simply to have some cavities treated. However, Dr. Luedemann-Lazar noticed something that other medical professionals had failed to realize. When Mason opened his mouth and she peered inside, she saw quite easily that he was tongue-tied.
Tongue-tied is a common expression used to mean stumbling over ones words. However, it’s also a real medical condition that occurs when the tongue is attached close to the floor of the mouth. This limits the range of motion, making it difficult to form words and speech.
Dr. Luedemann-Lazar used a laser to loosen the tissue that held Mason’s tongue to the floor of his mouth. Just minutes later, Mason’s condition was improved.
“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,” said Luedemann-Lazar.
The boy who everyone assumed was unlikely to ever say more than a few words was able to say “Mama, I’m hungry” that very first night. He was able to say “Dad.” Previously, he’d struggled even to form simple sounds like ma and da. It must have been incredibly frustrating for Mason to know what he wanted to say and not be able to express it.
Mason’s parents say that he has continued talking, and is now able to say 100 words, and he can recite the alphabet and discuss his day with them. It’s a massive improvement from such an incredibly simple procedure. The medical term for tongue-tie is Ankyloglossia, and it is present at birth. Most instances of the condition can be treated and corrected with a simple surgical procedure such as the one Dr. Luedemann-Lazar performed on Mason. Others who have the condition may never really experience any difficulties at all. Some will have difficulty chewing and swallowing in addition to speaking.