Thanks to his doctor, young Mason Motz can now speak and sleep peacefully. Learn about how his sleep apnea was fixed!
Photo: LAD Bible
Mason Motz is a 6-year-old Texas youngster who now sings his favorite songs and talks to everyone who will listen to him. He is always asking his mom about her day and discussing the world with his brother. Every day, he leaves his family astounded, because, for over five years of his life, Mason Motz could not speak.
Mason suffers from Sotos syndrome, which is a genetic condition that is characterized by a distinctive facial appearance, overgrowth in childhood, and delayed development.
Mason has struggled most of his life because he could not speak and was growing too fast. His issues made his family sad and a little boy frustrated.
“He’s been in speech therapy since he was a little over one year old," Motz said. “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. He didn’t get the nutrition he needed. His teeth started having problems."
The family took Mason to many different dentists to see if they could find the problem with his teeth. Finally, Mason went to see Dr. Amy Luedemann-Lazar, who works at Kidstown Dental in Katy, Texas.
After sedating Mason, Luedemann-Lazar did a thorough examination to discover something that would completely change Mason's life.
“We did detect a tongue-tie,” Luedemann-Lazar said. “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."
Mason suffered from ankyloglossia, a condition that is usually present at birth. With ankyloglossia, there is thick tissue along the bottom of the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This restricts the tongue’s movement and causes issues with speaking and nighttime breathing. One of the side effects is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Dr. Luedemann-Lazar explained that when you are developing, "your tongue is part of the floor of your mouth." Being tongue-tied is an incomplete separation of the tongue from the bottom of your mouth. It is a condition that is wide-ranging and affects many more people than previously realized.
So, after a non-invasive Waterlase laser treatment, Luedemann-Lazar managed to separate Mason’s tongue from the bottom of his mouth. Mason spoke almost immediately. immediately. Mason’s mom said that within 12 hours, Mason was talking. Listening to Mason was thrilling for the whole family. Many of the physical troubles that Mason struggled with have disappeared or became much more manageable.
Motz said, “It’s like night and day. He doesn’t have choking episodes anymore; he’s eating different types of food.” She goes on, “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.”
Why this issue was not discovered is a question that Dr. Luedemann-Lazar and Mason’s parents can’t answer, but they are not concerned right now. Mason was nervous when he went to the dentist. Now his challenges of growth and development are being changed. He is going through rehabilitation for his tongue to function properly, and Dr. Luedemann-Lazar says it amazing.
Mason is bright – not mentally challenged. And, now he has a lot to say after not being able to communicate for many years. No longer is Mason a behavioral problem at school because of his poor quality of sleep. Now he is very interactive, funny, and very chatty.
Now that Mason isn’t suffering from sleep apnea anymore, he is full of energy and doesn’t snore. He still suffers from Sotos syndrome, but with speech therapy, his life is much better.
Luedemann-Lazar urges parents to trust what they're feeling when it comes to children’s well-being. She says that if you think something is wrong, find a doctor who will listen to your thoughts and opinions and be an advocate for your child. Find a doctor who will search for a resolution to the problem.
Sotos syndrome is an atypical genetic disorder that is typified by extreme physical growth. It starts when the child is an infant, and it can continue on to the child's early teens. Along with abnormal physical growth, there might be autism, mild intellectual disability, delayed cognitive and social development, as well as low muscle tone, speech impairment, and delayed motor skills.
Some signs of Sotos syndrome include a slightly prominent forehead, large feet and hands, and an abnormally increased distance between the eyes. Many of those with Sotos syndrome are clumsy, awkward and tend to be unusually aggressive or irritable.
Infants with this disorder tend to have jaundice and poor eating habits. Unfortunately, those with Sotos syndrome tend to have increased cancer risks.
These are the signs that a child may be suffering from a tongue tie issue:
- Breastfeeding: You may notice that your child has problems with breastfeeding. Many moms don’t realize until later; they think their supply of milk has stopped. In reality, it may because your baby has a problem latching on to the breastbecause of a tongue tie issue.
- Picky eaters: Small children often have a hard time with hard foods like fruits and vegetables. They tend to gag when eating. They become picky eaters. Watch your child and investigate further, you will find that your child is only eating soft foods. Just wanting to eat soft foods may be an indication that your child is tongue tied.
- Speech issues: When a child tries to talk, and they can’t seem to get the words out, or you don’t understand what they’re saying, it can be frustrating. You might think they have behavior problems. Not so; they can’t use their tongue to talk.
- Many cavities: Children who are eating healthy and still having major cavity problems may have a tongue tie problem.
- Sleep problems: As you sleep and relax your muscles also fall asleep. The tongue is eight pairs of muscles. When you fall asleep, and your tongue is stuck to the floor of your mouth, it will go down and back into your airway. Your tongue moving into the back of your throat creates an obstruction or partial obstruction which creates behavioral issues. You aren’t getting enough sleep, and you don’t get enough air. Your tired, sleepy, and out of energy.
- Facial structure: If baby teeth are close together, and your child doesn’t don’t seem to have distinct facial features – that’s a sign that something is wrong.
Since Mason’s surgery, he is a chatty little boy who lets everyone know how he feels and what he thinks. He is in speech therapy learning how to control his tongue, but he now loves who he is and confidence radiates from his face. Mason loves going to school, loves music and dance, talks and sings all the time.
Mason always had quite a bit to say, and now he can say what he wants. It’s a miracle and the Motzs thank Dr. Leubermann-Lazar all the time.