Molly's Kids: Mom says misdiagnosis of 5-year-old caused added s - | WBTV Charlotte

Molly's Kids: Mom says misdiagnosis of 5-year-old caused added speech delay

(Photo courtesy family) (Photo courtesy family)

Lucas Coates is in Rock Hill. He's now 5 years old, but was diagnosed with apraxia of speech at the age of 3.

Problem was, it was the wrong diagnosis.

Mom Loretta says they threw tons of therapy and money towards the issue because they didn't know it was wrong. Finally, two years later, a new audiologist ran different tests and found the real problem -- Lucas’s right ear has moderate hearing loss and his left one has complete auditory neuropathy.

Needless to say, Loretta was frustrated.

She says auditory neuropathy means Lucas's ears are like a radio station losing signal. The same sentence can be said over and over but it’ll cut out at different times and be virtually impossible for him to learn.

A new plan was immediately put in place and a pediatric ENT put a hearing aid in Lucas’s left ear.

This video is one of the first times Loretta knew Lucas heard, processed and understood what was being said to him. Loretta caught it all on tape.

“I treasure this video,” Loretta said. “I’ve watched it sooooooo many times. I get extremely emotional seeing him smile. It proves there’s hope!”

Ultimately, the hearing aid most likely WON’T solve all of Lucas’s problems. Loretta says he’s now at the point where he knows about 80 words and can do 2-or-3-word sentences, but there are still many times a day his parents can’t understand what he’s trying to say. He’ll most likely have to have surgery to get a cochlear implant.

“The doctor wants to try the hearing aid for six months,” Loretta said. “Then he’ll run all the tests again and see where we stand. We are worried because the surgery is involved, but we also feel good about now being on the right track. Everything moving forward depends on insurance, but we have a goal and are in a waiting period.”

Loretta says she has yet to have an actual back-and-forth conversation with her son… but is depending on her faith and excited to see what the future holds.

Which goes back to why this video is so treasured.

Loretta says it's about baby steps you can see – and hear.


**Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.**

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