#MollysKids: Nate Tecson

This Charlotte boy was born in Miami and moved to North Carolina when he was 3 months old. He is non-verbal, has developmental delays, and lives with seizures.
Nate Tecson and family
Nate Tecson and family(Tecson Family)
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 9:47 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Nate Tecson has two great parents and two great siblings: His mom, Jo Anne, is a pediatric registered nurse. His dad, Mark, works in sales. His older brother, Jordan, is 16, His older sister, Ava, will soon be 10.

Nate is five. He’ll be six this May. This Charlotte boy was born in Miami and moved to North Carolina when he was 3 months old. He is non-verbal, has developmental delays, and lives with seizures.

Nate began going to Pre-K at the Metro School during COVID, but recently his parents pulled him out of Metro to place him in a school specifically to help with ABA therapy. He has been there about a month now.

ABA therapy stands for “applied behavior analysis.” It’s also called “behavioral engineering.” According to Wikipedia, it is a form of psychological intervention.

“We’ve seen improvements with his behavior,” said his mom, Jo Anne. “He continues to have the most infectious laugh and smile.”

Why all this special effort? Because Jo Anne says Nate was an Angelman Syndrome baby, born with laryngomalacia, milk protein allergies, and feeding issues.

Google defines Angelman syndrome as a genetic disorder that causes “delayed development, problems with speech and balance, intellectual disability, and, sometimes, seizures. People with Angelman syndrome often smile and laugh frequently, and have happy, excitable personalities.”

Jo Anne said reading that description sealed the deal for her. She and Mark hadn’t been sure what was going on, but they felt sure there was something different.

“I noticed developmental and gross motor delays in his infancy,” she said. “But I was reassured by the pediatrician. By his 1-year-old visit he was still not walking, saying words, or meeting other milestones. I pushed for further investigation. That is where our journey to his diagnosis began. He began having at-home therapies and was referred to genetics, neurology, and other specialists. I had never heard of Angelman syndrome before and one day stumbled upon it on a Facebook group. All symptoms—the happy demeanor, and seeing all the smiling faces of AS kids—solidified in my heart, Nate was in this group.”

Jo Anne said she discussed her suspicions at their next neurology visit. Specific labs were then drawn.

“On July 31, 2019, I got the call that confirmed his diagnosis,” she said. “It was a devastating, but also a sigh of relief. We could finally connect puzzle pieces. Since then, we’ve been blessed to get in touch with other AS families. Last year, we were fortunate enough to attend our very first in-person Angelman syndrome walk headed by Taylor Geathers, a fellow AS mom living in Charlotte [her daughter is Marlee, another one of our #MollysKids].”

More information on the walks can be found here. The next one is set for May 20.

Jo Anne said they plan to attend annually.

“It was a wonderful experience to see other kids of all ages, and talk with other families about our AS struggles, defeats, and accomplishments,” Jo Anne said. “Networking is key. Finding others who understand, matters.”

Pretty awesome of Taylor to create an event to help others feel connected. Not only helping her daughter Marlee, but others like her, like Nate.

Welcome to #MollysKids, Nate. Thank you Jo Anne and Mark for sharing him with us all.