14-year-old son with epilepsy says his first word to his mom

National News

DAVENPORT (WHBF) — A 14-year-old boy from Davenport with a rare form of epilepsy says his first words during the pandemic.

Ryan’s mom, Tina McDermott, says her son was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome and doctors said he wouldn’t be able to walk or talk.

Tina says she worked with her son for 10 weeks to try and get him to say “Momma”

“I just started at it, I’m just like I’m going to teach him how to say momma first, of course, and it just started with the ‘m’ sound and then I just kept at it and kept at it,” Tina said

Ryan’s mom says she has plenty more words she wants her son to learn.

“I don’t really think that’s he ever going to speak in full sentences by any means and so I would just like mom, dad, I’m going to start on his siblings names and just see how far we can get and how that goes,” said Tina.

With hundreds of likes and comments on her Facebook post, Tina is remembering how important community is during this time.

“It just makes me super happy because it’s hard, it’s really super hard and to have the support like I do when something like this happens or when he’s sick in the hospital, it’s so much support and it gets you through,” said Tina.

Ryan is now working with a speech therapist to help him learn more words. His mom says just having him be able to communicate with her means the world to her.

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