Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ chart-topping song “Old Town Road” has become a global sensation since its April release. Among those obsessed with the tune, there’s 4-year-old Daniel, a non-verbal autistic boy whom his mom says experienced a “miracle” when he started to sing along to the hit song.
Sheletta Brundidge, the host of the podcast “Two Haute Mamas,” lives in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, alongside her husband Shawn and their four children, three of whom are diagnosed with autism.
Although Brandon, 6, and Cameron, 5, have made significant progress thanks to their therapy at the Lovaas Institute, her youngest son, Daniel, hasn’t been responding well to treatment.
“Nothing we've tried has given us the results that we saw with the other children. ... We were beating our head up against the wall,” Brundidge told the Tennessean.
However, Daniel made an incredible breakthrough last week, and it’s all thanks to music.
After Daniel got home from school on Monday, he started doing one of his favorites activities: buttoning and unbuttoning his mom’s housecoat. But as he focused on the task, the little boy started to hum “Old Town Road” and eventually started to sing the words to it, to his mother’s surprise.
Sheletta managed to record a short clip of the moment and then called her husband to witness the miracle of seeing their son—who is mostly non-verbal—string more than a few words for a song no one ever taught him to sing.
"It's such a breakthrough. It took us six months for us to teach him the letter A. Without any teaching, he was able to listen to it, absorb it, memorize it, and then recall it,” Brundidge gushed.
The proud mom shared the short clip on Twitter, adding in her caption:
“We had an #oldtownroad miracle at my house. My son Daniel has #autism and doesn’t talk. We caught him humming the @LilNasX and @billyraycyrus tune the other day. Then Bless God, my baby started singing the song on his own. His therapists have started to use it in his sessions!”
The clip went viral and caught the attention of Lil Nas X himself, who retweeted the clip and added: “what a king.” Billy Ray Cyrus also acknowledged the video on Twitter by giving it a retweet.
“Old Town Road” was already a family favorite, and now the song is always playing in their household from dawn to bed-time.
Sheletta asked her son’s therapist to include the song into the boy’s routine, as they now have found a way to encourage Daniel’s development through music.
“That lets us know he can learn at school, he can be taught in a certain way,” Brundidge told the Star Tribune. “We’ve just got to know what language he’s speaking.”
“Old Town Road” has been sitting at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks straight. It is the first hit song of Lil Nas X, who is now gearing up for the release of his first ever studio album.
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