4-Year-Old With Nonverbal Autism Speaks After Listening to Hit Song 'Old Town Road'

Playing 'Old Town Road' Helps 4-Year-Old Boy With Nonverbal Autism Find His Voice

Lil Nas X’s hit single “Old Town Road” has changed the life of a 4-year-old boy with autism

Sheletta Brundidge, the host of the Two Haute Mamas podcast, said her son, Daniel, is nonverbal. So when she heard him suddenly start singing “Old Town Road,” she was shocked. 

“I heard him humming, I said, ‘Mhmm that’s new,’ and he was humming 'Old Town Road' and I was like, 'OK, did I do a line of cocaine last night and forget about it or is Daniel humming “Old Town Road?"’” Sheletta joked.

The mom said that before she could figure it out, the preschooler started singing the lyrics. 

“I couldn’t stop crying. Tears were coming down my face because you have to remember, I have been praying for this for three years,” Sheletta said. 

It was a breakthrough for Daniel and one the family has been working on for years. 

Sheletta and her husband, Shawn, have four children, three of whom are on the autism spectrum. While her other two children were steadily progressing, Daniel was hitting a roadblock in therapy. 

“We’re banging our head against the wall. We’re doing everything we can and nothing is working and so the therapist told us, ‘We’re going to try for six more months and after that, we’re going to have to refer you to someone else because Daniel is just not responding to what we’re doing,’” Sheletta explained. 

So recently, she said she prayed and asked God for his help, and she believes Daniel’s singing was the answer to her prayer.

Sheletta was in the kitchen doing chores last week when the special moment happened and she quickly grabbed a short video so she could share with family.

“To have something like this happen lets us know that he can learn, he can communicate,” Sheletta said. “He can observe what’s going on around him, absorb it and then recall it back to you.”

Now, Daniel’s therapists have implemented the song into his routine.

“Now they’ll use it as a reinforcement and they’ll say ‘OK, line the blocks up from smallest to largest if you want more "Old Town Road,"’” Sheletta said. “And then he’ll do what they’re asking him to do.”

Even Lil Nas X has taken notice of Daniel's huge stride. He retweeted the video of Daniel, saying, “What a king.” The star even called her this week as a result of the viral video.

"I am so happy that I was able to be apart of something that big," the star said during a phone conversation with Sheletta at her job at WCCO.

Nothing compares, though, to seeing her son progress. 

“This was just a miracle for us,” she added.

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