Max Bird is a big fan of Luke Bryan and for years, he’s been trying to say the “k” in the country icon’s name.
Bird is a devoted fan of the country star. The 13-year-old was born with Down Syndrome and battles a speech impairment called Apraxia. He pronounces his idol’s name as “Lute.”
With speech pathologists, Bird has been working throughout summer hoping to say “Luke” in time for Bryans’ concert on September 30 I Boone. He kept on inching closer to saying that first “k” as it needs to be pronounced as “ax” in his first name.
Bird practiced all May, June, and July. Finally, Last month, the “k” clicked.
“Oh my God, I was so happy,” said Sarah Sitzmann, a speech pathologist with Enrichment Therapies who worked with Bird for more than a year. “I was so proud because I knew he had finally gotten it. I knew it was going to make such an impact on his daily life.”
The journey to saying “Luke” was one worth documenting according to Sitzmann. She captured footage of Bird’s struggle and also his success during their speech sessions, creating a time line of progress. She uploaded the video to her personal Facebook account. The footage got more than 40,000 views and also been shared nearly 1,000 as of yesterday morning.
Luke Bryan will bring him acclaimed Farm Tour to the Zeil Farm in rural Boone later this month as announced last May. When Bryan announced the show, Bird and Sitzmann began working full-time on “k,” an essential sound to Bird’s progress.
“I almost started crying,” Sitzmann said. “I think I did cry after the video stopped. For him to finally get it … now he can say ‘OK.’”
The attention from the internet comes with the support for Bird’s mother, Jaimi Bir, of Waukee, who works as a speech pathologist for Enrichment. She explained that Luke Bryan has been a staple in Max’s life since elementary school. Evert speech session ends up with Max singing a song of Luke Bryan, a reward for Max Bird coined “Luke Bryan Time.”
Max and his family traveled to Cedar Falls to see Luke Bryan at the UNI-Dome last year, and they are planning to see him again in Boone at the end of the month.
“I don’t know what the connection is … it was Max’s idea,” Jaimi Bird said. “I think we all work really hard for things that motivate us. Max has found that in his love of music.”
The heartwarming video brought a multitude of encouraging and heartfelt comments online, Sitzmann and Jaime hope it reaches Bryan’s eyes and, on September 30, Max can say “Luke” to the man who inspired him to do so.
“I bet Max would just talk and talk and talk to Luke and be so proud to show him how he can say ‘Luke,’” Sitzmann said.
We also feel the same for Max. We really hope to see him with Luke Bryan on his concert this upcoming September 30. Do you also feel the same? Let us know in the comments section below.
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