Seven-year-old Logan Burtch sang before he talked. While that is a typical background for many country artists, Burtch’s story is quite different.
Logan, from Ottawa, Canada, is autistic. At a young age, Logan failed early developmental tests and wasn’t progressing in speech. The speech difficulties prevented Logan from speaking to anybody.
The Burtch family often played music at home, and Logan showed interest in music as a toddler. “Anytime music was playing he always was clapping or tapping right on beat,” said Logan’s mother, Cait.
One day when Logan was playing his guitar to a Brooks DVD, a miracle happened. “Out of nowhere Logan began to sing,” said Cait. “He sang word for word! We grabbed a phone and started recording him with tears streaming down our faces.” From then, Logan’s parents and therapist relied on Brooks’ music to teach and elicit communication from the child. “If Garth was playing he felt free to speak through song.”
When Brooks announced his Ottawa shows, the Burtch family dreamed Logan could meet the man who unknowingly changed his life. The “PrizeFighter” contest, which offers the opportunity to meet Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood, was the catalyst for the meeting between child and hero. On April 1, the Burtch family received exciting news that Logan would meet Garth.
At the show, Logan was escorted to a backstage area. When Brooks walked in, Logan’s eyes filled with tears. “Garth then jumped on the couch and sat with Logan,” Cait said. “They began chatting like buddies would. He was just amazing with Logan.”
Brooks, Yearwood, and their band gave Logan the experience of a lifetime, paying attention to the boy throughout the show. During his encore, Brooks spoke to Logan and dedicated two songs to him — the very two that gave a toddler his voice.