Toddler with Down syndrome struggles with words. But then mom finds out what daughter’s been doing

January 18, 2018 10:37 am Last Updated: January 18, 2018 10:37 am

Music plays a big role in a child’s upbringing. Children respond to music from birth—songs can be used to put kids to bed, impart new words and lessons, or just to encourage some fun singing and dancing.

But music can especially have an impact on the lives of special needs children. Music can be used as a form of therapy for those who have difficulties communicating. The Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy explains:

Music is an intrinsic part of all of us: pulse and rhythm are found in our heartbeat, our breathing and our movement; melody is created in our laughing, crying, screaming or singing; the whole range of our emotions can be held within the rhythms and harmonies of different musical styles and idioms.

These intimate connections with music can remain despite disability or illness, and are not dependent on a musical training or background.


And a heartwarming viral video demonstrates how powerful music can really be.

Amy Bowman Gray is a mother of five children—including two-year-old son, Bo, who has Down syndrome. Even for his age, his vocabulary is limited and learning new words is difficult.

“Bo is 25 months old and has a 12 word vocabulary,” Gray wrote.

(Facebook/Amanda Bowman Gray)

But recently, the busy mom took a quick break to take a shower, and left Bo in the hands of her daughter, Lydia. Watching a toddler, even for a few minutes, can be a handful for a lot of kids…

But luckily, Lydia happened to be a very skilled guitar player.

So waiting with Bo outside the bathroom, Lydia broke out the guitar and played one of her “go-to” songs—“You Are My Sunshine.”

And so, when mom came out from the shower, she found this:

(Amanda Bowman Gray/Screenshot)

Bo was happy as could be, singing along to his sister’s song.

“If she didn’t have a guitar I don’t know if she would know how to babysit him,” Gray wrote.

But amazingly, the mostly non-verbal toddler recognizes some of the words in the song and can sing them on cue. Lydia will stop in the middle of a line and let her brother take over:

“You make me happy, when skies are…”


(Amanda Bowman Gray/Screenshot)

Apparently, music has done wonders for Bo—where all else has failed, singing has been the best way to grow his vocabulary.

“Every word he has learned has been through music and singing,” Gray wrote.

“It’s proof that music therapy works.”

(Amanda Bowman Gray/Screenshot)

But in addition to showing how powerful music can be, it’s also a testament to the power of family and sibling love.

Lydia demonstrates that she’s incredibly considerate and patient with her brother throughout the song, keeping him involved and encouraging him to find the right words. It’s such a perfect family moment that even another sibling can’t resist joining in for the song.

(Amanda Bowman Gray/Screenshot)

After mom recorded the video and put it up on Facebook, it went viral with over 16 million views in just one day—and it’s hard not to see why. Hopefully it inspires people to the possibilities of music.

Watch the heartwarming video below:

My daughter Lydia was watching Bo while I was in the shower. Came out to this. If she didn’t have a guitar I don’t know if she would know how to babysit him. This is her go to. It’s proof that music therapy works. Bo is 25 months old and has a 12 word vocabulary. Every word he has learned has been through music and singing.

Posted by Amanda Bowman Gray on Monday, January 15, 2018