PSYCHOLOGY

Heart-Melting: Toddler With Down Syndrome Says His 1st Word After His Sister Sang Him A Song

Date August 23, 2018 10:03

Kids with Down syndrome aren’t different – they are just special. They are as special as every other person, and it’s their individuality people should cherish. Yes, sometimes, it’s difficult, but it’s all worth it.

Early communication for kids with Down syndrome

It’s not all the same for kids with Down syndrome. Some children with the condition say their first word at 13 months, others not until 36 months, according to downs-syndrome.org.uk. The development of their speech depends on a number of factors, such as muscle control, vision, hearing, and just ability to learn, among others.

Too touching episode

For this toddler, his first word was even more special, as it happened under very touching circumstances. His mother was just thrilled to hear the word she’s been waiting for so long.

Her 25-months-old son, Bo, has lived through a lot: He's had lots of surgeries and when in the hospital, his mother, Amanda Bowman Gray, would sing him the song “You are my sunshine.” Since then, it became special for the family.

And it’s this song that made him say his 1st word – “happy.” Bo’s sister has been singing it to him regularly for quite a while when she heard the word. It’s hard to describe her amazement, but it’s another proof music therapy does work.

Here’s how the mother described the story to PEOPLE:

My daughter was very repetitive with ‘You Are My Sunshine’ for like three months. She worked with him, and one day, they were on the kitchen on the floor with him, just doing their little music therapy, and she screamed that he said his first word, ‘happy’.

Music therapy for kids with Down syndrome

Lots of studies, including the one by The Music Therapy Center of California, prove music therapy can be an effective modality for children with Down Syndrome to develop speech. There are specific songs to target oral motor skills, exercise face and tongue muscles. What’s more, such a therapy might help with sounds and speech.

So, no matter what others say, kids with Down syndrome are talented, but their talents need a special approach. Only care, everyday practice, and love will help parents and teachers uncover the treasures hidden in their children.

Art Down Syndrome