'Nonverbal' 8-Year-Old with Down Syndrome Befriends Homeless Man Through Music

The ability to communicate verbally is something that many people take for granted. In fact, it may be difficult to imagine how challenging life would be without the ability to articulate your thoughts and feelings, to ask for things that you need, to show affection to loved ones and to enjoy the many other benefits of speech.

Sometimes, it takes a special moment to remind us of how meaningful speech can be.

Neveah is an 8-year-old girl from South Carolina who was born with Down syndrome, and one of her most severe effects of the syndrome is that she is essentially unable to speak.

This is why her random verbal interaction with a homeless man through song stunned her mother and the rest of the world.


Her mother, Kimberly Phillips, recently took Neveah to a nearby church for volunteer work. Their task was to help feed those in need. Without verbal communication, Neveah surprisingly was able to befriend a homeless man who entered the church searching for a meal.

After a period of time, this man wrapped his arms around Neveah and begin to sing a soulful gospel song to her. The song was “I Understand” by Smokie Norful. The lyrics talk about how he feels like giving up and is never good enough.

This special moment has touching enough that someone pulled out a smartphone to capture it on video, but the magic of the moment did not end there.

During the man’s private performance to the girl, Neveah miraculously joined him in singing a few words from time to time. This unbelievable video was posted online and shared with the world. Understandably, it went viral, and more than a million people have now viewed it.

Neveah’s mother was so touched by the impact that the heartfelt interaction between these two strangers had on the world that she located the homeless man.

When she told the man about the video and the response it generated, he smiled and proudly congratulated Neveah on what they had accomplished together.

This special video is a touching tribute to humanity and kindness. Do you have any similar experiences that our readers may want to hear about? Leave the details in the space below for our readers to enjoy.