A beautiful video shows how a mother uses music to tell her daughter who can't speak that she loves her.
Jessica Greaves was born with cerebral palsy and has never spoken a word.
In the first first five months of her life, her parents Natalie and Matt didn’t know if they would ever be able to communicate with her.
But things changed when they played her a lullaby and she gave a beaming smile.
Since then, the family have spoken through the power of music, Birmingham Live reports.
Natalie and Matt have played all kinds of music with Jessica, including musical instruments.
Her sister Bethany, 19, has Downs Syndrome and loves to sing to her.
Over time, they've seen Jessica’s tastes change as she has grown up – today, 17, she loves listening to Ed Sheeran .
The family has recently started working with Soundabout, a charity that empowers children and young people with special needs to communicate through music.
The charity worked with Jessica to create a lullaby that says 'I love you' using sounds.
"I know about the positives of music for young people, we know how much Jessica gets from it," said Natalie, who is also mum to Megan, 21.
"Music is her love, it takes her out of being so trapped. It enables her to communicate and engage."
Natalie, a paramedic from Stourbridge, added: “Jessica had to be resuscitated at birth and suffered severe brain damage.
“She cannot talk or walk or use her hands and she has to be fed through a tube.
“Everyone was so unsure of her prognosis but when we played her a lullaby on one of her mobile toys we realised there was a way we could communicate with her.
“It was something we knew she enjoyed.”
Soundabout invited renowned composers Dame Evelyn Glennie, John Rutter, Will Todd and Debbie Wiseman OBE to work with Jessica to come up with a lullaby that said 'I love you' using sound alone.
“When I saw the video footage of Jessica vocalising and running her fingers along the guitar, I cried and cried," said Natalie.
“They used her vocalising sounds to put the lullaby together.
“She loves to listen to it, we tell her it’s Jessica’s song and she’s become very attached to it.
“She knows her name and she smiles when we say that.”
“We can’t communicate with Jessica in any other way," said Natalie.
"I know, as her mum, when she’s happy or sad, but it’s lovely for her to be able to express when she likes something.
“She smiles and makes happy sounds when we put something on that she likes, it’s like she’s trying to sing, it’s really quite incredible.
“If we don’t put music on, say if we’re talking in the car, she’ll shout and shout until we do. We drove to France last summer and I think we know Now 90 off by heart now.
“Bethany loves to sing and dance and she knows she’ll get some much out of Jessica when she does. She says she knows how to make her sister happy."
Music also helps Jessica to understand her daily routine.
“It’s had a massive impact on her routine. She likes to listen to Chris Evans on the radio and she associates this with waking up and knows it’s time for us to get her washed and dressed and ready for school.
“When she comes home she loves to watch Disney films because they have lots of music in them, and she like Mary Poppins too, that’s her favourite at the moment.
“Then we play lullabies at bedtime and she knows that’s time to go to sleep.
“Music helps to relax her.”
The family also have bells, a harmonica and a piano for Jessica to play with their help.
Jessica's Lullaby forms part of Soundabout’s #ShareTheLove campaign, raising awareness of the vital role that music plays in the lives of people with complex learning disabilities and autism.
Revellers going to see Classic Ibiza at Ragley Hall this summer are helping to raise funds for Soundabout.
Clare Cook, CEO of Soundabout said: “Soundabout works to unlock the potential of children, young people and adults with severe and profound learning disabilities through music, and empowers families, carers and teachers to do the same.
"We believe that every child should have access to meaningful music provision, both for its own sake and to support their wider development.
"Our recent report “Sounds of Intent in the Early Years” revealed the significant impact that music has in “closing the developmental gap” especially for children with complex needs.
"Global’s Make Some Noise is raising funds to support our “Building Bridges” project which focuses on music making during times of particular challenge for children with complex needs and their families – the moment shortly after birth when diagnosis hits, and the transition out of school when these young people reach 19.”
To download Jessica’s lullaby or find out more, click here
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