Photo: Wouldn't Change A Thing via YouTube
World Down Syndrome Day is just around the corner--on March 21--and to celebrate, a group of mothers made a video to show the love and good times they share with their kids, who have trisomy 21.
Set to Christina Perri's hit song, "A Thousand Years," the video shows 50 mums from the UK sitting in their cars with their kids expressing their feelings for each other while signing and singing along. Take a look, but make sure you have some tissues handy.
The mums originally got in contact with each other through a Facebook group called Designer Genes, which serves as a support group for parents of kids with Down syndrome who were born in 2013 and 2014. According to the description on YouTube, the inspiration for the Carpool Karaoke-esque video came from a similar video made by Singing Hands, which is an organization in the UK that helps parents and children with oral communication challenges learn a special form of sign language called Makaton.
According to the Makaton website, it's a bit different from traditional sign language, which is used by the Deaf community. Instead, Makaton is more of a language program that's designed to help hearing people with communication needs support and develop their spoken language skills. The program uses signs based on British Sign Language, but it uses the grammatical word order of spoken English, so that it can support speech development.
Makaton is used in many countries around the world, but unfortunately there are currently no similar programs based on American Sign Language (ASL) for us here in North America. With any luck, the popularity of this video will inspire someone on this side of the Atlantic to take up the mantle and adapt the program for ASL.
We love the warmth that this video exudes and the complicity between these mothers and kids who #WouldntChangeAThing. Happy World Down Syndrome Day!