Carpool karaoke video goes viral for WDSD

We urge all of our supporters to take five minutes out of their day to watch an amazing video that has been specially created to mark World Down Syndrome Day 2018.

It all started amongst a group of proud parents, who have been told across the media this last year, that children like theirs would be better off ‘screened out’.

A mum of a four-year-old who has Down’s Syndrome saw a Singing Hands carpool karaoke video signed with Makaton – a simplified form of British Sign Language – and thought how amazing it would be to replicate the idea with other mums and their young children who also have an extra chromosome.

The song in question is the multiplatinum soundtrack to the Twilight films ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri. The mums are all part of a Facebook group known as “Designer Genes” created for parents who have a child with Down’s Syndrome born in 2013/14.

The Singing Hands videos have helped many in the group learn Makaton for supporting their children’s communication development. Makaton is designed to help hearing people with learning or communication difficulties using signs and symbols alongside speech.

Thoughts became a reality, and before long, over 50 mums had filmed themselves in their cars and uploaded the results. When a dad in the group pulled all those clips together, the result was astonishing – a guaranteed positive tear-jerker that visualised every conceivable message about disability, diversity and inclusion without having to say a word.

Within 24-hours of the first draft being posted in secret, it already had 1,500 views and the group knew they had a potential hit for the upcoming World Down’s Syndrome Day 2018; an annual worldwide campaign on Wednesday 21 March, sharing positive messages and dispelling myths about the condition.

In an attempt to avoid copyright issues, the group contacted the original artist, Christina Perri, via her husband on Twitter – Paul Costabile. Within an hour, the LA-based couple were declaring their heartfelt support for the idea, committing their multi-million social media following and waiving any copyright claim to the music in support of the campaign.

In a bizarre twist of fate and serendipity, the artist’s husband, Paul Costabile, went on to declare that he is a life-long advocate of children with special needs, in particular Down’s Syndrome, and had in fact produced the iconic film “More Alike Than Different” with his sister for the exact same event – World Down Syndrome Day in 2015. He also indicated that he is involved in an event in New York this year for kids with Down‘s Syndrome to coincide with World Down Syndrome Day 2018.

Stef Fallows from Hove is mother to four-year-old Aiden, and both star in the video (30 seconds in). We have had the pleasure of meeting Stef and Aiden a number of times through our fundraising for the Trevor Mann Baby Unit and Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, where Aiden is an outpatient. She said: “We believe this video really does have the potential to be the most viewed across the world on World Down Syndrome Day this year, so we urge everyone to share and help us make it a success!”

The video, called 50 Mums | 50 Kids | 1 Extra Chromosome, is live online and seeks to popularise the social media hashtag #wouldntchangeathing because that’s exactly what 97% of people with Down’s Syndrome and their families report.

You can watch this incredible video, by clicking on the image below…

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