Vid To Celebrate World Down's Syndrome Day Goes Viral

19 March 2018, 06:08

singing to A Thousand Years

A Carpool Karaoke-style video - featuring mums singing along with their children who have Down’s Syndrome - has gone viral. The vid shows them singing along to the song ‘A Thousand Years’ using Makaton – a form of sign language.

A mum of a 4-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, 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 (and behind a password) it already had 1,500 views and the group knew they had a potential hit for the upcoming World Down’s Syndrome Day - an annual worldwide campaign on the 21st 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, Hove, mother to Aiden aged 4  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 share share to help us make it a success!"


The video, called 50 Mums | 50 Kids | 1 Extra Chromosome, goes live to the public on Friday 16th March in advance of this year's World Down Syndrome Day 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