Families and disabled children's organisations come together to share Makaton version of children's classic
Two boys from Hemel Hempstead starred in a video of Judith Kerr's children's classic, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, in Makaton, making it more accessible to children with additional needs.
To celebrate World Book Day (Thursday, March 5), Family Fund, Wouldn't Change A Thing, Singing Hands and The Makaton charity, have produced the video with the help of supporters and families raising children who use Makaton to communicate.
Brothers five-year-old Mason and two-year-old Jackson, from Hemel Hempstead, starred in the video, which included a guest appearance from CBeebies’ Justin Fletcher, Mr Tumble.
Emma Vaughan, Mason and Jackson's mum, said: "My sons were in the video, Jackson has Down's syndrome and we wanted the boys to be part of the video to help raise awareness.
"We found out Jackson had Down's syndrome at 14 weeks pregnant and continually faced questions from health professions as to why we were keeping him so anything we can do now to raise awareness and help prevent any families being in that position in the future is great.
"Awareness is so important, we wouldn’t change Jackson for the world!
"The work WCAT do is amazing and Makaton has been so important for us as a family.
"He has some spoken words but has a huge range of signs he uses and it has allowed us to bridge that communication gap we would have faced and a lot of frustration I am sure.
"The charity also helps us talk to other families in similar situations, which is really helpful."
Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.
Following last year’s successful translation of Julia Donaldson’s, ‘The Snail and the Whale’ for World Book Day, the organisations wanted to continue highlighting the importance of making children’s storytelling inclusive on a day that is important in many families’ calendars.
Cheryl Ward, chief executive at Family Fund. said: "World Book Day provides us with an opportunity to celebrate something that all children love - stories.
"Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills needed in life. So, when a story is told to a child in a language they understand it can open up a window to a new world.”