The mum of Dundee twins who have become worldwide internet stars says she is delighted they have been able to give a positive portrayal of life with Down’s Syndrome.
As we reported on Friday, Elaine Scougal’s four-year-old boys Ollie and Cameron are among the 50 children who feature in a new carpool karaoke-style video released ahead of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21.
In the video, entitled 50 Mums, 50 Kids, 1 Extra Chromosome, mums and their children use Makaton, a simplified form of British Sign Language, to join in with the song A Thousand Years, by Christina Perri.
Despite only being released at midnight on Thursday it has been seen over one million times and already succeeded in its aim of celebrating the lives and characters of children with Down’s Syndrome.
Elaine, 33, said: “There’s been a great reaction so far, which has been fantastic.”
Elaine and husband Al, 30, have helped to challenge “outdated stereotypes” about Down’s Syndrome since becoming parents to Ollie and Cameron in 2013.
Elaine said: “We quickly realised there were still some ignorant perceptions about Down’s Syndrome.
“A lot of people felt sorry for us. People had stereotypes about the boys — ‘Oh well, at least they’ll be happy and musical’ and that type of thing. They were very outdated stereotypes.”
The Scougals, who live in Kirkton, started a Facebook blog when the boys were only two weeks old, and have built up a huge following of people who love to watch the videos of family fun with the twins.
Listen: Elaine on how the video came about
They soon became part of a worldwide community of parents of children with Down’s and it is from there that the idea for the new video was born.
Elaine added: “There’s so many stereotypes and prejudices and just negative views still in society about Down’s Syndrome and there’s a 90% termination rate in the UK with pre-natal diagnoses.
“A lot of those decisions are perhaps influenced by these outdated perceptions that our lives are negative or that we’re not happy — whereas actually we wouldn’t change a thing about our kids.
“Ollie and Cameron are more alike than different to their peers and so it’s about spreading that word that conditions don’t define people.
“None of the children in the video are defined by having Down’s. They’re all children first and foremost and so that’s what the video gets across.
“All you’re seeing is kids and their parents having a nice time together.”
Becky Carless is mother to Archie, 4, and helped to co-ordinate the video.
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 share share to help us make it a success!”
The heartwarming video has sparked an outpouring of emotion and praise from viewers.
Carol Doey said: “Such an emotional video. Special well done to Ollie and Cameron and mum. You should be so proud of yourselves.”
Harv Friesen added: “This just made my day. Thank you so much. Trying to type through the tears.
“You are all so amazing! What a gift from God. Way to go Mums.”