Irish families recreate Ellie Goulding song to send a positive message about Down Syndrome
A close-knit group of Irish parents and their children have produced a video to build awareness around World Down Syndrome Day, which takes place later this month.
Triona Cussen, who produced the lip sync video, which centres around Ellie Goulding’s song ‘How Long Will I Love You’, said she hopes the project will be a positive influence that changes perceptions of children with special needs.
The video features some children and parents from toddler groups she runs in Louth and Dublin.
"We want to show the world how valued and cherished our kids are by their families, and the words of the song echo that.”
“I see all of these kids on a weekly basis and what they’re capable of, and I’m also a support mum for new parents who’ve just gotten a diagnosis for their child, and they’re in a real place of fear and anxiety of what the future holds. I always want to say to them I wish you could see what I do everyday, the families that are happy and thriving and coping, and the siblings that are happy with their brother or sister who is a child with Down Syndrome.”
In the video, the adults and children are communicating through Lámh, a sign language used by children and adults with intellectual disability and communication needs in Ireland.
Triona adds: “I always connected with that song by Ellie Goulding and I was so thrilled when she gave us permission, and then we knew we had something really magical.”
Gillian Murtagh brings her 19-month-old son Leo to Triona’s developmental programme at the Down Syndrome Centre in Cabinteely, Dublin every Monday.
"He's opened another world... It's a new world but it's a better world that brings a greater capacity to love, and you don't sweat the small stuff. He's the happiest little child, we all idolise him, he's a little buster, he's great."
Support groups and toddler groups are a lifeline for parents who are learning about the diagnosis, Gillian says.
"Leo was a post-natal diagnosis, it was a big surprise when he was born, nothing had been picked up antenatally.”
“There’s an influx of information given to you and you’re trying to mine through that, never mind look after the health issues."
"[The class is] nearly like (pre)pre-schcool, to give the kiddies any extra advantage to prepare them even for going into a Montessori environment; it introduces them to circle time so that they get used to sitting. And everything is through Lámh and it's for an hour and a half.”
World Down Syndrome Day takes place on Thursday, March 21.