Special video message from children with Down syndrome highlights dangers of Covid-19 to vulnerable people

Special video message from children with Down syndrome highlights dangers of Covid-19 to vulnerable people
A video creating awareness of the dangers of Covid-19 to people with Down syndrome as restrictions begin to ease has been launched.

A video creating awareness about the dangers of Covid-19 to people with Down syndrome as restrictions begin to ease has been launched by a group of talented Corkonians.

Eva McMullan who runs a company called Music4Children which holds introductory music courses specifically for children, also works with Down Syndrome Cork and came up with the idea to create awareness about vulnerable people and Covid-19 as the country begins to reopen.

Dr McMullan said that both children and adults with Down syndrome who have underlying health conditions are a very vulnerable group to the virus “especially as restrictions are being lifted and people are becoming more complacent”.

She told The Echo that she wanted to deliver a strong message and decided that having the children deliver their messages themselves would be “the most powerful way” to do so.

Local film director and assistant director of The Young Offenders, Conor Slattery, was approached and loved the idea to make a music video and singer Brian Kennedy welcomed them to use any of his songs for the video which Dr McMullan said was “incredibly generous”.

The children sent videos from home and Mr Slattery “worked his magic” to produce the heartwarming video.

Dr McMullan said that the video, while doing its job of raising awareness of the pandemic, “speaks on so many different levels”.

She said that the use of the song Best Friend resonates with so many, as lockdown made us all reassess what a best friend means and who are best friends are.

“Automatically we think that a best friend is someone you go to school with but actually it has made us reassess that a best friend can be a brother or sister and often is.” 

The video also promotes the use of Lámh signs, a form of communication that people with autism and Down syndrome use, which Pauline Frizelle of University College Cork’s (UCC) Speech and Hearing department demonstrates in the video.

“Children with Down syndrome are so wonderful and sometimes you see the disability before you see the child and they ooze ability and my own research project is about exploring their ability and their engagement with music.

“And this is such a good news story because the arts have been so badly affected by Covid and the generosity of people is amazing, no funding went into this, this is all people giving up their time,” Dr McMullen said.

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