A video of a deaf six-year-old’s reaction to CBeebies Bedtime Story in Makaton sign language has gone viral.
Shared on Twitter by Tom’s mother Laura, the video shows Tom reacting to actor Rob Delaney’s story – the first Bedtime Story in the series to be told in Makaton, a form of sign language that involves signs, symbols and speech.
Tom, who has complex medical needs was clearly overjoyed to see a bedtime story told in ‘his language.’
Lauren tweeted: “ @robdelaney @CBeebiesHQ thank you so much for the AMAZING bedtime story! My son Tom was so excited as you can see. He has never been interested in bedtime stories before... thank you for using his language. Night night Rob, night night Henry.
The US actor and comedian – who read read and signed Ten in a Bed by Penny Dale last Friday - learned Makaton to communicate with his son Henry who had a tracheostomy while seriously ill with a cancerous brain tumour. Sadly Henry passed away earlier this year, aged two.
Delaney follows in the footsteps of the likes of actors Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy and Damian Lewis, astronaut Tim Peake and singers Sir Elton John and Dolly Parton in hosting the slot for children.
Speaking to the BBC, Laura said: “Tom loves books. He really loves books so the Bedtime Story is something we would watch, but he didn’t really get what was going on.” she said.
“For him it’s a person sitting with their lips moving and pictures of the book - so he couldn’t really follow it.
“As soon as it came on, Tom’s face changed. He instantly knew this was different because someone was talking his language.
“As soon as he saw that Rob was signing his whole face lit up. Enthralled is the word I keep thinking of.”
She added: “He couldn’t take his eyes off the TV. ...He was laughing and clapping and things, then he would stop and look at me and be like ‘Mum, are you seeing this?”
Laura’s husband filmed the reaction of their son, who stood up in his activity chair, which is designed for children with disabilities.
“He looked like he was going to dive off it at one point which was giving me a bit of a heart attack,” said Laura.
“He was so excited - it was a nightmare trying to get him to bed. I’ve never seen him like that.”