Like most teenage boys Cameron Edwards has plenty to say for himself – but unlike the vast majority of people his age, the 17-year-old finds it more difficult to actually say what he’s thinking.
Cameron, who lives in Linlathen, has Down’s syndrome and one of the biggest issues his condition causes him is an inability to make himself understood verbally.
Although he understands most things said to him, he finds it difficult to make himself understood by others.
Now, however, Cameron has found the perfect way to communicate and is fast becoming an expert in Makaton sign language.
Makaton uses speech with signs, gestures and symbols to help people interact, with hands used to communicate.
Cameron and his mum Lorraine have now taken part in a new music video alongside Michael Buble aimed at spreading a bit of Christmas cheer among people with Down’s syndrome.
The clip has also been used to help break the stigma around having the condition.
They featured alongside 25 other families in the short film that was first shown on ITV’s This Morning programme.
In the film they are shown using Makaton, designed for people with Down’s syndrome, while narrating the lyrics to Buble’s version of All I Want For Christmas Is You.
Lorraine, 37, said Cameron began learning Makaton when he started at Kingspark School.
He carried on for a couple of years but then, for a variety of reasons, stopped.
Now, however, Cameron has picked up Makaton once more and has seen it have a massive effect on his life.
Lorraine has also been learning the language, making it an even better way to communicate around the house.
Lorraine said: “Cameron learned a bit when he was younger, which has helped him to pick it up again now, although stopping wasn’t entirely bad because I believe it did help him develop his verbal speech.
“However, his speech is poor and we have been told that it won’t get any better.
“Therefore Makaton was recommended as the best form of communication for Cameron and I’m learning it too.
“Cameron used to get very frustrated before when he couldn’t make people understand what he wanted to say.
“Because I’m his mum I knew what he was saying but that didn’t really help him when he was out and about.
“Now, he can use his hands to say anything he wants to, and because I’m also learning it I can then verbalise to other people what Cameron is wanting to say to them.”
Lorraine believes if more people could learn Makaton it would be of huge benefit to people like Cameron.
She added: “It’s not that difficult to learn and is so helpful to people who have problems communicating through verbal language.
“It’s a godsend for Cameron.”