Makaton Signing Santa

A young girl had a "magical" surprise when a Father Christmas on board a train started to communicate with her using Makaton.

Betsy, 3, who has Down's syndrome and impaired hearing and vision, was on the Weardale Polar Express when he approached and struck up a conversation in Makaton.

Her mother, Kay Scott, from Halifax in West Yorkshire, posted the footage on Facebook and it gained about 50,000 views.

Kay said: "Immediately she was put at ease, because she understood - it just made her first experience of Santa magical."

Bob Thompson, Father Christmas on the train, from St John's Chapel in County Durham, learned sign language during his time as a social worker.

He said: "It gave Betsy an opportunity to ask Santa what she wanted for Christmas, it empowered her to talk on her own outside a school or home environment.

"She asked me for a teddy bear to put under her Christmas tree, because she had been a very good girl."

Source: BBC News website

9th December 2016

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