Mother of twins with down syndrome wants to tackle stereotypes after ‘pitying reaction’ to diagnosis

Identical twins with Down’s syndrome have starred in a heartwarming film that follows the pair doing work experience to help them figure out what they want to be when they grow up. 

Elaine Scougal, from Dundee, made a social media page for her twins Ollie and Cameron, six, when they were newborns, after constantly receiving ‘pitying reactions’ to her children’s diagnosis.

Now, the pair boast over 200,000 followers on Facebook, and Elaine is using their popularity to tackle outdated preconceptions that those with Down’s syndrome don’t have the ‘competence or ability’ to work.

The brothers are starring in a film for the Down’s Syndrome Association’s WorkFit programme, which shows them helping out on the checkout at the supermarket, in the hairdressers and at a fire station. 

Twins Ollie and Cameron (pictured), six, who have Down’s syndrome are internet sensations, boasting  over 200,000 followers on Facebook

Elaine Scougal (pictured), from Dundee, made a social media page for her twins after constantly receiving 'pitying reactions' to her children's diagnosis

Elaine Scougal (pictured), from Dundee, made a social media page for her twins after constantly receiving ‘pitying reactions’ to her children’s diagnosis

The brothers have starred in a film for the Down’s Syndrome Association for their employment programme WorkFit. They are pictured making the video

The brothers have starred in a film for the Down’s Syndrome Association for their employment programme WorkFit. They are pictured making the video 

The twins’ mother Elaine said: ‘After a few weeks of hearing some stereotyped views and pitying reactions to Cam and Ollie’s diagnosis after birth, we decided we wanted to spread the word that our children were children, not defined by their chromosome counts. 

‘We set up the Facebook page and it took off so quickly. I think due to identical twins with Down’s syndrome being quite rare, occurring at a rate of about one or two in a million births. 

‘Through the page, we have documented their journey as they’ve grown from three weeks old to nearly seven years old now through videos, photographs and stories. 

‘We get messages regularly stating that the page has opened their eyes about Down’s syndrome in terms of rebutting stereotypes they might have held.’ 

The film for WorkFit, shows that those with the condition are more than capable of being employed. They are pictured working at a local cafe

The film for WorkFit, shows that those with the condition are more than capable of being employed. They are pictured working at a local cafe 

The mother argued that it's simply a matter of finding specific jobs to suit individuals and the twins tested out working in a local cafe

The mother argued that it’s simply a matter of finding specific jobs to suit individuals and the twins tested out working in a local cafe 

More than anything, Elaine wants to tackle outdated preconceptions that those with Down’s syndrome don’t have the ‘competence or ability’ to work. 

The mother argued that it’s simply a matter of  finding specific jobs to suit individuals, and evaluating how their needs can be met within any employment context.

‘I think there a lot of outdated perceptions out there about Down’s syndrome, and learning disabilities in general, are a barrier to people getting jobs’, said Elaine. 

‘There’s an assumption by many that people with Down’s syndrome don’t have the competence or ability to work and that a voluntary role is more suitable if anything.



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