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      26.04.2013 20:35
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      Excellent pre-school programme

      First aired on CBeebies in 2005, Something Special has somewhat evolved over the last eight years and yet has managed to keep the ethos that makes it so special. At the very basic level Something Special is a pre-school programme featuring the adventures of Justin Fletcher along with Mr Tumble and his family. But it is far more than that, this programme is targeted towards a very specific group of preschoolers, those with special needs and it manages to relate to this target audience without alienating other young children or the adults that are roped into watching. When Something Special first hit the screens there was very little on screen to cater to those with special needs, especially on the free to view channels. There was the occasional screening of an episode of Playbus featuring Dave Benson Phillips, who would use Makaton signing, but really that was it, so for my then ten year old, learning disabled, Makaton using son, Something Special was simply a breathe of fresh air.

      ==Makaton, what's that then?==

      Before I go any further, it's perhaps important to talk a little about Makaton as it's the use of this that makes Something Special so, well, special.

      Makaton is a communication system that incorporates signing and symbols and is used in many special schools and by speech therapists to help children with speech and language difficulties communicate more effectively. Although loosely based on British Sign Language, it has been greatly simplified and children are encouraged to say the word at the same time as signing. By using the signs to augment the child's speech, rather than replace it, the child's confidence in speaking is increased as even unclear speech can be understood by those who understand the signs. In fact, as the majority of the signs are self-evident, there's a good chance that even those who do not technically know the signs may be able to work out what the child is saying/signing. As well as simply helping children communicate, Makaton can also help improve their behaviour, a lot of a younger child's temper tantrums stem from their inability to communicate their needs and wants. Imagine being hungry or thirsty and unable to tell someone, you would get frustrated and possibly angry, just as a child would. This is easily solved by helping the child with unclear speech to learn the signs for eat and drink.

      My own experiences with Makaton span over ten years, my older son uses Makaton and has done from the age of six (before that he used a slightly different system). More recently I've been using Makaton with my now three year old son, Freddy, who has a learning disability and has a very large speech delay. It's taken a lot of time, but Freddy is now able to communicate his immediate needs with a mix of signs and words and can even hold a very basic conversation. Something that has become very apparent is that the use of Makaton has actually encouraged his vocalisations, rather than hinder them, which is something that has confused a few people who wonder why we still use signs now he's starting to talk.

      ==Something Special==

      With each episode lasting approximately 20 minutes, Something Special has followed the same basic format, with slight changes in each series. The original series was very much studio based, but later series have involved everyday situations that children may experience, such as visiting a supermarket or going on holiday. As they are the two formats most commonly shown at the moment, the rest of this review will now focus on "Out and About" and "Fun With Friends".

      The undoubted Star of Something Special is of course Justin Fletcher, who not only plays himself but also stars as Mr Tumble, Granddad Tumble, Lord Tumble, Aunt Polly, Aunt Suki, Cool Tumble, well you get the idea. Each episode opens on Mr Tumble, who is instantly recognisable in his clown outfit and has three special things he wants Justin to find as he explores a different scenario with his friends. In the earlier series these special things were shown as framed photos, but in the latest (Fun With Friends) the photos have been replaced with a tablet called the Tumble Tap. Either way, Mr Tumble puts the three special things in his spotty bag, which we then send the bag off to Justin using the magic. It's at this point we are introduced to the other stars of the show, the children, and I love that the children encompass a wide range of disabilities, especially as I believe that disabled people are grossly under-represented on television as a whole.

      In each episode, Justin meets up with his friends and they then explore a place or concept. All kinds of different concepts have been explored, including a visit to an animal sanctuary, a supermarket, leisure centre and even a camp with Beaver Scouts. This vast range of activities over the different series has allowed a large number of different items and signs to be introduced, in a way that is relevant to young children. As the episode progresses children are encouraged to look for the three special things, waving or cheering when they find them. As each special thing is found, both it's sign and symbol is introduced, with Justin signing first followed by some children signing. I love the sense of inclusion in this aspect, the way that both vocal and non-vocal children are encouraged to look for the special things and signify that they've found them. I also love the way that the children signing all have different levels of skill and speech, meaning that Freddy doesn't feel that his signs have to be perfect to be understood. Another aspect I like is the way that Justin speaks to the children, he is in no way patronising and really does seem to get down to their level.

      At some point while looking at/for the special things the action will cut to Mr Tumble and his family as they play out a skit focussing on the concept being explored. This is by far my own favourite part of the programme, and is the perfect mix of slapstick comedy to keep Freddy entertained. I love all the different characters in Mr Tumble's family, even though they are all played by Justin himself, they are all so different. The one that really brings a smile to my face has to be Cliff Tumble, a very obvious parody of Cliff Richard (Cool Tumble is a very similar character). Freddy's Daddy's favourite character is Granddad Tumble, but we both appreciate the humour that is very firmly aimed at grown ups and helps stop our brains going to mush as we watch the same episode for the tenth time. After the Tumble Tale has finished and we've found all three special things, it's time for the good bye song, which may or may not be signed (depending on the series).

      ==Freddy and Mr Tumble==

      There is absolutely no doubt that three year old Freddy absolutely adores Something Special, it is the first programme he will ask for each morning and one that he would watch repeatedly if I let him. The way this programme catches his attention and has helped him learn to sign and communicate is shown by the way he asks for it to be put on. He'll sign Tumble, while saying "bumble" and then once it's on he'll sit in front of the TV, copying the signs and trying to say the words. It's really wonderful to watch him interacting with the programme, rather than rampaging as he usually does. He also uses the signs he's learnt in everyday life, it was so sweet watching him sign to Santa that he was his friend just before Christmas.

      ==Final Words==

      Both Freddy and I love Something Special and can't recommend it enough if you have a child under five. It is a fun, educational and interactive programme that is loved by all young children (special needs or not) and one that we watch several times a day. Both Freddy and I are giving Something Special five stars out of five, although I'd imagine that Freddy would give it twenty or more if he could.

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        18.12.2011 20:13
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        Something very secial for young and old children alike

        As a mother of two girls I am always looking to find programmes which both entertain and educate, and that they will BOTH watch happily together - they are nearly 2 and 5 and a half. Something Special is one of the few programmes they both love! My eldest daughter loved this when she was small, and now my youngest does too.

        The programme centres on the presenter Justin Fletcher, who plays both himself and a whacky, loveable clown character called Mr Tumble. Justin spends the shows flitting between his talks to camera and sketches as Mr Tumble. Justin is also joined every episode by a group of children - some able bodied, some with physical or learning difficulties. This is the massive selling point for me, as it shows children that everyone is different but that everyone, able bodied or not, loves to have fun and learn new things.

        Also within the show Justin uses basic signs from the Makaton sign language for everyday objects and teaches them to the viewers.

        My youngest adores Mr Tumble and would happily watch him all day. My eldest loves picking up the signs and they both use several of the signs every day, especially my youngest.

        We all love this show and I would encourage everyone to give it a go and bet they will love it too!

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          10.05.2010 11:28
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          One Of The Best And Most Important Kids Programmes On TV

          When my sister started watching Cbeebies she instantly liked a programme called Something Special, I'd heard of it before but didn't know much about the programme except that it starred children who were deaf and the presenter would do sign language. Now I've seen more of the programme though I know it's loads more than that and I think ALL little children should be made to watch it to help give them an idea about disability.

          It's presented by Justin Fletcher, he is the guy in the photo above but when he's made up like a clown he is called Mr Tumble. Justin presents part of Something Special as himself and other parts as Mr Tumble, this works good I think because even though you can see it's still Justin he can act a lot sillier when he is Mr Tumble.

          The children in the show suffer from all sorts of disibilities. Some of them are simply deaf and I KNOW that's bad enough but it's such a shame for some of the other kids in Something Special who have got more severe disabilities. I love watching them laugh when Mr Tumble does something silly because it's obvious that these kids don't have much to laugh about and I LOVE Justin Fletcher for that.

          He's a wicked presenter and perfect for this kind of programme. He is so warm and caring and you can tell that he has got something that kids can relate to and I think he must be a lovely bloke in real life. He also acts as some other characters sometimes but the main one is Mr Tumble.

          All sorts of children are represented in Something Special, like I said deaf children feature a lot but segments will also be based round kids who have Downs and severely disabled children who are in wheelchairs. There's no discrimination and when Mr Tumble is talking with the kids he shows the same amount of care and love to each of the children and it doesn't matter what is wrong with them.

          Each episode is about 20 mins long and my sister loves it. I didn't think she would like the programme as much as she does because I thought at her age she would get bored just looking at other kids but she loves Mr Tumble so much that she sits silent and watching for the whole time.

          It deffo does help children to learn about disability and I know that because our neighbour a few doors down has a little boy with Downs and my sister said he was on Something Special the other week. It wasn't him but that shows how this programme educates little children about the fact that we're not all the same, it probably wasn't very PC of my sister to say that he looked just like the little boy with Downs off the tv but she's only 2 so gets away with things like that! lol

          I deffo recommend this programme, it's mega important to teach children that not all people are the same and this is a brill way to get that into their heads and also to show that disabled children are just different to us and are SOMETHING SPECIAL!

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            23.03.2010 13:34
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            EXCELLENT SHOW WHICH I THINK IS UNIQUE AND EDUCATING.

            This show is aired on ccbc. It is, in my opinion an excellent show as it portrays to children that other children sometimes have disabilities and we should embrace them and not be afraid of them because they are different.

            This show is hosted by Mr Tumbles, played by the excellent cbbc favourite Justin. He is an excellent childrens entertainer and has such warmth that he can catch any child's attention. He also has a very talented way of using his body language and facial expressions in order to allow the viewing child to understand the subject matter better.

            During the show, there is footage shown of a school which teaches children who have a variety of disabilities. My child loves this show and I find that it allows us to explore the reasons behind the fact that some children have to use wheelchairs etc. I find that by allowing my son to have a better understanding of disability will stand him in good sted throughout his life. It is not only teaching him how everyone is different, but also helping him to percieve the idea that we have to be more patient and tolerant of others.

            This show also explores the use of sign language. My son loves this part of the show and will always try and copy what Mr Tumble is demonstrating. I also love the way that Mr Tumble is very much a comedy character, dressed as a clown with a very jolly persona. I think this is excellent as It is indirectly portraying the message that we dont have to be sad and unhappy because a child has a disability. Infact we should understand that all children should treat each other equally and interact together.

            I have found through watching this show with my son. That I have gained a greater understanding of the importance of discussing issues with my child that will help him to understand others better. I am very pleased with cbbc for airing this programme and skillfully using fun in order to teach children about people who have disabilities.

            I also think the name of the programme, 'something special' is totally apt for such a unique and wonderful show. I have to say years ago when I was young, I didnt have any concept of people with disabilities. I remember being quite frightened when seeing someone who was mentally or physically impaired. This is why I think this show is so very useful as it allows children to have a greater understanding and in turn a better attitude towards disability.

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              22.03.2010 17:01
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              A great educational programme

              'Something Special' is a great childrens TV programme shown on Cbeebies and aimed at pre-school children althought I think it would be good for teaching sign language to slightly older children also. Justin Fletcher (Mr Tumble) is great, a true childrens entertainer who can grab my childs attention better than I can! The programme teaches basic Makaton sign language which is a very usefull skill for children to have and could also be useful for children who have not started speaking yet. Before speaking my son could communicate his basic needs to me using signs he had learnt from Something Special. I think this is a highly educational programme that children can enjoy laughing at Mr Tumbles sillyness at the same time as learning a usefull skill. The programme also films visits to children with special needs and I think this is good for children to see as it enforces that everybody is different and that it is ok to be different.

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              12.01.2010 15:15
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              They should have sign language as a subjet at school

              I think that this is the best program for children that has ever been made. It is called something special because it is aimed at children with special needs, but even children without special needs can watch this and it builds up their understanding of different disabilities.

              I first heard about this when my sons nursery started teaching mackaton which is the style of sign language that is used in this program. I thought it was a very interesting subject to teach them. I was informed that the reason that they were teaching this is just incase any child with disabilities came to the nursery would feel less overwhelmed and other children would be able to understand how to communicate and make friends with them. At around the same time that this was happening I had invested in a freeview box which had cbebees on it, this is where I noticed what my son was learning and what different actions meant.

              This program concentrates on the basic sign language, such as simple words about the weather, animals, places and much more. This is a simple sign language so it is not difficult to pick up and my son taught me such alot of it. He started learning this at 2 1/2 which was the same time he started talking in sentances too. My son was very slow when it came to his speach but when he was doing this I learnt the basics and was able to understand him without him getting frustrated. Although his speach came along very well he still continued to do the sign language and loved to copy justin when he was watching the program. The nursery helped the children learn by watching the dvds of something special with them and getting them to do the actions. When he left nursery the school did not carry this on as part of a subjet which I think they should.

              The program has a man called Justin who presents it and uses sign language when he is talking. Each episode will be about something new one day it could be about the weather the next it could be about toys. I like that the program changes because the children are learning new signs each week. Also in this justin dresses up as Mr Tumble who looks like a clown he then acts out the subjet that they are doing that day for example, if they are talking about teddies then he will have a teddy bears picnic. Mr Tumble will also use mackaton sign language when he is acting his part out. This program also has children with special needs in it. These special needs can range from Downe Syndrome, Sight imparement, Hearing imparement and others. I think this is very good because I find children can be very rude and hurtful if they are not aware that some disabilities can make children look and act differently. I have found because they have special needs children in the program my son asked me more questions that I was able to explain to him and he is not like some children who point and stare or ask those awkward questions around their parents.

              My son picked up alot of mackaton when he was watching this program and even learnt to sing songs with sign language. He still knows a bit now but that is because his sister watches this program. I have learnt quite alot when I have been watching this and think Mr Tumble is funny too.

              Justin is a very good presenter of this program and the children love to listen and watch him. I think he is a very talented man who is helping children learn. I think Mr Tumble who is really justin but dont tell the children, puts the fun and games in the learning process. I think the whole program is very educational, fun and helps children understand the differences between people.

              This program is shown 3 times a day usually on the cbebees channel, once in a morning, once at a dinner time and once at night. I have noticed lately though it hasn't been on as much through the week I am not sure if I am missing it or that they are not showing it as much but I would advise that every parent should give this a try with their children and learn how to do the sign language themselves. This is good for when children are just starting to talk because they can communicate with sign language until they master the word properly.

              I wish there were more programs like this on for children and wish that the schools continued teaching this because I think that every child should know this and it would help them later on in life.

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                05.11.2009 14:35
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                A great teaching tool that is fun

                Something Special is a programme on Cbeebies, a channel aimed at pre-school children.

                The present of the show, Justin Fletcher, is a big, bright and bubbly character who seems to be on the right wavelength to attract children of all ages. He is in a variety of shows on Cbeebies and my children are addicted to them all.

                Something Special involves Justin, his alter ego Mr Tumble, Grandad Tumble and his various teddies and dolls who are all involved in teaching children sign language. Each episode uses a different scenario to teach the children basic sign language words such as shopping words, words to do with babies, parties, the weather, theme parks - everything a child would come into contact with in everyday life. There is also a catchy welcome song, and a song played at the end of the episode which teaches hello and goodbye signs. My son can now sign these without thinking about them. I also find he talks with his hands a lot without realising, just from watching this fantastic programme.

                The episodes are just long enough to keep the attention of a 1, 2 or 3 year old child and there is just enough information in them that they absorb it without overload.

                During each episode Justin also have child guests that he guides through the various scenarios and each of these children has a disability of some sort. I find this fantastic as it teaches children that we are not all the same and there are ways of communicating to everybody, whatever their disability.

                I am very keen to buy the DVD of this series as I believe it is a fantastic learning tool and the best thing is that children aren't even aware they are learning! My son didn't realise he was talking with his hands until I told him!

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                15.09.2009 13:03
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                Would recommend to anyone with young children

                Something Special is a programme on the cbeebies channel which is aimed at younger children.

                The presenter of the programme Justin Fletcher, is a lively character who all the kids I know seem to love. He is bright, and bubbly, and bounces around whilst getting very excited and his excitement seems to rub off on them which I think is why the show works so well.

                Justin uses makaton sign language throughout the programme whilst teaching what a new thing is whether it be a shape, or colour, or everyday item, and encourages children to join in. Makaton is meant to be a helping hand for children who are in early stages of development, or with special needs to communicate. I can't say my daughter has ever really copied any of the signs but, think it would be useful for children who already use makaton.

                Each programme focuses on aspects of the children's world about them. Topics covered include pets, toys, weather, clothes, shops, food, all about me, where I live and colours.

                I often find myself singing songs from the show at work they are unbelievably catchy although this is a bit worrying and can be embarrassing who wants to hear a grown woman singing about how to make music or coming to her shop!

                Mr Tumble (also played by Justin) is a character in the show who things never seem to go right for he is a clown I believe and acts silly and has a young girl speak as the grown up telling him where he is going wrong and what he should be doing. He is probably my daughter's favourite part of the show and she finds him hilarious and often shouts at the telly telling Mr Tumble not to be silly or tells me what he has just been doing in a "guess what that silly man has done now" sort of way.

                The programme is a fun filled learning half and hour and we love it so much we bought one of the DVD's of the series this was quite expensive at £18.99 but I think it is because its an educational DVD and my daughter loves it.

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                  28.06.2009 20:23
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                  A great all round show that I'm happy for my son to watch.

                  Something Special is a television show for children aged from 18 months to approx 5 years although it can appeal to older children and even adults (yes I like it myself!)

                  It is shown on Cbeebies (available on freeview or satellite and cable) or sometimes on channel 2 during childrens hours.

                  The show features presenter Justin who sings and tells stories using speech accompanied by Makaton sign language. It also has a section featuring a clown named Mr Tumbles (Justin dressed in a costume) who gets into mischief. There is also usually a section of the show that features a period in the real lives of a disabled child and/or their families/school etc.

                  I love the fact that the running time is only 15 minutes so my son is not sat infront of the television all day and doesn't get bored. He is 22 months old and has learned some makaton with no pronting from me.

                  The show is fun, educational and informative and creates a feeling of normality around disabled children so that my son sees disabilities as normal and not something to be stared at/ laughed at or picked on. I am grateful to the bbc for finally creating a show that can improve childrens attitutes to diversity.

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                    04.01.2009 10:28
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                    a brilliant show

                    Something Special.....

                    Something special is a show presented by Justin Fletcher, a great presenter who does a lot of shows on CBeebies, and this is definitely one to watch. Justin is a great presenter because he deals a lot with children who have special needs and he incorporates a lot of sign language in with his shows.

                    Something special is aired on CBeebies most days and is for children for ages 5 and under but even I enjoy watching it when it is on.

                    Each show is always about something different yet the principle is simple. The last show we watched was about the weather. Justin signs all the different types of weather and does this clearly and slowly in a way that makes it easy to follow him. The signs are not just for children who are hearing impaired but more a way for young children to help express themselves if perhaps they are too young to talk. The signs are basic and simple and easy for young children to understand and carry out themselves.

                    Justin also has a character called Mr Tumble who is rather like a clown but a lot less scary. Mr Tumble is funny and does a lot of silly things. He often gets Granddad Tumble involved and they always have lots of laughs together.

                    In the show we always meet a lot of children who are often doing different activities. There is a show called something Special Out and About where Justin visits children who are outside doing things such as camping or horse riding.

                    Each show is packed full of both fun and things that children can learn from. Justin the presenter is both friendly and able to engage with children on a brilliant level. There is a part of the show where Justin will show a picture of something and say lets look for this picture when you see it wave or cheer. Jack has recently starting cheering when he sees on the screen what Justin has shown in the picture. This is wonderful and shows that Jack really does understand more than perhaps I thought he would. I think it is really good the way that even children who are watching the show at home are able to get involved with the show.

                    All in all I really do rate this programme highly. It is both fun and educational. Jack loves it too and it is one show that he will sit down and watch the whole 15 minutes of it. The only thing I will say is that it seems to be repeated rather a lot and I do think that they should continue to make new shows from this programme.

                    A five star rating and an EXCEPTIOANLLY HIGH RECOMMENDATION is most definitely what this brilliant show deserves.

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                      06.11.2008 12:01
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                      A programme for pre-schoolers teaching communication skills & a specialist needs education resource

                      I'm writing this opinion with "Something Special" on in the background. "Something Special" is a BBC offering shown on Cbeebies and aimed at the under 5s. The programme is presented by the seemingly ever-present Justin (a regular on Cbeebies) and introduces his alter-ego "Mr Tumble", a rather pleasing and amusing clown.

                      The reason that this programme offers something special is that it combines traditional learning with basic sign language and the children who take part in the programme all have learning or communication difficulties. Each show is themed and will introduce around 5 signs that relate to the theme.

                      I think that the show is actually very clever and whilst at first I was left wondering why signing was being introduced as a general programme I now see that the programme works on many levels and it's good to see specialist programming on the general listing.

                      The signing used is Makaton and signing is always used alongside the spoken word. It is this that allows the programme to really work across the spectrum of age and ability and my worries that my already lazy talking son would simply copy the gestures has proven unfounded. He'll now try to copy the words and only seems to use the signs for words that he feels he cannot say (generally those which start with a soft sound, such as flag). The fact that some signs are copied does mean that as a parent I have to be aware of what the programme is about so that I stand some chance of understanding this new and evolving language! Having said that, the Makaton signs are fairly intuitive and so relatively easy to pick up on.

                      Like all good children's programmes, the format is repetitive but for some reason I don't find this as annoying as many programmes. The settings are simple and the focus is clearly on the learning. This isn't, however, at the expense of enjoyment and several of my son's friends have this as a preferred programme.

                      Familiar pointers are used throughout the programme to direct children to the next activity. Phrases (and signs) such as "look" and "now you try" help to direct the children and focus attention.

                      Children have a wonderful way of not judging and programmes such as "Something Special" serve well to help with the integration of children with special needs. This must surely help with acceptance later in life.

                      Aside from studio programmes "Something Special" has also been produced in a few "out and about" versions - these use locations rather than studio scenes but are equally as effective.

                      This is one programme that I really don't mind my son watching. It's educational and entertaining and engages with the child in a unique way. The themes are age appropriate.

                      I'd suggest that the programme is suitable from about 9 months through to around 4 or so (perhaps older if there are learning difficulties). The BBC should be applauded for bringing out such a special programme.

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                        03.11.2008 11:35
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                        Highly recommended programme

                        Something Special is a programme shown on cbeebies/BBC2 aimed at babies/toddlers/young children with learning and communication difficulties.

                        The programme features a different aspect of something in your childs life in each episode such as toys, colours, animals, food, school, weather and features Justin Fletcher who uses the language of Makaton signs and symbols alongside narration.

                        Makaton is based on gestures that are naturally used and helps those who are just learning to use language and those who find communicatio difficult to both be understood and to communicate more easily with them. There are simple symbols that are used alongside signs to represent words. Signs should always be as well as saying the word (where speech is possible) so therefore not impede speech development which is something many people worry about when signing with babies/children.

                        The programme has a simple set and features Justin going to visit children at school or home and disocering things about that episodes chosen topic. Justin uses signs to communicate with the children, and at certain points we have sign time where he says the word, signs the word and the symbol is also shown on screen then a child is shown signing the word too.

                        There are also 'Out and About' episodes where Justin meets children at places such as a castle and they explore and look out for specific things together.

                        Also featured in each episode is Justin again but dressed up as a clown and he becomes Mr Tumble! Now I'm not keen on clowns myself but it seems Mr Tumble is very appealing to children!!

                        The programme is fun and informative but also very simple therfore easy for children to follow.

                        I was first introduced to Something Special and Makaton through my job as I spend some of my working day in Schools for Children with Special Needs, where many of the children used makaton to communicate. Once my son was born I started a course of baby signing with him and often watch Something Special with him as signing is familiar to him and he finds the programme very appealing too! He has a small vocabulary currently but uses a number of signs to aid his communication with us.

                        I would recommend this programme to anyone with babies from 6months and upwards for you to watch together. You can pick up on a few signs to use with your child and learn more and more as you watch the programme, helping you and your child to communicate.

                        The programme has also been great in promoting awareness of children with special needs.

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                          02.11.2008 10:58
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                          a different kids tv programme

                          I'd heard about the TV programme something special before I had actually seen it. One of my friends has a daughter a year older than mine and she was well accustomed to the CBeebies channel way before I ever was.

                          Something special is a program starring a man called Justin Fletcher. The concept of the programme is centred around using sign language both to the children in the programme and also to the children watching on the TV.
                          If you've ever used sign language with children before you may be familiar with the basis called Makaton. Personally I had never heard of Makaton before and was very interested to find out more.
                          The signs are basically communicated by use of gesture. These gestures are simple ones that everyone uses in day to day life. To be able to communicate with severely disabled children and adults alike, sometimes sign language can be the only way.

                          During Something Special Justin visits schools and houses where usually at least one member of the family will have special needs. The schools he visits tend to be special needs schools. Occasionally the show is based on Justin being out on outings with children as well.

                          As I mentioned that everything is communicated by sign language, you really see how Justin interacts with the children, and it's amazing to watch.
                          I have never been forced into learning sign language for job or personal reasons, but after watching Something Special I can see the benefits for even young children to be able to communicate.

                          Each episode will last around 20 minutes and will feature a different subject each time. It may be about pets, food, play, zoos etc but there is always something that young children will enjoy watching, even if they don't understand the sign language.

                          After hearing about if from my friend for ages, we sat down and watched it one day on TV. My daughter was hooked from word go, at the upbeat music and jolly character known as Justin that bounds around the TV screen having enough energy for ten people.
                          I was equally gobsmacked at how the children were able to communicate with Justin and him alike with them by gestures of the hand and body.

                          From constant watching by my daughter I have noticed she interacts in her own way with Justin now, especially at the start and end of the show. He does a great job of waving his hands to say hello and goodbye, and my daughter stands up and waves back at him. I think this is amazing as she is communicating with him in her own way. I can really get an understanding of how a child who finds it difficult to communicate via words would get a lot out of Justin and his show.

                          I applaud CBeebies for presenting a show like this on TV. When I used to watch children's TV there wasn't a lot of educational material shown and I'm glad there is now. It will also encourage my daughter to interact with children with disabilities in the future without acting alarmed or shocked if she hasn't come into contact with a child with disabilities before.

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                            30.10.2008 13:03
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                            Kids love it and it is educational.

                            Cbeebies is a great kids TV channel and I say this because it tries to be educational as well as entertaining, one of the shows that really goes a step further than any other to be useful and educational is a show called something special.

                            It features a man called Justin who is dressed as a clown and he tells a story using spoken language and then sign language, he takes time to repeat every word and the sign that you would use to sign it to a deaf person.

                            Thankfully neither of my kids are deaf but they both enjoy this show greatly and have both learned to sign a whole load of words which is something I could never do at their age and indeed still can't now. Whether they will ever need to use this skill they are learning I have no idea but it can't hurt to learn something a bit different.

                            The show must be great for kids who are deaf and I really applaud the BBC for this idea, all the sets of the show are very eye catching and colourful and really draw kids in, which I am sure helps with the whole learning process. My three year old can sign around twenty words whilst my 5 year old can sign much more and can even sign sentences. I have to admit I am impressed!

                            I have one problem with the show though from an adult point of view and that is that Justin or whatever his real name is, is so annoying I could just slap him, but I will refrain from doing so because he is Doing such a wonderful job!

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                              29.10.2008 18:14
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                              great must watch prgram

                              Personally I think Something special is one of the best programs shown by ceebebies as if the director(and the team involved) and the actor Justin have really done their best to come up with something new .

                              what is involved:

                              It is a program that not only is meant for and involves children with special learning/developmental needs/challenges to enjoy but for other (normal?? .. not really when you watch this program) children to learn by watching it and interacting as well. I think this is one programme that brings all children on the same platform and bridges gaps.

                              Theme:

                              Its an absolute great watch as it involves so many catchy tunes that are attactive for little kids and shows special children carrying out normal day to day activity and it does make a lot of sense for similarly aged veiwers -like a normal day, dressing up for a particular weather,cooking/baking, keeping a pet, baby-sitting, going some place, taking a bath, a vacation etc.

                              Main attarction:

                              The presenter Justin acts out certain themes dressed up as a silly blundering clown ..this in itself is a pull for so many little ones...with this the background is usually white and everything else involved is brightly coloured and sooting to watch.

                              age suitability:

                              8-9mths -death really(I am still learning)

                              Net outcome for me and my daughter:

                              I have two little sisters in my neighborhood with whom at least both of us can inteact a wee little bit and get a few smiles and nods now and then as a reward, thanka to 'something special'.

                              My daughter loves singing songs with special sign language whenever she goes to the sure-start toddlers group.

                              Its one of my daughters favourite program and I think I am doing my bit in giving her a shove in the right direction and preparing her to get involved with every sort of people she might be meeting in this big world.

                              As for me , I think everyday it it justs hammers in the fact that there are so many little ones out there who are excellent as they are but I need to do a bit more for them and watching this program is just a start for me.

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