CBeebies Makaton episode: Boy with heart defect has incredible reaction to Rob Delaney's bedtime story

‘He has never been interested in bedtime stories before. Thank you for using his language’

Little boy reacting to sign language CBeebies storytime

A mother has shared a video of her son who has a heart defect responding in an amazing way to Rob Delaney’s episode of CBeebies Bedtime Stories, during which the actor told a bedtime story using Makaton sign language.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Delaney was to become the first person to tell a story on the TV show using Makaton, a form of sign language that involves signs, symbols and speech.

Delaney and his family used Makaton to communicate with his late son Henry, who underwent a tracheotomy after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016.

The CBeebies Bedtime Stories episode featuring Delaney aired on Friday 16 November.

Laura McCartney, from Larbert in Scotland, watched the CBeebies episode with her son, six-year-old Tom.

Tom was born with a heart defect called tricuspid atresia, and as of July this year had undergone four heart operations, including two major open heart surgeries, McCartney explains in a post shared on Facebook.

In November 2013 Tom had to undergo a tracheotomy, and was diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of two.

McCartney's husband filmed Tom watching the CBeebies episode with his mother, capturing his son responding in excitement to Delaney’s use of Makaton as the Catastrophe star tells a bedtime story.

At one point in the video, Tom stares fixedly at the TV screen as he stands up in his Rifton activity chair, a chair designed for individuals with disabilities.

“@robdelaney @CBeebiesHQ thank you so much for the AMAZING bedtime story!” McCartney tweeted.

“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.”

McCartney’s video has gone viral since being posted Friday evening, garnering almost 1,500 retweets and more than 19,000 likes.

It even caught the attention of Delaney himself, who commented underneath writing: “So beautiful. What a wonderful family you are.”

A number of people have been praising CBeebies for airing the episode, which is still available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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“I hope @CBeebiesHQ recognise the significance of what they did, and how they made thousands of kids (and adults) feel included and understood, lovely video,” one person tweeted in response to McCartney’s video.

“The pure excitement of someone speaking your language. Just wonderful,” another person wrote.

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