Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Romance was the main theme of the Valentine's Day special: 12 Again. But love and romance feature in many BBC children's programmes, and the latest CBBC My Life documentary is no exception.

My Life: Breaking Free followed a group of three children with Down syndrome to see whether they could achieve their aims and ambitions. The programme was introduced and narrated by Ruben who was aiming to swim fast enough to participate in London 2012.

Harley had been cruelly bullied at school, denting his confidence in dealing with other people. He left that school and was now learning to surf, and starting to trust people again. Nicole was taking part in a week-long drama club. If it went well Nicole hoped to be allowed to go on an unchaperoned date with her boyfriend James, who also has Down's.

A couple of extracts from the programme -

Ruben: I'm hanging out with my best friend, Hannah, before my big [swimming] race tomorrow.

Hannah: The reason why he's my friend is because, ever since I moved to this school, he's been sticking up for me. And I was, like, 'maybe we could be friends.'

Ruben: She's funny. And sometimes a bit ... cute.

Hannah: Hey! I've got a boyfriend, you know!

Narrator: After drama school Nicole takes some time out for boyfriend, James. James is 12 and they have known each other since they were 2.

Nicole: I think he's nice and handsome. Handsome and smart.

James: Nice. ... Nicole is brilliant, and a nice girl. Because she is really nice we are going to have a wedding. (They dance together)

All three kids eventually achieved their goals: Ruben got a medal and made it into the Down syndrome GB squad. Harley won first place trophy for his surfing. And Nicole was a success in her drama club. She went on her date with James.

James & Nicole on their date

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