Hooray for Mr Tumble!

Jane Ashton by Jane Ashton Additional Needs

Jane Ashton

Jane Ashton

If you are in the UK and familiar with children’s television I am sure you will know that this is a well known phrase from the programme ‘Something Special’.

This is the ‘magic’ we have to use to send the spotty bag to Justin or Mr Tumble.

Now, I am the grand old age of 32 and I think that this is the best programme on television.

And, I mean that seriously.

It may be aimed at children but this programme is important.

It is important as it is aimed at children with special needs but is also important as it includes children with special needs within the programme.

It also uses Makaton, which is a form of sign language.

As far as I am aware there are no other programmes like this out there.

The programme is presented by Justin Fletcher MBE and he also plays the characters of the much loved clown, Mr Tumble (sshh, don’t tell the kids), Grandad Tumble, Lord Tumble, Aunt Polly to name but a few.

Basically, Mr Tumble will send his spotty bag to Justin via the ‘magic’.

Inside the spotty bag is the Tumble Tap (it used to be photographs, but they have upgraded to a tablet now) and Justin and his friends (the children) who could be at the zoo, a water park, shopping etc need to find the three ‘special’ things that Mr Tumble has pictures of on the Tumble Tap.

Once they have found all the items and the children have said goodbye to Justin, the spotty bag is sent back to Mr Tumble via the ‘magic’ again.

The basic format of each programme remains the same.

There is a lot of repetition and learning of different signs which is great.

I have learnt a lot of signing from this programme.

Unfortunately, the sign for ‘naughty’ is probably the one that is used most in our household.

Not on Oscar though, but daddy and Pebbles!

I first discovered this programme when I was on maternity leave.

I was fascinated by it (as you can tell, I still am) and thought it was brilliant as it included special needs children and felt it was great that they had not been left out.

The fact it is educational and taught all children signing (regardless of whether they have special needs or not) was also fantastic.

I did not even know then, what I know now.

That my child has special needs.

Oscar loves this programme and I mean LOVES.

It is the one of the only programmes that he takes a real interest in.

Although, he is non-verbal he does occasionally say the odd word or two.

Recently, whilst watching “Something Special’ he shouted ‘Mr Tumble’.

It was not perfectly clear but you could tell that is what he had said.

Also, when Mr Tumble was saying thank you for the safe return of his spotty bag, Oscar said ‘You’re welcome’.

As you can imagine, this absolutely made our day.

I know we may never hear Oscar say these words again but I know they are there.

If you have never seen this programme, please try and track it down.

I promise you, it is worth it.


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