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A Little Boy With Down Syndrome Is The Newest TV Sensation In Britain After Appearing In A Christmas
November 14, 2012
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Caroline White says she's the proudest mom in the world, and she has good reason to be.

At the ripe old age of 4, her son Seb is helping to change attitudes in the world. And he's made a little TV history too.

Seb is part of a new Christmas commercial in the U.K. for Marks & Spencer - making him the first model with Down syndrome to be featured in a British TV ad from a major brand.

And perhaps the most refreshing thing is, Seb isn't singled out - he's just one of the kids.

"Seb's in the advert but they (Marks and Spencer) haven't been tokenistic," his mom Caroline told The Mirror.

"He hasn't got an arrow above his head singling him out. He's just one of the gang. As the director said, he earned his place."

And what a way to make his TV debut - the ad first aired during 'Coronation Street'.

Take a look. Seb runs toward the camera around :42 - wearing a cardigan and bow tie.

"Seb absolutely loved watching himself in the ad. He kept saying, 'Again, again' and wanted to watch it over and over," Caroline said.

"He has no comprehension that he's helping to change attitudes. But to think that's already happening is amazing."

This past summer, Caroline posted a photo of Seb on the Marks and Spencer Facebook page, mainly because people with disabilities are rarely used in commercials.

She asked the store to consider him as a potential model. Overnight, hundreds of people went to the page and urged the company to do it.

"Almost instantly there were comments from complete strangers saying they thought using Seb as a model was a brilliant idea," she told The Sun.

Within a week, Marks and Spencer got in touch with the family, auditioned Seb, and decided to have him model in their Christmas catalogue.

He did so well, the company asked Seb to be in their Christmas commercial too - which is a major campaign in the U.K.

"Our initial involvement with Seb was due to the overwhelming response to Caroline's post on our Facebook page," Steve Sharp, executive director of marketing of Marks and Spencer told This Is Bath.

a-little-boy-with-down-syndrome-is-the-newest-TV-sensation-in-Britain-after-appearing-in-a-Christmas-ad-feature1.jpg "However, he won his place in our TV ad thanks to the natural charm and magical personality he showed on set at our magazine shoot. All the kids had great fun filming the ad and Seb really was one of the gang - which is exactly how it should be."

Caroline told the Daily Mail
"Seb was a bit unsure at first about putting on a bow tie, but when I reminded him that Mr. Tumble - the star of his favourite CBeebies show - wears one, he cheered up."

"I couldn't have been prouder of him. I was watching in the wings, my heart in my mouth, and there were endless takes, but he hit his cue every single time."

"I'm thrilled for Seb, but my biggest motivation is to raise awareness and change people's attitudes to Down's syndrome."

"If I could turn back the clock, I'd do it all so differently. I wasted so many precious moments, worrying about things I didn't need to worry about."

And as she told The Mirror, "I'm not naive enough to think we don't have tough decisions to make, and that he'll need a lot of support."

"But we get huge joy from him. I can't imagine a life without Seb."

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