The mum of two identical twin boys with Down’s syndrome has posted a heartwarming pictures of them testing out jobs in a bid to combat pre-conceived ideas of the genetic condition.
Ollie and Cameron Scrougal, from Dundee, are only six-years-old but have tried their hand at being bakers, hairdressers and shop assistants.
The pair have now been snapped working alongside firemen, as part of the Work Fit programme, and can be seen laughing as they work to clean a fire engine.
Both of the boys were snapped at Scottish Fire and Rescue by their mum who who said there are too many “outdated” views of Down’s syndrome.
She said she grew tired of “hearing stereotyped views and pitying reactions” to Ollie and Cameron and wanted to spread the word that they’re not define by their “chromosome counts.”
Elaine said: “After a few weeks of hearing some stereotyped views and pitying reactions to Cam and Ollie's diagnosis after birth, we decided we wanted to spread the word that our children were children, not defined by their chromosome counts.
"We set up the Facebook page and it took off so quickly, I think due to identical twins with Down's syndrome being quite rare, occurring at a rate of about one or two in a million births."
She added: "Through the page, we have documented their journey as they've grown from three weeks old to nearly seven years old now through videos, photographs and stories.
"We get messages regularly stating that the page has opened their eyes about Down's syndrome in terms of rebutting stereotypes they might have held.
"Some people also comment that they were very aware that the boys had Down's syndrome when they first started following but now they've forgotten.
"That's a big thing - that the diagnosis just fades into the background and people just see them for who they are, Ollie and Cam.
"That's what we hoped for."
In her latest post, the twins took part in the Down’s Syndrome Association’s awareness film for their employment programme WorkFit.
Elaine said: “I think there are a lot of outdated perceptions out there about Down's syndrome, and learning disabilities in general are a barrier to people getting jobs.
“There's an assumption by many that people with Down's syndrome don't have the competence or ability to work and that a voluntary role is more suitable if anything.
“I hope that the film helps employers to think about people with Down's syndrome as potential employees, people with hopes, dreams and ability.
“I also hope that it encourages parents to talk about employment opportunities with their children so that they have a presumption of seeking employment when the time comes.
“It's about creating the ethos of seeing each employee as an individual, not as a condition or disability, and evaluating how their individual needs can be met within any employment context.
“That takes an open mind, but I believe, slowly, more minds are opening to employing people with disabilities and tailoring training to meet needs.”
The WorkFit programme seeks to promote the message that children with the condition should grow up expecting to be employed.
WorkFit offers a tailored serviced dedicated to training employers about the learning profile of those who have Down’s syndrome.
WorkFit Employment and Development Manager, Alison Thwaite, said: “The film aims to promote a presumption of employment, where children who have Down’s Syndrome grow up expected to be employed and are spoken to about what they might like to do.
“We also hope the film encourages more potential employers to consider signing yo to WorkFit.
“All of our support is free of charge and without obligation and continues as long as the person who has Down’s Syndrome is employed.”