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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Teenager Teaches Age 4 Brother with Cerebral Palsy Sign Language & Shares Videos with World

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Most big sisters look forward to teaching their younger siblings a thing or two. While there are often contentious years and competition, things usually settle down and a much more nurturing side comes out.

While many girls might love to teach their brother or sister how to play a game, read to them or teach them to draw, Jade teaches her brother how to communicate.

Christian Kilduff is 4 years old. When he was born, a lack of oxygen caused some major issues for him, resulting in visual impairment, cerebral palsy and brain damage.

Doctors told his mother, Diana, that he would never talk, walk or have a good quality of life, according to Fox News. But they were wrong.

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A big part of that is thanks to 17-year-old Jade, who specifically started taking courses in Makaton, a form of sign language, in order to teach her brother how to communicate.

“Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate,” the Makaton website reads. “It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.”

Do you know someone who only communicates in sign language?

“With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally at their own pace, as they develop speech.”

“I am determined to make a difference in the world for my brother and other children and adults with learning difficulties,” Jade said. “He is our little miracle, he amazes us every day.”

As part of her efforts to help Christian, she started “Sign Along With Us,” and has both a Facebook and YouTube presence where she and Christian illustrate how to sign various words and phrases to help others learn how to communicate through Makaton as well.

“Hi everyone, my names jade, I’m 17 and this is my gorgeous little brother Christian who is 3 years old,” she wrote on her YouTube About page, when Christian was still 3. “He is visually impaired and has cerebral palsy both caused by a brain injury.”

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“He has started signing to help him communicate and we would like you all to join us as we learn to sign and you’ll also learn some signs hopefully on the way, this is our first video. Hope you enjoy it :)”

Jade is a great example of a caring sibling who’s also putting her talents to good use by helping others beyond her immediate family. Check out her videos and learn a thing or two yourself!

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking