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.
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.”
“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.”
“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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