Communicating with your kids is very important, so you should take whatever measures necessary.
And, if learning ASL will help your kids feel more comfortable, why wouldn’t you do it?
Redditor AITA_33222 encountered this very issue with her parents. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for accusing my parents of being a bad parents to my deaf sister?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“So my (17F) parents(47F,52M) were never too interested in me or my older brother growing up, I was very independent.”
“Well 7 years ago they had a brilliant idea of making another baby, my little sister. She was born deaf on side and HOH on the other. My parents got her a cochlear implant when she was a baby.”
“They make her completely deaf when she’s not wearing the processors but she hates wearing them, I think they give her sensory overload.”
OP and her brother tried to help make her sister feel comfortable.
“When she was a toddler my brother found a deaf daycare and he tried to convince my parents to send her there. They said they didn’t care but they wouldn’t drive her so my brother decided to drive her 45 minutes there and back everyday.”
“When she was 5 my parents started sending her to the state school for the deaf which was 2 hours away. She would sleep there over the week and the bus would take her home on the weekends.”
“I know simple sign language, I know most words but I don’t have much sentence structure. When I asked my parents if I could take ASL at school when I first started high school they said no and I should take Spanish because it’s an actual useful language.”
“Last weekend they kept trying to tell my sister to wear her CI and she kept saying no. And at one point my mom tried just sticking it on her ear but my sister grabbed it and threw it on the ground.”
“My mom started yelling at her and then I started arguing with my mom. She was really defensive and saying things like ‘I’m not taking parenting advice from a 17 year old!’ even though I wasn’t giving her parenting advice.”
“At one point I told her to stop yelling at my sister because she couldn’t understand and she said ‘Well that’s not my fault! What do you want me to do about it?’ I said ‘How about you learn sign language.'”
“My mom acted super offended like that was some evil thing to say. My dad sent me to my room and I could her them yelling at my sister downstairs.”
“I don’t see how that was bad but I guess it offended.”
“I tried to bring it up to my mom today but she claimed I was accusing her of being a bad parent but I don’t see how. I honestly think these are her own insecurities that she’s putting onto me.”
“But maybe I was in a way, and although I didn’t say it I do kinda think it, AITA here?”
“Edit: I have suggested moving to the town where the deaf school is so that my sister can live with us, and it’s only like half an hour drive from my parents jobs but they refuse.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. Unfortunately this isn’t uncommon and only 10% of parents to Deaf children learn sign language. I’ll never understand how this isn’t legally considered child abuse. Communication is vital to a child’s development and well being.”
“Your parents sound horrible and your mom is definitely projecting her insecurities.”
“I’m proud of you for standing up for your sister.” ~ Sugaredfig
“I did a quick Google search and it’s up to 25% now, which is still a frightening number.”
“My heart is broken. I would learn at least basic sign language if a niece or nephew was deaf. I would do my best to be fluent in it was my child.”
“Hell I learned baby sign language (just a few basic signs) when my son was born.” ~ unusedusername3
Redditors shared their experiences.
“My mom was a speech therapist and fluent in ASL. I was born half deaf, and undiagnosed until 6. My mother made sure to ban the teacher of the deaf from interacting with me, never taught me sign, or any other accommodations like closed captions so I would always pause and rewind movies or ask her what they said.”
“Our biggest fight about it was recently when she tried whispering to me in public and did the ‘I thought you’d be able to hear me’ in which I yelled back ‘you are fluent in ASL, I know ASL, why are you whispering and forcing me to struggle???'” ~ XxfallingfromfirexX
“I’m so sorry you have to go through that.” ~ Dani_CB
“Yeah and I was in a good school district with a teacher of the deaf. Instead she had the district remove me from class for support with kids who had learning disabilities. Which after a year I got kicked out of for having a high gpa so then I had no support when I did struggle as more teachers stopped writing notes on the board and did spoken lectures.”
“And instead of a teacher or the deaf talking to all my teachers, I had to explain them that I couldn’t hear in the back of the room and ask to be sat in the front and struggle when they would ignore me and sticks me in the back. But then she could go in and raise hell screaming at everyone which she loved.” ~ XxfallingfromfirexX
“This really saddens me. I have even tried to learn baby sign language to communicate with my son better because he’s not much of a talker and he doesn’t even have any hearing problems. It baffles me that that many parents don’t even care about setting up a basic line of communication with their child.” ~ endomiel
I’m sure they could find some basic classes on YouTube.