A teen, who is almost entirely deaf, has sparked an interesting debate after venting about her elder sister, who refuses to learn sign language.
The 17-year-old, who started losing her hearing 10 years ago, usually wears hearing aids, however her parents and two younger brothers both know sign language. Her youngest brother, aged 14, is also rapidly losing his hearing.
In recent weeks, the family has been increasingly reliant on communicating using sign language, after the teen has broken her hearing aids, as doesn’t have a spare set – which has made it increasingly difficult for her to understand her older sister.
“My older sister is older than me by 10 years and by the time I started losing my hearing, she figured learning sign was pointless since my hearing could be ‘fixed’ with hearing aids,” the teen explained on Reddit’s Am I The A**hole forum.
“She’s 27 now, still refusing to learn sign language but expects me to hold a full conversation with her at Sunday dinners when I can’t hear her and not only that but she mumbles and never looks directly at me so it’s very difficult for me to grasp what she’s saying.”
Unsurprisingly, the teen has grown frustrated at her sister’s refusal to make not only her life easier, but their younger brother’s too, by making at least some effort to learn sign language.
“I told her that I will not be communicating with her until such time that she learns some basic sign and puts an effort in to helping us understand her better,” she continued, explaining that her parents were outraged by her decision, but her brother totally agrees.
“If not one but two of my siblings were hard of hearing or deaf I would be learning sign the moment they were. Not only that but keeping eye contact and speaking clearly is good manners not just for anyone who may be hard of hearing,” one Reddit user responded. “Your sister needs a wake up call!”
Another added: “It is fine if she doesn’t want to learn sign. Cool. Sis becomes an a**hole when she just assumes you can hear since you aren’t ‘all the way deaf,’ mumbles, won’t look you in the eye when speaking to you and STILL EXPECTS YOU TO HOLD FULL CONVERSATIONS WITH HER.
“Maybe you should be sneaky. Every time she speaks, tell her WHAT? I CANT HEAR YOU!! Pardon? I’m sorry, you are mumbling. I’m sorry, I don’t hear well you know… Can you speak up? Can you repeat that? Sorry, again, can’t hear you!
“And do not stop. She will either leave you alone or at least start speaking so you can see her lips moving and maybe she will speak up. If not, just keep doing it. And if bro can do it too, I guarantee no one will expect you to converse with her anymore.”