Mum of deaf step daughter slammed for refusing to learn sign language

A step-mum sparked controversy online as she admitted she doesn't want to learn sign language – despite her step-daughter being entirely deaf.

Taking to Reddit's "Am I the a**hole" forum, the woman shared her lack of interest in communicating with her husband's child.

Providing some context, the woman explained that she had been married to her husband for around a year.

They quickly became a family with her two young children, Jay, 8, and Juniper, 5, from a previous relationship.

She admitted in the post: “We had no intentions of having more kids.”

However, this did not last for long as the husband found out he was father to a child he was not aware of.

At first, the newly married couple had their suspicions about the new daughter coming on the scene.

However, they quickly realised they were about to get a new addition to their family.

The Redditor explained: “We were a little dubious, but she turned out to be right…

"She wants visitation which he has agreed to. There's no formal custody arrangement between (husband and mum) so it's basically just sporadic weekends and school holidays.

“Usually this is just between the two of them, but sometimes she will come to the house and has even slept over a few times.”

While the arrangement seems simple enough, the Redditor admitted she's been struggling to communicate with her step daughter.

She said: “Here's my dilemma. (My step daughter) is hearing impaired. I'm not entirely sure to what degree but I do know she almost exclusively uses ASL (American Sign Language).

“No one in our family knows ASL but (my husband) has been trying to learn for her. The last time she was here he pitched to me the idea of us learning ASL as a family.”

Harshly, the step-mum admitted that she is not keen on the idea of learning sign language.

She explained: “The truth is that I really don't know if that is worth the effort. She is present at our house maybe once a month. I would consider it if she were going to be over more often, but I work 48 hours a week and I just don't have time for something like this.”

She continued: “I also know 3 different languages, one of which was in adulthood and it was very difficult for me even fifteen years ago.

"I just can't fit something like that into my life, but I told (my husband) that Jay and Juniper can still learn if they're interested.

“The kids don't want to since I'm not and now husband thinks I'm being ridiculous since I have no other way of communicating with (my step daughter)…

“I told him we can work something out but he didn't want to hear it honestly."

Asking people on the online forum, the woman asked: “Am I the a**hole for not wanting to learn sign language?”

Many people took to the comments to declare that the woman was in the wrong for not wanting to learn how to communicate with her step daughter.

One person commented: “Try to imagine that 1 of your biological kids were hearing impaired and they exclusively used sign language. Now imagine that their stepmother or even another family member refused to learn even the basics in order to effectively communicate.

“ Now imagine that family member’s own children refused to learn the basics because their parent refuses. How would you feel?”

Another user added: “Can you imagine how that feels to a disabled person? For you to behave like you just can't be bothered to make a small effort to make them feel like they matter as a human being.

“Let alone your stepdaughter who will be in your life as long as you are married to your husband. You are the only person in this scenario capable of trying to bridge the gap here, and yet trying to rationalise choosing not to.”

A third person noted: “What does marriage mean to you? The man you married, the man you LOVE is asking you to learn ASL for his DAUGHTER. He shouldn’t have even asked or suggested it. You should have been allllll over it.”

Let us know in the comments if you think the woman is in the wrong!

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