This sixteen-year-old young man is the middle child in his family. He has a younger sister, who is thirteen, and an older sister, Natalie, who is now twenty-three.
But about five years ago, Natalie was in a tragic car accident, which caused her to suffer some serious injuries. Thankfully, she was able to recover from most of them– however, she still sustained permanent damage to her vocal cords.
So, Natalie has been mute ever since then and has learned to get by quite well using American sign language (ASL).
What frustrates him most as Natalie’s brother, though, is the fact that their parents have always refused to learn sign language for his sister.
In fact, rather than learning how to communicate with their daughter in the way she feels most comfortable, his parents insisted that Natalie could just write anything she wanted to say on a piece of paper.
Plus, when she did not want to carry around a pen and pad, they told Natalie that she could just use text-to-speech.
“Most of her teachers were like that, too, which I get for them. She’s just one student, and they’re busy,” he explained, “But these are our parents.”
He, on the other hand, always communicates with Natalie via Facetime because he did take the time to learn sign language. And apparently, she prefers to communicate face-to-face as opposed to text.
Still, though, now that Natalie is away at college, his parents have apparently only wanted to text his sister. And according to him, Natalie is an “okay” texter, but it just does not make her happy.