In the video, viewers see the mom with her 5-year-old son, Carter, communicating using sign language as they meet Santa Claus.
Carter, who is smiling, plopped down on a stool beside Santa, looks to his mom who asks him what he wants for Christmas via sign language.
The excited boy shares that he wants a gold Iron Man figurine, to which a confused Santa looks to the mother and grunts, “Eh?” — seemingly asking the mom to translate what the young boy is wishing for.
Then, according to the subtitles the mom included in the video, Saint Nick turns to the mom and asks, “Is there nothing you can do to help him with surgery?”
Although the stunned mom does her best to stay calm, she is visibly upset by his comment. She replied, “No, there’s no need for that,” as Carter looks at his mom.
The Santa then repeats, “Nothing you can do to fix it?” to which the mom once again asserts, “There is nothing to fix — we have sign language.”
Though the interaction was only a minute long, it proved to be beyond insensitive and rude. Since posting, the video has tremendous sparked fury online.
“This is not the first time I’ve had to have this conversation with Santa🤦🏻♀️🎅🏼 It’s awful having to answer these questions in front of Carter - when we are there to talk about his Christmas Wishlist! 👎 I kept up my smile but wanted to get of there as quick as possible!” the devastated mom captioned her Facebook post.
She added the hashtags, “#Deaf #NZSL #ThisIsMe #DontNeedFixing.”
In the comments, many praised the mom for being patient and not leaving in outrage.
“I though okay bit awkward and then he said “that”… my jaw dropped and I was speechless. You handled that with a lot of tact and grace!!” one comment read.
Another Facebook user wrote: “Most folks don't have positive Deaf influences in their lives, and the only information they get about the Deaf Community is through videos like that. So, we shouldn't be surprised when an elderly man dressed like Santa immediately goes to, "Can we fix him?" :*(”