HELEN KELLER

Helen Keller, born in 1880 was just like any other normal child. She had
two loving parents that cared for her deeply. She was a bright glowing young
baby, but at the age of eighteen months old she suffered an illness. The illness
that Helen got was Scarlet Fever.(Howell 1) Helen got well after awhile and her
parents suspected nothing. They thought that she had fully recovered. But from
this illness arose problems.
This tells how Helen Keller had to overcome the obstacles of being deaf,
dumb, and blind. This tells the reader how Helen Keller was taught to communi¬
cate with others, and tell the various methods by which she was taught. It will
also explain to the reader the difficulty of not having the ability to speak, see,
and hear and overcoming this to be a wonderful person in history.
Once Helen did not respond to the sounds of bells her parents knew at
once that something was wrong with Helen. They soon discovered that Helen
was deaf. They discovered later that she was blind when she did not blink when
her mother clothed or bathed her. She was declared legally as an idiot.
(Brooks 9)
She soon started going to a special school called the Boston Institute for
the Blind that her parents had heard of that helps children with disabilities. She
did not really understand that words stood for things in the world. She did not
know what words meant. Although she did not give up easily.(Howell 1)
Up until the age of seven, when her teacher Anne Sullivan put her hand
under water did she know that things in the world had meanings. Anne being
half blind herself had the ways of knowing how to teach Helen.

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In about two hours she had mastered over sixty words. Her and Anne
developed a way of communicating through touching of the palm of the hand.
After this experience she later talked about it.
“there was a strange stir within me,-a misty consciousness, a sense of
something remembered. It was as if I had come back to life after being
dead . . . I understood that it was possible for me to communicate with
other people by these signs. Thoughts that ran forward and backward
came to me quickly,-thoughts that seemed to start in my brain spread all
over me. I think it was in the nature of a revelation. . . . I felt joyous,
strong, equal to my limitations. Delicious sensations rippled through
me, and sweet strange things that were locked up in my heart began to
sing.”(qtd. in Brooks 14)
In Helen’s later childhood she was asked to give speeches on her dis¬
abilities and talk to the president. She even made a motion picture based on her
life in her later years.(Lash 81) She was invited to many parties held by power¬
ful people and soon became a very well known person for her young age.
At the time Helen got her degree from Radcliffe in 1904 she and Anne
Sullivan had moved to the town of Wrenthan.(Howell 3) This town was only
twenty-six miles from Boston and Helen knew it well. Her and Anne came to be
very close friends. They now shared a house and farm together.
Anne Sullivan was always known to Helen as teacher. Teacher was the
first word that Helen new to say before water. Anne was very fond of Helen.
Anne was sent to Helen at the age of six. She taught at the Boston Institute for
the Blind.


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When Helen was brought to Anne she did not know any words or mean¬
ings of things in the world. She always did have the potential to be something
though. This would all soon change as Helen would come to know the meanings
of words and things in the world.
Helen couldn’t grasp the concept that words had meanings, and so be¬
cause of this Anne took the direct approach and first taught Helen what words
stood for when she stuck Helen’s hand under a faucet and stressed to her that
this meant water. This enlightened Helen as to what words meant. As Helen
realized this she soon started to know express and what the meanings of words
were. As she learned a new word she would make a motion to act out that word.
She did this for hours, and she wouldn’t stop until she new the word right.
By the end of the day she knew over sixty