Helen Keller


In 1882 a baby girl caught a fever that was so fierce she nearly died. She survived but the fever left its mark - she could no longer see or hear. Because she could not hear she also found it very difficult to speak. So how did this child, blinded and deafened at 19 months old, grow up to become a world-famous author and public speaker?
was born on 27 June 1880 in Alabama, the daughter of a newspaper editor. Before her illness she was a lively and healthy child with a friendly personality. She could walk and even say a few simple words. The fever cut her off from the outside world, depriving her of sight and sound. It was as if she had been thrown into a dark prison cell from which there ...

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could also tell where she was in the garden by the smell of the different plants and the feel of the ground under her feet. By the age of seven she had invented over 60 different signs by which she could talk to her family. If she wanted bread for example, she would pretend to cut a loaf and butter the slices. If she wanted ice cream she wrapped her arms around herself and pretended to shiver.
Helen was unusual in that she was extremely intelligent and also remarkably sensitive. By her own efforts she had managed to make some sense of an alien and confusing world. But even she had limitations.

At the age of five Helen began to realise she was different from other people. She noticed that her family did not use signs like she did but talked with their mouths. Sometimes she stood between two people and touched their lips. She could not understand what they said and she could not make any meaningful sounds herself. She wanted to talk but no matter how she tried she could not make ...

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of Helen's tantrums. She knew that if she could teach her to communicate she would become a different person. Even so, before she could teach this wild child, she had to control her. When she tried to get Helen to do something she didn't like Helen would scream and kick and bite. Anne eventually won these battles by sheer will-power and persistence.

The next breakthrough came when Anne decided to teach Helen the manual alphabet. This is a sign language in which each letter is signed onto the hand of the deaf-blind person so that he or she can feel it. Each letter has a separate sign. This means that words and sentences can be spelt. It also means that complex ideas can be ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/21/2005 05:22:18 PM
Category: Biographies
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1572
Pages: 6

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