Ponderin' The Past...with Helen Keller part 1

Hello readers! Katy was busy today and isn't feeling well, so I decided to go ahead and write her post for her! Earlier this morning I was working on my school work and I was reading The Story of my Life by Helen Keller and thought it was perfect for today's post! And since there is just SO much neat information on Helen Keller - she and Anne Sullivan were simply amazing people - I will be writing this in two parts. So stay tuned for next week when I write about Helen Keller's adult life!


Helen Keller was born in June 1880, the first child of Kate and Arthur Keller. When she was two, she was struck with an illness, possibly Scarlet Fever, and almost died. But as the doctors began to think she'd never recover, she made a sudden turn and returned to health...but not completely. Though in sound health, Helen had lost both her sight and her ability to hear. Being only two and with limited speech, she soon lost her ability to speak also.


Helen was able to communicate minimally. She could pull for "come" or push for "go and such, but it was very limited.
Her parents took her to many different doctors, but they all were unable to help the young girl. One doctor told them to get her a teacher to help her learn to communicate. So they did.

Anne Sullivan entered Helen's life only a few months before she turned seven - and boy did Anne have a job that was going to push her to the limit!
When Anne first came, she brought a doll. She let Helen play with it for a while before calling her over and finger spelling "doll" onto her hand. And so communication through spelling on the hand began. It wasn't too long before Helen was able to communicate with ease, but she still knew that other people spoke with their mouths and wanted to learn to do it, too. It seemed impossible, but apparently nothing is impossible for the Helen and Anne duo.


Helen did in fact learn to speak. By placing her fingers on certain places of Anne's face, Helen memorized the vibrations and practiced until she could make them herself. Though deaf and blind, Helen was no longer mute.
Helen also learned to read braille. She would take the papers with the braille words on them and paste them about the room, such as "doll" and then if the doll was on the bed she would put "on the bed". It was a truly amazing. When she attended a blind school later in life, she was ecstatic to find other children who read the same way she did and knew how to communicate with her. It was a great blessing for her!

Helen Keller is a truly amazing person to learn about - as well as her teacher, Anne Sullivan. My, what trials and hardships they must have gone through! But they prevailed - setting a great example for us today!
Make sure to check back next Tuesday to learn more about Helen and her journey in life!

3 comments:

Nonners said...

I can't wait for next Tuesday. I loved learning more about her. She's such an interesting case.

Jane said...

Nonners - Yes I love learning about her, too! Very amazing story!

Maureen said...

What a wonderful reminder of these amazing women. I remember seeing the Patty Duke movie on her life. I also vaguely remember seeing her on black and white TV. Thank You!

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Photo credit: Lori Warman