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It is remarkable that Helen Keller learned how to talk.

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Helen Keller explains about her Greatest Disappointment in life....that she could not speak normally:

In this room sits a remarkable woman. She's Miss Helen Keller. She does not see the room, or the book she's reading. She sees nothing. She doesn't hear the rustling of the curtains behind her. She is deaf... deaf and blind. 

But if you enter a room she will know it. Your lightest foot fall will tell her you are coming. It will even tell her who you are, if she knows you. As she knows her old friend Polly Thomson. Polly has been with Helen forty years. For half of these she has been Helen's only companion. Helen's eyes and ears on the world. She talks to Helen with a finger system which each letter has a sign... like this. 

Reaching out beyond her dark and silent night, Helen depends most on touch. Two other senses remain. There is taste and smell. Scent... the scent of objects and places and people tells Helen much that we learn with eyes and ears. But her hand is her chief link with the outer world, with Polly, with Anne the part time helper. With everyone she encounters. With her hand she reads Anne's lips. 

She answers with her voice. It is an un-natural voice, and is her great sorrow. For all her years of effort Helen has never learned to speak clearly. This isn't strange. For since she was a baby she hasn't heard a word spoken nor seen lips forming one. 

But let Helen, with Polly's help, tell you. (Helen speaking) :

"It is not blindness or deafness that bring me my darkest hours. It is the acute disappointment in not being able to speak normally. Longingly I feel how much more good I may have done, if I had only acquired normal speech. But out of this sorrowful experience I understand more clearly all human striving, wanted ambitions, and infinite capacity of hope."

She was truly remarkable and perhaps even more remarkable was her teacher Anne Sullivan.

I read this and wonder: HOW???

At only 21 years of age, Sullivan showed great maturity and ingenuity in teaching Keller. She wanted to help Keller make associations between words and physical objects, and worked hard with her rather stubborn and spoiled pupil. After isolating Keller from her family in order to better educate her, Sullivan began working to teach Keller how to communicate with the outside world. During one lesson, she finger-spelled the word "water" on one of Keller's hands as she ran water over her student's other hand. Keller finally made her first major breakthrough, connecting the concept of sign language with the objects around her.

Thanks to Sullivan's instruction, Keller learned nearly 600 words, most of her multiplication tables, and how to read Braille within a matter of months.

I know isn't it unbelievable? I remember being a little kid maybe 8 or 9 years old and watching a movie on tv that dramatized the life of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. I was mesmerized. It just didn't seem possible. I'll never forget the scene at the water well when Helen makes the connection between the water and the symbols Annie is making in her hand.

Yeah that's amazing. Next time I think about giving up I'm going to remember her. 

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