Amazing Kids! Magazine

Helen Keller

By Veronica Sturman, Contributing Writer

 

Many famous people in history have had to overcome tough childhoods. Helen Keller was one of those children. Helen Keller overcame tremendous obstacles and hardships. She was a very smart baby and started talking at only six months, but when she was 18 months she caught a disease that left her blind and deaf. That didn’t stop Helen Keller from living a fulfilling life.

Helen’s strong will showed when she was just a child. She was wild and uncontrollable. Unable to communicate with speech, she kicked and screamed when she was unhappy and giggled hysterically when she was happy. She was unruly and needed to learn to focus her will power. Her parents found her an outstanding tutor named Ann Sullivan when Helen was seven years old.

Ann Sullivan came to live with Helen, so she could tutor her at her home. Ann taught her by spelling out words in sign language on Helen’s hand. At first, Helen could spell them back, but Ann knew that she wasn’t getting the connection between the word and the object. Ann told the family that she needed time alone with Helen and they moved into a cottage nearby. One day Ann brought her to the water pump and pumped water on her hand while spelling the word “water” on the other hand. Helen suddenly made the connection and demanded to learn another word by banging on the ground. She learned 30 words before the day was over.

Helen’s determination to learn language did not stop there. She learned touch-lip reading, speech, Braille, typing as well as finger spelling. She went on to attend the Horace Mann School for the Deaf, Wright-Humason School for the Deaf, Cambridge School for Young Ladies, and Radcliff College. She was excellent student and graduated with honors.

Helen Keller had an optimistic outlook and wanted to make changes in the world. She spoke for woman’s suffrage and advocated for the blind. Her positive outlook paired with her strong determination allowed her to overcome extreme difficulties to improve her own life and the lives of others. She can be an inspiration to anyone who finds himself or herself in a tough situation. Helen Keller is one of history’s stars, but not the only one. The human spirit and strength has been found in children throughout history.

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