Helen Keller

pamc153PA

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#21
What a special thread. Thanks so much for reminding us of this amazing woman.
I put a daily quote on my board, and during The Miracle Worker I put up Helen Keller quotes (she has so many good ones!). Eventually, a student will say, “Wait a minute, how could Helen SAY anything?” This is the perfect opening to talk about the challenges she met head-on after the time period in her life that The Miracle Worker covers, and how successful she was, even more so than many people who had lesser handicaps.
 

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#22
I put a daily quote on my board, and during The Miracle Worker I put up Helen Keller quotes (she has so many good ones!). Eventually, a student will say, “Wait a minute, how could Helen SAY anything?” This is the perfect opening to talk about the challenges she met head-on after the time period in her life that The Miracle Worker covers, and how successful she was, even more so than many people who had lesser handicaps.
Yes, I was surprised to discover that in spite of being deaf and blind she did eventually learn to speak again as well. She appears to have done this by placing her hand on a teacher's lips and learning to form the words. There is a clip in the link @Belle Montgomery shared. It's quite extraordinary, but she needed someone to interpret the speech as it was still hard to understand. Having said that, Helen Keller had an indomitable spirit and is a great example to us all in terms of her ability to overcome any obstacle.

I would love it if you would share an odd quote here as I quite liked the one I shared earlier in the thread which I had never come across before.
 

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#23
I teach the kids how to learn to speak without being able to hear, like Helen did. They think the hand on the throats to feel voiced and unvoiced letters is weird, but having to stick their fingers in someone else’s mouth to see how to move your lips and tongue to produce sounds totally grossed them out! We watch the video of Anne Sullivan talking about how she taught Helen, and listen to how difficult it is to actually understand Helen, hence the need for an interpreter.
 
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#24
I have been reading her book and I’m gutted I have nearly finished it!! The way she writes is so heart warming and positive despite her troubles!

Her story is one close to my heart and it’s been a hard read and some what don’t want the book to end although I want to read how it ends! Having a child of my own that’s losing her sight it brings so much hope on the life I never seen her having. I believed once she has lost her sight then she will no longer see.. but the descriptions of everything Helen gives, you almost forget as you are reading that she can not actually see! She just see’s through other means and that brings me so much joy in itself.

The amount she accomplished is incredible and almost unbelievable.. if I hadn’t read it I would never had thought it was ever possible! It’s opened my eyes for sure to the world that we face with our own daughter and makes me a little less scared for her!

I’m shocked I never knew of her before now and can’t thank cavalry charger enough for the recommendation! After I have finished reading her book I plan to go on and learn more of her!

She’s truelly a woman to be honoured and admired that’s for sure!!
 

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I have been reading her book and I’m gutted I have nearly finished it!! The way she writes is so heart warming and positive despite her troubles!

Her story is one close to my heart and it’s been a hard read and some what don’t want the book to end although I want to read how it ends! Having a child of my own that’s losing her sight it brings so much hope on the life I never seen her having. I believed once she has lost her sight then she will no longer see.. but the descriptions of everything Helen gives, you almost forget as you are reading that she can not actually see! She just see’s through other means and that brings me so much joy in itself.

The amount she accomplished is incredible and almost unbelievable.. if I hadn’t read it I would never had thought it was ever possible! It’s opened my eyes for sure to the world that we face with our own daughter and makes me a little less scared for her!

I’m shocked I never knew of her before now and can’t thank cavalry charger enough for the recommendation! After I have finished reading her book I plan to go on and learn more of her!

She’s truelly a woman to be honoured and admired that’s for sure!!
Steph, thank you for sharing your thoughts, both in relation to your own precious daughter and the story of Helen Keller.

My favourite thing that you said was 'she just sees through other means' and I'm glad that thought also brings you joy.

It can be frightening to imagine a world without sight, but more often than not our other senses compensate when one is lost. It is not what we would want, but it somehow makes it more bearable to think an amazing life can still be lived in spite of such difficulties.

So glad you came back to give us your impressions after reading. And so happy, too, that it may have helped to shed a bit of extra light on a very difficult situation.

You have my heartfelt compassion as a parent in relation to your current situation. God bless your wee one :hug:
 
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#26
Just coming back to here.,

I just watched the film on the life of Helen Keller, I ofcourse read the book back along, but it was nice to see the film as it shows it in a different view on the story and seeing how her family were.. I did wonder when reading the book on how the family were in handing over Helen to her teacher. Also to see how the alphabet was done.. I had wondered whether it was spelt into helens hand or was through actions.

Other than those things, I also found it harder to see the reactions to how Helen was treated and pitied for the way she was and how that went against Helen and made her behaviour so much worse. It’s a huge reflection that can be shown in almost everything I think, and with a little hard work, tough love and the right teacher then so much can be achieved! Her teacher is amazing with having the courage to stand up and be Helens voice until Helen could find her own. Such amazing women both Helen and her teacher .. and such inspirational in one of Helen learningto see and hear again through other ways .. and her teacher for having the love patience and kindness to stick with Helen and guide her all through her life, taking her on as if she was her own child. The love between them is one of a kind.
 

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The love between them is one of a kind.
I so agree with this, Steph. There is no doubt a great love had to be attached to that kind of committment, and Annie Sullivan's ability to persevere with Helen in the circumstances. And I think you're right. The family pitied her and thus tolerated what would normally be considered unacceptable behaviour. Annie Sullivan would not tolerate the behaviour, forcing Helen to rise to the occasion and show she could do better. And she did. Far, far better than anyone could ever have imagined. She was an intelligent, if stubborn child, and needed someone just as intelligent and stubborn to meet her where she was in that moment in order to draw her out of it.

This is where I have so much respect for Annie Sullivan. She is as deserving of the accolades as Helen Keller. Though Helen suffered the burden of severe disability being blind and deaf, Annie Sullivan said you are not going to give up and I am not going to give up on you because of your disability. She would not let Helen become a savage creature, lacking self control, and something to be pitied. Her determination, vision and understanding led to so many wonderful things which have benefited so many other people in the world since.

Two very inspirational women who are greatly to be admired.
 
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#28
Yes I’m very glad I watched the film as well as read the book. The book is excellent and can get a real insight to Helen’s life and how she see’s the world. You can learn a lot about Helen through her book and brilliant to read her experience of it all first hand but when I had finished reading it I was left wondering a lot on how her family was with it all, how they came to getting Helen the help she got, and how they felt about Annie Sullivan with her ways of teaching. Where as the film showed all of that and got a real understanding of how Helens life was with her family and how she’s was treated, and that’s a side that I think would and has helped many families also having a deaf or blind child. It is very easy to take pity on a child with a disability, I know I have fallen into that many occasions and indeed had to pay the price of that with then having to teach discipline after letting the bad behaviour slide using excuses that they don’t understand etc.. but the difference shown from Helen’s parents way of bringing up Helen and to how Annie did was a huge and complete opposite ways to each other.. but both the parents and Annie had a very much loved relationship with Helen despite these differences, but it was Annie’s methods, patience and toughness that made Helen’s life story to be one that’s so successful. I think a lot of parents going through the same thing would benefit greatly from seeing the film.. I never knew of Helen Keller before this and was never taught about her in school etc which I think is a great shame.
 

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So glad you got something out of this @Steph-GB . It is indeed very inspirational and the story has stayed with me since I was a child.

I think it was the element of communication that really had a deep impact on me. The necessity of being able to communicate and how impossible that seemed in the circumstances. But, that breakthrough moment when it came ... still brings me out in goosebumps!
 



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