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ILLUSTRATION… Hellen Keller (p)

Whenever I read this passage, I cannot help but think of another movie! I think of the 1962 (and in 1979) movie about Hellen Keller called “The Miracle Worker.” Hellen Keller was deaf and blind and could not communicate. Her teacher, Anne Sullivan arrived at Keller’s house in March 1887, and immediately began to teach Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand, beginning with d-o-l-l for the doll that she had brought Keller as a present. Keller’s big breakthrough in communication came in April the same year, when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on the palm of her hand, while running cool water over her other hand, symbolized the idea of "water"; she then nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world. Sullivan taught her student to speak using the Tadoma method of touching the lips and throat of others as they speak, combined with finger-spelling letters on the palm of the child’s hand. I want you to note that physical touch was essential.

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