In the spring of 1890, Helen learnt to speak. After the loss of the ability of hearing, she also stopped talking. When she was in mother’s lap, she would move her hand on her face to fell how her lips moved. She made many sounds not to speak but for the exercise of her vocal chords. She also remembered the first word that she uttered was water.
With the help of her teacher she practised to communicate by feeling letters with her fingers but she was not satisfied and desperately wanted to learn to speak.
In 1890, Mrs Lamson, one of the teachers at the Perkins Institutions came to see Helen and told her about a deaf and blind girl, Ragnhild Kaata who had been taught to speak. The story generated a new hope in Helen and she resolved that she would also speak. Miss Sullivan took her for advice and assistance to Miss Sarah Fuller, the principal of Horace Mann School.
Miss Fuller was a sweet natured lady. She started tutoring Helen in March, 1980. She passed Helen’s hand lightly over her face and let her feel the position of her tongue and lips when she made sound. After a long practice, Helen uttered a sentence which is ‘It is warm’. The syllables were broken but they were human speech. Miss Fuller giver her total eleven lessons.
She continued her practise with Miss Sullivan. Her teacher called her attention to the mispronounced words. Sometimes she became very disappointed but soon came out from disappointment.
Lastly, her happiest day arrived. She had made speech her own. Helen reached Tuscumbia railway station and thought about the joy of her family members would be seeing her talk like a normal person.
Quick Revision Notes: