A young, healthy, happy baby girl was born on June 27, 1880 in the small town of Tuscumbia, Alabama. She had no health problems at the time and seemed to be an ordinary child that would grow up and live a normal life as anyone else would. However, several months later, that same baby girl contracted a severe fever that would leave her deaf, mute, and blind. That baby girl was named Helen Adams Keller.
Due to Helen's inability to see, hear, and speak, she was a very difficult child to handle. Her parents could seldom communicate with her due to their lack of knowledge about her disabilities. It was obvious that Helen's parents were not going to be able to take care of her themselves. The family decided to contact the Perkins School for the Blind. A young woman from the school was sent to stay with the Kellers. The family hoped that this woman, Anne Sullivan, could perform some kind of "miracle" on their daughter. She would attempt to teach Helen how to communicate with others. Little did they know, Ms. Sullivan would do just that.
After spending hours and hours of daily training, which lasted for a few years, Anne Sullivan gradually taught Helen how to communicate. She taught her how to recognize objects by using a method of "writing" words into her hand. Anne would have Helen touch an object and then spell the name of that object into her hand. The first time that Ms. Sullivan knew that Helen had finally learned how to relate words with objects was when the two were outside in the garden at the faucet. Anne turned on the water and let it run over Helen's hand. She then took her other hand and spelled the word "water" into it. Seconds later, Helen quietly spoke the word "wawa," which in her case meant "water." As a baby, this is what Helen had always referred to water as, and this was the turning point in her life. From then on, Helen would learn thousands of different words and phrases in her lifetime.