Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on June 27, 1880 Helen Keller started off a joyful life. Being reported by her mother, Kate Adams Keller, at six months, Helen had been able to pronounce, "How d'ye" and "tea, tea, tea." By then she also knew the meaning of the word "water," which she pronounced "wah-wah.". When she was a year old, she took her first steps. Her eyesight was perfect as it's noted that she could find "needles and buttons on the floor that no one else in the family could find". Overall, for almost the first two years of her infant life, Helen Keller was just as normal as any normal infant.
In February 1882, Helen, then 19 months old, contracted some type of disease, which is now believed to have been Scarlet Fever. The family were on constant fear of Helen dying in any day, but soon enough the fever subsided. Following the fever, Helen fell in a 'deceptively' quiet sleep and from this the Keller's believed Helen was cured. Helen's eyes, however, continued to pain her. She later recalled that they felt "so dry and hot" and that she kept them turned "to the wall, away from the once-loved light, which came to me dim and yet more dim each day." Soon, Kate and the family realized Helen's new problem. the disease had left her blind, deaf, and mute. .
"I cannot recall what happened during the first months after my illness. I only know that I sat in my mother's lap or clung to her dress as she went about her household duties," Helen later wrote in The Story of My Life. "My hands felt every object and observed every motion, and in this way I learned to know many things." The Keller's knew something had to be done about their daughter. It was the third of March, 1887, three months before Helen was seven years old, when Anne Mansfield Sullivan came. Through years of hard teaching, Helen finally was able to read by the Braille system and to write by means of a specially constructed typewriter.