Q:

What caused Helen Keller to go blind and deaf?

A:

Quick Answer

The actual cause for Helen Keller's condition is unknown, but some speculate that it was an illness such as rubella or scarlet fever. Many of her symptoms were referred to as a "congestion" of the brain and stomach. Even though she was physically impaired, Helen was able to learn and lead a productive life.

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Full Answer

There is a popular misconception that Helen Keller was born deaf and blind. However, she become ill around 18 to 19 months old. Though she survived the illness, she was left blind and deaf. She also did not speak until she was 10. Helen was a difficult child, but her new teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan managed to calm her down. Anne, who had poor eyesight, understood the frustration that Helen faced on a daily basis. This led her to find a balance between love and discipline with Helen. Though it took some time, Anne was able to teach Helen to finger spell words onto people's palms. After a few years, Helen expressed her desire to speak, but was never fully satisfied with her voice. Helen eventually attended Radcliffe College and received her Bachelor's degree in the arts; she was the first deaf and blind student to achieve this milestone. Throughout the rest of her life, Helen spent most of her time writing and enjoying life.

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