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The Story of My Life

The inspiring story of Helen Keller’s triumph over blindness and deafness

By Helen Keller
9-minute read
Audio available
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

The Story of My Life (1903) chronicles the early years of Helen Keller, a young woman who became both deaf and blind at a young age. The book explores the challenges she faced growing up as a child with disabilities, and introduces the amazing people who helped her along the way.

  • People looking to be inspired
  • Students with disabilities
  • People who interact with anyone with special needs

Helen Keller (1880–1968) was an American author, speaker and political activist who was part of the women’s suffrage movement and spoke up for the working classes as a member of the Socialist Party. She devoted her life to helping others. She also helped found the American Civil Liberties Union.

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The Story of My Life

By Helen Keller
  • Read in 9 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 5 key ideas
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
Synopsis

The Story of My Life (1903) chronicles the early years of Helen Keller, a young woman who became both deaf and blind at a young age. The book explores the challenges she faced growing up as a child with disabilities, and introduces the amazing people who helped her along the way.

Key idea 1 of 5

Since she was a baby, Helen Keller was both blind and deaf.

Born in 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Helen Keller would grow up to lead an incredible life that no one had thought possible.

She was just 19 months old when she was struck with a horrible fever.

Keller had started to walk and talk and showed signs of being a fast learner before the illness developed. But when she lost her sight and hearing due to her illness, she had to learn how to communicate by other means.

Basic signals and actions such as nodding her head for yes and shaking it for no allowed her to express herself to others. Fortunately, Keller’s mother helped ensure that her daughter understood what was being asked of her, and, at the age of five, Helen was already partaking in daily activities such as folding and putting away the laundry.

You can imagine, however, that growing up deaf and blind can lead to incredible frustration, and understandably, Keller wasn’t always the most well-behaved child. She would erupt into fits of rage when unable to express what she wanted. And when something didn’t go the way she desired, the consequences were sometimes disastrous.

One day she decided to throw an apron into the fire because it wasn’t drying quickly enough. She set herself on fire as a result, though thankfully her injuries weren’t too severe.

Keller also acted out in other ways, like when she locked her mother up in the pantry for three hours and refused to let anyone know the whereabouts of the key.

It was at this point that her parents realized she needed to be educated. Yet the difficulty of finding someone qualified in educating a young blind and deaf girl was considerable.

But as we will find out, the right teacher did come along – one who would change her life forever.

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