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Helen had not been born as a deaf and blind child but had been affected by an illness which her doctors stated as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain” which now is believed to have been either scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness did not remain with her for long but brought in deafness and blindness in her. As a child Helen could only communicate with Martha Washington who was Helen’s family cook’s daughter. Martha understood much of Helen’s signs. Helen used 60 of her home signs while communicating with her family. In 1886, Helen was sent by her mother while being accompanied by her father to seek the help of Dr. J. Julian Chisolm, an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist for advice. This was the first time that Helen was sent for a professional learning process. Helen had found her instructor in Perkins’ former student Anne Sullivan (who was visually impaired for 20 years).
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