Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Before Helen Keller

Did you know that there was another famous blind/deaf woman before Helen Keller? I mean one that was known world-wide?

Her name was Laura Bridgman and she was born 50 years before Helen.

Her story is just as amazing, if not more so, than Helen's. Why have I not heard of her before? Well actually I may have read a passing reference to her in a biography on Helen - but nothing significant enough that it made me want to read more about her.

The other day I spotted a book on Laura at our library. It's called "She Touched The World" and it's a juvenile book.

Our library has only one other book on Laura, for adults, and I just put it on hold.

In contrast there are at least 66 books on Helen Keller in our library system.

Laura was even more disadvantaged than Helen. At an early age she became blind and deaf PLUS she had little or no sense of smell or taste (due to Scarlet Fever). She never learned to say more than a few words. Because she was born 50 yrs before Helen, there was even less known about how to deal with her condition. Incidentally, at least from what I've read, she did not misbehave quite like Helen did.

Laura was sent away to school when she was about 7 - within a year or two she had learned to fingerspell, read braille, and more. By the time she was about 10 - she was known around the world. Parents and teachers held her up as an example...and she was and is an inspiration.

I read the book aloud to the kids and we all enjoyed it.


CanadianGrandma said...

I have never heard of her either.Perhaps they have a book on her at our library...must check it out.

Anonymous said...

Laura Bridgman sounds like an interesting read.