Annie's greatest obstacle with Helen is Helen's parents. They have indulged Helen unmercifully because they don't know what else to do with her. They are totally helpless to control Helen whatsoever, so they have just ignored her and tried to co-exist with her, but life is miserable and disorderly. Annie feels that as long as Helen's behavior is unruly, there is no way she will be able to teach Helen to communicate.
Helen is violent. She hits Annie, throws things at her and locks her in her room. Helen runs around the table at mealtimes and sticks her hands in everyone else's food. She makes continual messes in the house and has frequent temper tantrums. Annie asks Helen's parents to leave her alone with Helen for a week so that Helen will have no choice but to totally depend on Annie for everything. Reluctantly, the parents agree to do this. Captain Keller does not approve of the chaos that surrounds Annie's methods, and he is a hindrance to any progress that Helen might make. His wife finally convinces him not to fire Annie and to giver her a chance to do what she wants to do with Helen. Nothing else has worked, why not?