Describe Helen's first meeting with Alexander Graham Bell.

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Helen was fortunate to be the child of caring parents with the financial resources and the willingness to help her overcome the handicaps of both blindness and deafness. As part of their quest for a way to educate Helen, they took her to visit Mr. Bell in Washington. This was...

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Helen was fortunate to be the child of caring parents with the financial resources and the willingness to help her overcome the handicaps of both blindness and deafness. As part of their quest for a way to educate Helen, they took her to visit Mr. Bell in Washington. This was on the advice of a doctor in Baltimore.

During the visit, Helen sat on Bell's knee, and he let her examine his watch. She intuitively sensed that he was a kind and sympathetic person. At this time, she had no way of knowing how troubled her father was about her future or that Bell would lead them to Anne Sullivan by recommending they consult with the Perkins Institution for a teacher.

Being a child, Helen only knew that Bell made her feel understood:

He understood my signs, and I knew it and loved him at once.

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Helen's parents desperately wanted her to get an education, despite her disabilities. As a result, they took her to meet Alexander Graham Bell, who, as well as being the inventor of the telephone, was a leading expert in the education of the deaf. Given his outstanding reputation, he seemed like the right person to help Helen take her first step on the road to getting an education.

Helen's first meeting with Alexander Graham Bell was a huge success, and it set the tone for a long, lasting friendship between them. Straight away, Helen felt that she loved Alexander deeply. Just as importantly, she felt that he understood her. During that famous first meeting, Helen climbed onto Alexander's lap. He then made his pocket watch chime so that Helen could feel it vibrating. Helen was absolutely fascinated by the watch.

Alexander also "listened" to Helen as she spoke to him using her signs. He was soon convinced that Helen could indeed be educated and put her parents in touch with the Perkins Institution in Boston. It was through the institution that Helen's father was able to find a teacher for Helen. It was Annie Sullivan, who went on to play a hugely important role in Helen's life for many years.

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