Helen explains how she learned to associate words with objects. This occurred after Miss Sullivan arrived at her home. From her very first day there, Miss Sullivan began finger writing letters into Helen's palm whenever she gave her an object. For instance, she gave Helen a doll and finger wrote the word "doll" into her palm. Helen found this manual writing interesting and even wrote the letters for doll into her mother's palm, but she did not make a connection between the doll and the letters.
It wasn't until some weeks later, when Miss Sullivan wrote the word "water" into Helen's palm while water was coming out of a water pump that Helen suddenly made the connection. This was a transformative, and to Helen, miraculous moment in her life. Suddenly she had the means to communicate, and her entire world opened up.