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Prior to Helen's two week stay in isolation with Ms. Sullivan, Helen was very aggressive towards the family members. She frustrated easily and would tantrum. Each time the family sat down to a meal, Helen would walk around grabbing food from people's plates. Helen had been out of control and no one knew how to manage her behavior. In addition, the family had developed a pattern of giving Helen whatever she wanted in order to avoid her violent outbursts.
Helen has emerged a different person. She is much more calm and does what she is supposed to when directed by Ms. Sullivan. It is the first time that Helen's family has ever had hope that Helen could do better.
Without language, it is very hard for someone to express themselves. When one is unable to express themselves, they often act out in some way. Helen was acting out because she did not know better and did not have language.
Before she was put in isolation with Ms. Sullivan, she acted out by being very aggresive, didn't have good manners, and was short-tempered. For example, during meals, she would walk around and take food off of others' plates with her hands. She didn't know any better and nobody tried to teach her, because really how could they teach her? The answer is they couldn't. Instead of trying to teach Helen the correct way to handle a situation or the correct way to hold herself, they just let her have her way. This prevented temper tantrums. The parents had language, but not a language Helen could learn. Helen had no language. This was a huge barrier.
Helen emerged from her two week isolation almost a "different person." She was more calm, and had a good foundation of manners and etiquette. She still had a ways to go, but she had a good foundation on how she was supposed to act and also had infinitely more language.
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