The loss of her sight and hearing greatly complicated the process of learning to speak for the young Helen. The combination of these limitations made it enormously difficult for her to communicate when she wanted to express herself to the outside world. Because she lost the means of communication that her family and friends would recognize and understand at such a young age, she was left with no method of interacting with her surroundings. Helen was unable to express her feelings or needs through words because she had not yet learned how to talk; she could not write messages due to her youth and could not point to words or symbols since she could not see them. The result was that she was isolated in frustration and inability to communicate effectively.
The few signs I used became less and less adequate, and my failures to make myself understood were invariably followed by outbursts of passion...After awhile the need of some means of communication became so urgent that these outbursts occurred daily, sometimes hourly.