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Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council


How My Life is Like Helen Keller

A Conversation between Jaison Hart and his mother, Sharon.


Sharon: We have been reading the book, The Story of Helen Keller by Lorena Kickok. Tell me about the book.

 Jaison: I’m like Helen. I used to think people were just so many hands.


 Sharon: Yes. You told me that you used to have trouble looking at faces.  You told me you used to just experience people as if they were just hands. 

 Jaison: Your right. I didn’t know people had hearts.


 Sharon: But they do and you know now.

 Jaison: Yes, thanks


 Sharon: When you were little I remember you didn’t like to touch things like cars. Do you remember? What was it like when you were little? What was it ike when you tried to touch things?

 Jaison: It used to feel scary.


Sharon: Really I didn’t know that then. But I think maybe I understand now. You understood the world with your eyes. Your hands were surprised because the world felt different than it looked. Is that right?

 Jaison: Your right. I thought it was like a picture.


Sharon: So you were surprised when it wasn’t flat. You were surprised when your hand went into places in the object.

Jaison. Yes. I didn’t like it. Then I started to understand.


Sharon: Do you remember what else was happening in our lives when you started to understand? What kind of therapy were you doing? What house were we living in when you started to understand?

 Jaison: I’m not sure. Loveland. I don’t know.


 Sharon: Was it when you went to see David for Feldenkrais therapy in Boulder?

 Jaison: I think it was Tomatis.


Sharon: When you went in a little room and put on a headset and listened to music? Was it then? 

 Jaison: Yes.


 Sharon: Do you know what you felt inside that was different after we did the Tomatis?

 Jaison: I learned that objects and people had backs.

 Sharon: I remember you used to turn around and around in circles. You used to walk around the furniture.


Jaison: yes I remember.

 Sharon: So is it still scary to touch new things?

 Jaison: no


 Sharon: When you were little did you know we were talking? 

 Jaison: When I was little I didn’t know that sounds made words. Then I went to Tomatis music therapy and I learned to listen to symphony. It helped me hear words. I’m a kid who loves symphony.


 Sharon: Is that why you wouldn’t look at people’s faces?  

 Jaison: No I thought people looked scary when people talked.


 Sharon: So that’s why you didn’t look at me. You didn’t understand I was talking. You felt scared when you looked at me and my mouth was moving. 

 Jaison: Yes.


 Sharon: And you didn’t like hugging me because you thought that I should feel like a picture. You were scared and surprised when your hands went through me.

 Jaison: Yes I hated hugs.


Sharon: Do you know I used to hold you and hug you from behind, so you couldn’t see me. Do you remember? 

 Jaison: You helped me learn to hug. You hugged me lots… It helped me like hugs.


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