Children who hear acquire language without any particular effort; the words that fall from others’ lips they catch on the wing, as it were, delightedly, while the little deaf child must trap them by a slow and often painful process. But whatever the process, the result is wonderful. Gradually from naming an object we advance step by step until we have traversed the vast distance between our first stammered syllable and the sweep of thought in a line of Shakespeare.
Helen Keller (1880–1968), U.S. author. The Story of My Life, ch. 1 (1905).
Keller was rendered deaf and blind at the age of nineteen months.