Deaf and Blind

Firstly, of course, apologies for possible duplication, the awesome SD search came up with a load of gunk about caffeine. Anyway, the question, how exactly is it possible to teach deaf and blind babies/kids the things they need to know. OK, i can understand how some kind of touch-based signalling system could be used which could be taught by association in order to, say, ask for a glass of water or whatever, but how about intangible things, but what about abstract concepts? How are things like the concept of family or country or suchlike conveyed? Or maybe they aren’t…
Have there been any literary works by deaf blind people, such as an account of their perceived world?

Search for “Helen Keller”.

The little i know of her is that she was not born deaf blind. The stuff i just found on her tells me, as i suspected, that it’s not so difficult to teach by association, but as i said in the OP, what about abstract concepts.

The Story of My life (Helen Keller)

Light in My Darkness (Helen Keller (originally My Religion), revised and edited by Ray Silverman)

Your Official Cat Goddess since 10/20/99.

I won’t be annoying and just repeat “Helen Keller.” Rather I’ll point out that she lost her sight and hearing at such a young age (<2 yrs, if I recall correctly) that having had it at all wasn’t much of a boon in her development. She learned all the abstract nonsense much later on.

Oh, you silly severely ables. tsk.

They simply use touch & sign language. Read the signs by touching the hands. Fingerspell reading by keeping the writing hand in the reading hand.

Quite creative that.

Mel – I hate to quibble but I don’t think it’s fair to say she didn’t get anything from her early development before she lost her sight and hearing. Some pretty significant stuff goes on before you’re two. IMHO there is a difference between her case and one who is born blind and deaf.

If the intent of the OP was to ask how people both deaf and blind ever learn to think abstractly I would have to say they have a distinct advantage since their world is inherently more abstract. I’m not a cognitive psychologist (or whatever) but isn’t our capacity for abstract thought hard-wired? We come into this world prepared to learn to a language – which specific language(s) is determined by our environment. Wouldn’t abstract thought be somehow similar? That is, isn’t there a qualitative difference in the human brain that is specifically geared for abstract thought?

If man was meant to fly faster than the speed of sound he would have been born with 50,000 pounds of thrust.

Pluto, no worries about the quibbling. I’m sure you understood the general gist of what I was saying. The thing with HK is, whatever she learned before contracting Scarlet Fever (or whatever, I don’t remember) at such a young age was largely lost/misplaced when, for several years, no one around her had any idea how to communicate with her. Certainly lots of very important developmental stuff happens in the first two years of life, but if one is suddenly cut off from any support for it for an extended time, it tends to get shoved to the side.

I was really just trying to point out that it’s pretty unlikely that Helen Keller knew her ABC’s and such before losing her sight/hearing.

pluto? Give me one abstract thought. That’s right, right here, post one. Then I show you how it would be transfered.

But then, let’s see you come up with one first…