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Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet

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“All of the Children of silence must be taught to sing their own song.” This is one of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet’s most famous quotes. Gallaudet lived a very normal childhood and had a very eventful adult life. Gallaudet was a very intelligent child, which led him be granted admission to Yale University at the age of 14. After completing college, he met a young girl named Alice Cogswell. It was Alice that ultimately helped him change the lives of all deaf and dumb people for years to come, by starting the first school especially for them. Gallaudet had many health problems during his life, though it never slowed him down. He suffered from nightmares, “nervous attacks”, self-inadequacy, and lung problems along his journey for equality of all…show more content…
He realized that his younger siblings would not play with her because she was “different”. Gallaudet wanted to communicate with her. He wrote the word “hat” in the dirt, in hopes she would understand, and she did. He was determined to find a better way to communicate with her because writing in the dirt was not most efficient. He met with Alice’s father, Dr. Mason Cogswell, who offered to pay Gallaudet’s travel expenses to Europe in hope that he could learn a way to communicate with Alice while he was there. While in Europe, he first lived with the Braidwood family, who owned several deaf schools. Their style of teaching was known as the oral way. The oral way of teaching is to teach the deaf students to speak and read lips, but Gallaudet did not like that style. He then met Abbe Sicard, who was the director of The Institute Royal Des Sourds-Mutes in Paris, France. He signed up to attend this school and found he loved their way of teaching, which was the way of sign language. Unfortunately, after a year, he realized he did not have enough money to attend any longer. He asked one of the students, Laurent Clerc, to join him on the journey back to the United States, and Clerc agreed. Over time, Clerc taught Gallaudet, further, how to sign, and Gallaudet taught Clerc, further, how to speak English. In April of 1817, the first school for the deaf was opened by Gallaudet and
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