A Man Without Words

Susan Schaller, Author Summit Books $17.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-70310-3
A 27-year-old ``without any language'' when she first met him in a Los Angeles school for the deaf, Ildefonso (a pseudonym) is the subject of Schaller's triumphant story. The author, adept in American Sign Language, often served as an interpreter for the deaf but had never encountered a language-less deaf adult. How she brought Ildefonso into the world of language is in the mode of the Helen Keller-Annie Sullivan relationship. Schaller and Ildefonso became friends, each committed to the uncertain goal of a breakthrough in communication that began unpromisingly with the sign for the word ``cat.'' Through arduous, patient searching for ways to reach her student's obviously receptive intellect, Schaller helped him grasp the concept of language, and progress, through maddeningly slow, began. This poignant, astonishing, exciting case history touches on many linguistic, philosophic and educational matters and raises questions not only about teaching the deaf but about the ways people learn. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-0-09-177021-1
Paperback - 218 pages - 978-0-520-27491-4
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 210 pages - 978-0-520-91697-5
Paperback - 210 pages - 978-0-520-20265-8
Paperback - 978-0-671-77970-2
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