At the age of two, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child. Although she made some progress after years of intensive behavioral and communication therapy, Carly remained largely unreachable. Then, at age 10, Carly had a breakthrough. While sitting in her kitchen with her devoted therapist, Howie, Carly reached over to the laptop and typed "MEAN", referring to Howie's efforts to get her to do her work for the day. She then went on to further explain her recalcitrant mood by typing "TEETH HURT", much to Howie's astonishment. This was the beginning of Carly's journey toward self-realization.
Although Carly still struggles with all the symptoms of autism, which she describes with uncanny accuracy and detail, she now has regular, witty, and profound conversations on the computer with her family, her therapists, and the thousands of people who follow her via her blog and on Facebook and Twitter. A 2009 segment on 20/20 brought her story to national attention, and she has since appeared on television with Larry King, Ellen DeGeneres, and Holly Robinson Peete, all of whom have developed warm relationships with her.
In Carly's Voice, her father, Arthur Fleischmann, blends Carly's own words with his story of getting to know his remarkable daughter. One of the first books to explore firsthand the challenges of living with autism, it brings listeners inside a once-secret world in the company of an inspiring young woman who has found her voice and her mission.
"Carly's Voice makes it very clear that a non-verbal person with autism has a rich inner life. Typing independently enabled Carly to express wit, explain her sensory problems, and show that a good mind has been freed." (Temple Grandin)
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A peek inside...
I am a teacher of students with Autism. I often wonder what they are thinking. This book gave me an opportunity to possibly find out. No person with Autism is the same but they do have similar characteristics. This book helped me to better understand my students and the reasons they do the things they do. Hearing from Carly as to why she reacts a certain way or why she does/does not do a specific thing made sense. It also gives you incite as to how the family lives and deals with the daily challenges they face.
I recommend this book to everyone. With that number of people with Autism growing, it would be beneficial to understand the challenges they and their families face. Although no person with Autism is the same it is good start to peek inside their life and better understand the world they live in.