Thursday, August 4, 2016

"Carly's Voice"

SYNOPSIS: 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 the age of ten, she had a breakthrough. 

While working with her devoted therapists Howie and Barb, Carly reached over to their laptop and typed in “HELP TEETH HURT,” much to everyone’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 many thousands of people who follow her via her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

This book gave me a real, eye-opening picture into the world of autism. What a complicated disorder! I think it's interesting that of the twin girls in the book, Carly and Taryn, one of them had autism and the other did not. That would be tough for the girls, especially for Carly having to see all the things she wasn't able to do or participate in that Taryn could.

I was so glad when Carly, who is nonverbal, was finally able to develop her "voice" through a computer (and later iPad). Technology is amazing! I must say, though, that communicating for Carly isn't as easy as it would be for a normal person without Carly's issues. It's a painstakingly slow process for her and takes a lot of focus and concentration as she tries to refrain from all of the flapping, flailing and hand slapping that she feels compelled to do because of her autism, sensory issues, anxiety, and OCD.

Below is a picture of Carly and her father, Arthur. He wrote the majority of the book, and Carly wrote the last chapter and answered some FAQs.
Carly and her long-time therapist, Howard:


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