I know I’ve talked a little bit about Carly Fleischmann and posted links to her website. I keep thinking about her lately. She brought so much hope and enlightenment to me through her story. I’ll never forget the moment I saw the 20/20 video of her and watched as this “severely autistic” nonverbal child began to type out her thoughts and feelings on a keyboard. This was a couple years ago and at that time, I looked on, tears running down my face, in complete awe and amazement. Here was another girl, similar to Emma, who had found her voice. That seed, which had first been planted before with the video of Sue Rubin, planted itself even firmer into my mind.
“It is hard to be autistic because no one understands me. People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can’t talk or I act differently than them. I think people get scared with things that look or seem different than them.” – Carly Fleischmann
Carly’s parents were not aware that she could spell either. She surprised everyone at the age of eleven when one day she typed a couple of words on her computer. That was several years ago and she continues to inform us all on her life as a young woman and student. I follow her on Facebook and Twitter and am so thankful for every tidbit of information she can dish out for these eager ears. She is a true inspiration and advocate for the acceptance and respect for individuals with autism. I wish again, that I could tell this amazing person how she has effected our family’s life. Maybe someday Emma can tell her. After all, she sat close by to the computer as well two years ago or so when I watched the video. I know that these stories help to encourage her to not give up and showed her what was possible.
Carly wants to tell others to believe in themselves and not to give up: “I think the only thing I can say is don’t give up. Your inner voice will find its way out. Mine did.”
Carly was finally able to attend a class in regular education this year in high school for the first time. She shared on her facebook page “I proved last year that i definitely deserved all along to be in a typical school. It wont be easy with my ocd and autism but I am ready for it”. I know that she will continue to shine and give much hope to all who live with autism and to those who support them.
You rock, Carly!!
Me: “What is your hope for the future of autism?”
Emma: Respect for differences
That may be the biggest thing we can strive for in this great and diverse community of humanity!