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Carly’s Fleischmann: Putting a New Face to Autism

Doctors knew something was different about Carly Fleischmann from a young age. Around the age of 2, her parents realized that her progress wasn’t quite keeping up with that of her twin sister, and they knew she would never be quite like other children her age.

The diagnosis of autism for her parents was difficult to accept, especially when she was having trouble walking and sitting up alone. They did everything in their power, from intense therapy 40-60 hours a week and multiple therapists, to help Carly to be able to function properly on her own. Unfortunately, her ceaseless body movements and constant tantrums, along with the lack of normal speech, made her therapy very difficult.

Finally, one day at the age of 11 Carly had a major breakthrough. She typed entire words on the computer and was able to communicate with her family and therapists for the first time in her entire life. With great support and encouragement, Carly was eventually able to fully communicate with the outside world. She is now giving people an inside look into what it is like to be autistic and to be trapped inside of her own mind. Her parents are finally getting to understand their daughter after so many years of assuming she was disabled, and now can understand why she does the things she does.

This is changing the face of autism for many people, allowing them to understand a community that has never had a voice. Carly is adamant that her words are all her own, and that she wishes to be treated normally, that she is often “having a fight with her brain” over her actions. However, she remains unafraid to answer questions about why she acts the way she does, and open up about her feelings about her disorder and family.

Carly is doing an amazing job becoming more independent and encouraging other kids not to give up, letting them know that their “inner voice will find a way out” just as hers did so few years ago.  Now, the author of a book about her challenges and her life with autism, she is a shining example of how you can still overcome your challenges in life and do something good for yourself, encouraging an entire community facing the same difficulties.

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