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Book Review: Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism by Arthur Fleischmann

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Carly’s Voice is the story of Carly Fleishcmann and her family and the way that she became a spokesperson for the autistice despite being both autistic and nonverbal.

At the age of two, Carly’s parents knew that she was not responding to them in a normal manner or communicating verbally. After repeated visits to many doctors, she was diagnosed with autism and an oral motor problem that kept her from being able to talk. For years after that, doctors assured the family that Carly was also intellectually challenged and would not develop much beyond the level of a small child. Her uncontrollable actions and inability to sleep were daunting to the whole family, but they continued to provide her with intense therapy and the best education they could manage.

Then, in an amazing turn of events, while working with her devoted therapists Howie and Barb, Carly made a tremendous breakthrough at age 10. She learned to type, first on a special devise and then on a laptop.

Suddenly, Carly could communicate. It soon became apparent that she is smart, observant, and witty and that she is capable of describing her condition with astonishing clarity and accuracy. She is now a young woman and has devoted herself to helping people understand autism  better through appearances, her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Her struggles are by no means over, and this book, by Carly’s father, does not sugarcoat the difficulties Carly still faces, but she has purpose and her story offers important and rare opportunities to understand a little more about the world of the nonverbal autistic individual, or, indeed, anyone dealing with autism in any form.Since nearly everyone knows someone or some family dealing with this issue, it is good to be enlightened and inspired to recognize the untold depthss within these people and thus treat them with greater empathy and respect.

Beyond that, the story is also a lesson in overcoming seeminglyinsurmountable obstacles, of familial love and undying hope.

And Carly herself is a witty, sarcastic, complicated joy to “hear” through her typed words.

Carly’s Voice is a fascinating and engrossing book and I highly recommend it.

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.
  • http://www.gamesandtoysforautisticchildren.com JJ

    Thanks for the book review. It sounds interesting, and I’ll be sure to check it out in the future.