Social media has been dubbed a dark an vile place, somewhere to be on your guard by many a person diagnosed with autism. But social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook has helped one very special autistic girl really find her voice.
Carly Fleischmann is a young woman with a voice, although she is non-verbal and has been diagnosed with autism, oral-motor apraxia and cognitive delay from a very early age. Her confirmed IQ is around 120, and she attends a mainstream high school.
At age eleven, a friend recommended Twitter to her, and Carly “spoke” in words that were mature, funny, and insightful, allowing the girl trapped inside, to show the world her song.
She types slowly, usually with one finger, and was written off as being ‘mentally deficient.’ But as she says in her own words:
“You don’t know what it feels like to be me…people look at me and assume I am dumb because I can’t talk. What do I want? I want to be like any other kids – because I am Carly.”
Carly was born in Toronto, Canada, and was around two years old, when her parents noticed marked differences between her development and her twin sister Tara’s.
Arthur and Tammy Fleischmann, their parents were told that they could do as much or as little for Carly as they deemed necessary, and so they enrolled her in early intervention therapy. Since her diagnosis she has been supported with 40 – 60 hour week of one to one therapy.
At age eleven, Carly was allowed on the computer, where she typed out
No one knew that Carly could read or type, and having been deemed by professionals as ‘mentally retarded’ no one expected her to be able to communicate in such a way.
“I am autistic, but that is not who I am. Take time to know me before you judge me.”
The astonishing story, has since been turned into a book by her father Arthur called Carly’s Voice, which gives the reader a first hand opportunity to learn about autism from a girl living with it.