February 16, 2015

Carly FleischmannDuring the tail end of last year (2013) Carly was having a few really bad problems with her OCD. She has struggled with her OCD to an extreme level for a long time, but last year she was very bad, bad enough to keep her off class and it was bugging her. She herself researched ECT treatment (electro-convulsive treatment) as a treatment to lessen the symptoms of OCD. She wrote that she couldn’t wait to try it as her OCD was taking over and she didn’t feel able to continue as she normally did.We had to accept this as something she wanted and then researched the best specialists and therapists in the Toronto area. She had a few sessions of the treatment and we didn’t see any positive effects, in fact her writing diminished and a few months down the line she’s now saying she’s having trouble understanding us, and any communication, that it is garbled and incoherent.

Thinking back we can’t be sure that this is as a result of the ECT because prior to the treatment she was experiencing standing seizures, so as a family it’s very difficult to determine whether it was the treatment or something Carly was going through prior to trying the therapy. ECT has historically a really bad image, and I would never have put her through it knowing what I know now. And we’ve been reading more about seizure activity especially in autistic girls and women where there is very little to go on. We won’t know if she gets better or what happened conclusively for another year or so, but it’s human nature to try. That’s what we did.

Would you like to say something to Carly’s supporters?

Yes, I would like to say thank you to those who have expressed loving support for Carly.

Anyone who knows Carly will understand that she made her own choice and was capable of doing so. Decisions about Carly’s treatment are made by Carly. It wasn’t a capricious decision taken lightly by us as her parents. We researched the best people in Toronto to take care of her.

Physically Carly is in very good health, but she has been overwhelmed and working hard for the last year or so with school and advocacy, but we really wanted her to live as normal a life as possible. We all have to accept that we have a personal limitation. We have moments with the therapists now where she laughs and jokes with them, proving that the “old Carly” is still in there and fighting.

We are keeping an eye on the so called rumour mill on FB from time to time, but we felt the time was right to come out and give our side of the story.

We would like to thank Mr Fleischmann for making the time to speak to Autism Daily News Cast to set the record straight. We would also collectively like to send our regards to Carly, and hope that she will be well on the road to recovery and back to Carly’s voice very soon.

About the author 

Shân Ellis

Shân Ellis, is a qualified journalist with five years experience of writing features, blogging and working on a regional newspaper. Prior to working as a journalist, she was a ghost writer for top publishers and was closely involved in the editing and development of book series. Shân has a degree in the sciences, and 5 A levels. She lives in the UK and is the mother of an autistic child.

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