What a fascinating month to share interesting stories of the heroes of autism and the daunting work that goes into helping each child transform his/her life. Although I am not reviewing a book in this blog, I want to share with you a remarkable story of a teenager.
According to the organization Autism Speaks, 1 in 110 children are diagnosed within the autism spectrum, making it the more common than childhood cancer, diabetes and HIV. One in 70 children diagnosed are boys. In the U.S. alone, there are 1.5 million people, and tens of millions worldwide. Thus, the reason I am going to feature a remarkable teenaged girl who has autism — Carly Fleischmann. Carly, a twin, was diagnosed with autism at age three. She has never spoken and she spent her life feeling trapped in her body. One day she surprised her family and typed out three simple words on the keyboard — help hurt tooth. She was sick and asking for help. Learning to type on the keyboard unlocked her world. The rest is history.
Carly was featured on a segment about inspirational teens, on CBS The Talk, April 15, with Holly Robinson Peete. She has been featured on 20/20, The Today Show, ABC and the Larry King Show. I hope you enjoy this remarkable video.
She has a website, Carly’s Voice – Changing the Voice of Autism at and a Facebook following with over 51,000 fans. She is also wrote a novel of her life, which I found quite compelling. She vividly describes in great detail what it is like to live in her body, which some times burns and feels like ants crawling on her skin. “I am autistic, but it doesn’t define me,” says Carly. “There are times when I wanted to give up, but I can’t give up hope.”
In the next decade, 500,000 children with autism will reach adulthood and it will become even more important that they are prepared for life, and society is there to embrace their transition. Children within the autism spectrum are very intelligent and have unique talents in the fields of art, music, science, computers, and math.
On Friday, April 22, at 2 p.m., The Talk will air the last of its series on autism. They will focus on the autistic children transitioning to adulthood. Autism Speaks has a special “Transition Tool Kit” on its website.