Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism

Arthur Fleischmann with Carly Fleischmann. Touchstone, $24 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4391-9414-0
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In this unsparing but affecting account of remarkable Toronto teenager Carly Fleischmann, it’s clear that while most people take the ability to communicate for granted, for Fleischmann it defines her daily struggles and miraculous successes. Early on, Carly, a twin, is lagging behind her sister, neither talking nor crawling. She is diagnosed as pervasively developmentally delayed, a spectrum of disorders that includes autism. Her doctors believe she will always be below average intellectually and eventually need a group home. For the family, this begins a decade of chaos: endless physical and speech therapy, battles with the government over health coverage, and untenable exhaustion as they try to make sense of a condition that has no cure and keep the rest of the family from fracturing irreparably. Of this time of hopelessness her father writes, “[T]his was not a life but a slow demise.” After years of silence, a transformative moment occurs when Carly expresses herself by typing on her voice-output device for the first time. Finally they are getting to know her. “I felt like we were discovering the lost city of Angkor,” her father writes. Although Carly’s typing is sporadic at times and her uncontrollable impulses, OCD, and insomnia are ever present, the world has opened up for her. In this inspiring story, Carly has a bat mitzvah, starts attending mainstream gifted classes, and has become an autism spokesperson. Agent, Linda Loewenthal at David Black Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2012
Release date: 03/27/2012
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4391-9416-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-3555-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-5555-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-0555-5
Paperback - 391 pages - 978-1-4391-9415-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61657-180-1
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