If you have followed Carly’s story at all (on Ellen, Larry King Live and The Doctors), you were probably as excited as I was to finally get her book. I am somewhat obsessed with autobiographies and when it is an autobiography that sheds so much light on autism and communication, I read with even more enthusiasm. Breaking Through Autism is a fantastic contribution to the literature for many reasons but one of the things I liked best was the collaboration between dad and daughter. We get two voices for the price of one, so to speak, and we get a dynamic account of a very interesting life.
At the age of two, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child. Although she made some progress after years of intensive behavioral and communication therapy, Carly remained largely unreachable. Then, at the age of ten, she had a breakthrough.
While working with her devoted therapists Howie and Barb, Carly reached over to their laptop and typed in “HELP TEETH HURT,” much to everyone’s astonishment.
This was the beginning of Carly’s journey toward self-realization. Although Carly still struggles with all the symptoms of autism, which she describes with uncanny accuracy and detail, she now has regular, witty, and profound conversations on the computer with her family, her therapists, and the many thousands of people who follow her via her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.