Monday, February 14, 2011
My Autism Heroes: Carly Fleischmann
This is a photo of Carly Fleischmann with Temple Grandin. Not surprisingly, Carly has said that Temple is her "hero". Both have overcome incredible disability to be able to communicate and function in this world.
What makes Carly a hero to me, besides her obvious courage and tenacity, is how much she reminds me of Alanna. I pray Alanna learns how to talk, but she struggles with apraxia and Carly does too. But Carly found her voice - despite being non-verbal, she is able to communicate very clearly in written form, and thus verbally through technology (such devices are called voice output communication aids). This gives me hope that even if Alanna cannot speak, we may hear her voice anyway.
I do not believe Alanna is non-verbal because she has nothing to say. She clearly wants to speak but just can't. When her speech language pathologist tries to manipulate her mouth to make phonemes, Alanna welcomes it because she knows she needs the help to make the sound! She is almost saying, "that's it, help me say it!"
Carly gives me hope for Alanna. That makes her a hero to me. Thanks Carly.