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.

1 comment:

  1. To Whom it may concern,

    We're a small press in Toronto, Canada called Second Story Press and we're interested in using one of your photo of Carly Fleischmann and Temple Grandin.

    The photo would be used in an upcoming children's book called Courageous Women Rebels, which is part of our Women's Hall of Fame Series. The books in the series each feature 10 short biographies of women in a specific field, along with a few photos of each woman.

    The photo would be used at approximately 1/4 of the page, and in black and white. We print around 1500 copies, and the books are mainly distributed to schools and libraries in Canada and the US.

    Please let me know if you need more information. You can contact me at

    Thank you.

    Jenny Watson