Carly Fleischmann has co-authored a book with her father, starred in a film, has 97,000 followers on Facebook, and will attend the University of Toronto in the fall.
She also has autism and is nonverbal. But what she can do is use technology to communicate; she’s been communicating using computers since she was 10 years old. “Carly was diagnosed at age two with severe autism and cognitive delay and oral motor apraxia, which is a neurological disorder preventing speech,” her father explained in an interview with Simon & Schuster. “We can’t speak to her because we don’t know what she understands, and she can’t speak to us because she’s unable to speak. … Technology has really been the key to unlocking Carly’s voice.”
The book she wrote with her father, Arthur Fleischmann, is called Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism and chronicles the struggles and victories of Carly’s life with autism. The last chapter, which was written by Carly, is what inspired this video “Carly’s Cafe.” It attempts to show what Carly’s experience of the world is like and has even been screened at at the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
Even though she is out changing the world, Carly is just as excited for college as any other teen. Carly wrote on her Facebook page,
“I CARLY FLEISCHMANN someone who is nonverbal has been accepted to university for the fall. I would love to see the look on my kindergarten teachers face. She thought I didnt like her because I didn’t look at her. The moral of this story is that we are all capable.”