Saturday, April 26, 2014

[Review] Carly's Voice by Arthur Fleischmann and Carly Fleischmann

Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism by Arthur Fleischmann with Carly Fleischmann
Publisher: Touchstone
Publishing Date: March 2012
386 Pages
Format: hardcover, purchased

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 bog, Facebook, and Twitter.

In Carly's voice, her father, Arthur Fleischmann, blends Carly's own words with his story of getting to know his remarkable daughter. One of the first books to explore firsthand the challenges of living with autism, it brings readers inside a once-secret world and in the company of an inspiring young woman who has found her voice and her mission.

My Review

A friend of mine recommended this book to me. Her son is autistic, and while she hasn't read it yet, she heard it was really good. It took me forever to find this book in a used book store! As much as I wanted it, I'm still really cheap when it comes to buying books, and I rarely buy them new. But I finally found it! I was pretty excited to start it, so right when I finished the one I was currently reading, I started this! I don't read a lot of non-fiction, so I wasn't sure how I'd like it, but it turns out I really loved it! 

The book sucked me in from the first pages. Hearing Arthur talk about the struggles that his daughter is facing is very moving. But it doesn't only focus on her; he talks about the struggles the rest of his family faces, what its like for his other two kids to grow up with an autistic sibling, the daily struggles his wife handles while being home all day, and what its like being a dad to a girl that you don't understand.

For anyone facing these struggles, I'm humbled. I can't imagine not being able to communicate my needs and wants. It has got to be so incredibly frustrating, not only for the caregivers of an autistic person, but for that person him/herself. This book definitely makes me realize how much everyone takes for granted the little things we do on a daily basis, like dress ourselves, tie our shoes, comb our hair. These little things aren't easy for kids/people with autism and they have to work so hard to accomplish everything they do.

I think this book gives a very real life portrayal of what daily life is like for a family caring for someone with autism. These people are so very strong and though they could give up, send their child to a home, put the responsibility on someone else, they don't. They fight through their frustrations and fight for their child. I definitely think this is a great book for anyone wanting to learn more about autism. We are able to see inside the mind of a child with this disorder, and its truly eye-opening.

Want to learn more about Carly? Follow her on her blog, Facebook or Twitter!

Don't forget, it's Autism Awareness Month! To learn more, visit the the sites below! (: 


  1. This does sound very realistic and emotional. I have a friend with a son who has autism.

    1. I would recommend reading it! It gave me a lot of insight into why my friend's son does the things he does. I'm also planning to read The Reason I Jump, which is supposed to be very good as well - maybe even better!