Carly's Voice Gives An Inside View of Autism
One in 88 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with autism. According to some researchers, we are having an autism epidemic.
The causes are unclear but the re-categorization of kids is one of them. As Dr. Nancy Silverman says on the video below, if you search back on your family tree there are probably people who were "different" but never labelled autistic. And today, almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by the condition. But yet, parents have been fighting for recognition, treatment and respect for their autistic kids, who sometimes are unable to speak for themselves.
And now one Toronto girl has become the voice of those living with autism. And what a voice it is.
Diagnosed with severe autism at age two, Carly has never been able to speak. She was a difficult child to parent - destructive and unpredictable - but it was three words that showed her parents, and by extension the world, that Carly had an inner life and an inner voice waiting to come out.
She typed those words while her parents were away on a short vacation. For the first time, at the age of 8, she expressed herself and what was going on in her head. From all accounts, it has been a torrent of communication since then - all of it on Carly's timetable.
She types, slowly and painfully. She tweets, blogs and has a Facebook page. She convinced Ellen (yes, that Ellen) to read her Bat Mitzvah speech and has been the interviewee and interviewer of celebrities. She is funny, acerbic and she has a message: everyone has an inner voice waiting to come out, you just have to listen.
You have to read and listen to her own words, I can't do them justice. Check out an article written by her father from Chatelaine. Her website, twitter stream and her book: Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism.
Listening to Carly is a start, but listening to those affected by autism is the goal.
Has anyone in your life been affected by autism?
Want more chaos? Last year, I gave my top tips for the delivery room.