Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Carly Fleischman - A Window Into Autism

I just watched a video posted on a friend's Facebook page. It was so impactful that I knew I had to do a blog about it. It was about a young lady from Toronto, Ontario, named Carly Fleischman who, at an early age, was diagnosed with autism and a severe learning disability. Carly was blessed to be born into a wonderful family whose love for her knows no bounds. Let me first begin with a confession.

I have a great deal of respect for those who work with special needs people. It takes very special people to be able to do that - my wife is one of them. It is an incredibly tasking and challenging role that demands great patience and self-control. I've often made the statement that "I could not do that job." After watching this video, I'm all the more appreciative. It has re-enforced my views on human dignity - that all of us are created in the image of God, and are worthy of respect. Here's a "thank you" to all of you who dedicate your lives to help those born with disabilities.

For the first eleven years of her life Carly was almost completely unable to communicate. Her family spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours on therapy, in an effort to get into her world. When she was, one day, introduced to a computer, her world - and theirs - was changed forever. This event opened up a new world for Carly, but also opened up a window into the mind of a severely autistic child. Carly now writes her own blog and is writing a novel. Her inspiring story has been featured on Ellen and Larry King Live.

I'm sure that many of you were familiar with Carly's story long before I was, but I'm writing this to try to help spread the word a little further. Autism Spectrum Disorder is often misunderstood. "Health care providers think of autism as a “spectrum” disorder, a group of disorders with similar features. One person may have mild symptoms, while another may have serious symptoms. But they both have an autism spectrum disorder." (From the National Institute of Child Development and Health) Carly has severe symptoms, so her ability to communicate about her experience is shedding great light on what goes on inside the mind of these wonderful people. For more information, please check out the Autism Canada website.

To all of you deal with autism or who are parents or caregivers of autistic children, God bless you. I trust that you will find this video encouraging and inspiring.

Articles of Interest:
Unsung Heroes - Linda Gibbons
If God Is Good, How Could This Happen?
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