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It is often perceived that non-verbal children with autism are mentally retarded and have no hope of getting a job or expressing themselves. The story of Carly Fleischmann, as reported on ABC’s 20/20 in August, 2009, may be helping to change some of those attitudes.
According to 20/20 anchorman John Stossel, Carly was totally nonverbal… “until she turned 11, and something remarkable happened.”
Carly Becomes the "Autism Typing Girl"
The remarkable event he was talking about was when Carly found a computer and began to type words on the keyboard, first “HURT,” followed by “HEL…P” a little while later. As can be expected, her parents’ were incredulous. “At first we didn’t believe it,” said Arthur Fleischmann, Carly’s father. “Knowing this child for ten years and never seeing her write a thing, of course you’re going to be skeptical.”
But as time passed, skepticism turned into belief as Carly’s ability to communicate continued to grow. Watch this fascinating video to see how far Carly had come in the three years since she typed those first two words and discovered her voice. Watch as she becomes the “autism typing girl,” which has become a popular search query on Google.
Read the complete transcript of ABC’s 20/20 report Teen Locked in Autistic Body Finds Inner Voice (opens in new window)
Visit YouTube to watch the 2012 video, Carly’s Café – Experience Autism Through Carly’s Eyes, to get a feel for how the now 17 year old Carly experiences the world.