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Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism Hardcover – Mar 27 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Edition edition (March 27 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439194149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439194140
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.3 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #134,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Carly's Voice makes it very clear that a non-verbal person with autism has a rich inner life. Typing independently enabled Carly to express wit, explain her sensory problems, and show that a good mind has been freed." --Temple Grandin

"I have learned more from Carly about autism than any doctor or 'expert,' and she has helped me understand and connect with my son in ways I couldn't have imagined. Her book takes the autism conversation to new places and disproves the ridiculous notion that non-verbal people with autism don't have feelings and thoughts or are unintelligent. Carly is--for me--autism's fiercest and most valuable advocate." --Holly Robinson Peete, actress, author, and autism advocate

Carly's Voice is the wishful slogan of a movement. Autism has spoken, and a new day has dawned. Carly's story is a triumph.” --Richard M. Cohen, author of Strong at the Broken Places and Blindsided

“In this unsparing but affecting account . . . it’s clear that while most people take the ability to communicate for granted, for Fleischmann it defines her daily struggles and miraculous successes. . . . [An] inspiring story.” –Publishers Weekly

“To read along as [Carly] expresses her feelings in conversations with her father is almost as stunning as when she writes of life inside her autistic head. . . . Both heart-wrenching and deeply inspiring.” –Kirkus Reviews

“For anyone who’s ever fallen in love with their child, misjudged a person, had their heart broken and then restored, Carly's Voice is for you. Wise beyond her years, Carly takes us inside her world—a young girl who cannot speak, but has more to say than anyone I’ve ever met. This book is exquisitely written with courage, honesty, and, most of all, love. I’ve never read anything like it.” —Monica Holloway, author of Cowboy & Wills and Driving with Dead People

“Throughout Arthur Fleischmann’s exceptional memoir about his and wife Tammy’s experience raising a
child with severe autism, it is the plaintive “voice” of the wordless-from-birth Carly that resonates. . . . It is Carly’s chapter, written in her words, and her charm that set this memoir apart.” –Booklist (starred review)

“A well-written story of one family’s struggle, perseverance, and triumph in helping a child with autism find her voice. This book will benefit people with autism, their families, and all who interact with them.” –Library Journal

“[Carly’s] explanation of what it feels like—emotionally and physically—to have autism is eye-opening. Quite frankly, I think [her] chapter should be required reading for our society, especially as we head into Autism Awareness Month.”

“Witty, sarcastic, and heartfelt, Carly’s words shine with personality and intellect, her strength and determination adding sparkle and hope.” --New York Journal of Books

About the Author

Arthur Fleischmann is the founder and president of john st. advertising and lives with his wife, Tammy, and their two other children in Toronto, Canada. Visit

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Top Customer Reviews

By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Nov. 12 2012
Format: Paperback
There have been many fiction books released that feature an autistic protagonist - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend and just recently Love Anthony. I've read all three and really enjoyed them. Each author has brought their own 'version' of Autism and Autism spectrum to the written page.

But Arthur Fleischmann and his daughter Carly Fleischmann bring more than an imagined protagonist to the written page. Carly's Voice is an absolutely riveting memoir recounted by a father and his autistic daughter.

Arthur and his wife Tammy are overjoyed when they give birth to twin daughters. With son Matthew their family is complete. Taryn meets her milestones and thrives.....but, Carly doesn't. Carly is non verbal and severely autistic. What follows is an exhaustive tale of appointments, diagnoses, therapies, frustrations, and more. (Mom Tammy is fighting cancer as well.) I just could not even begin to fathom what the Fleishmanns went through. Arthur and Tammy are tireless advocates; determined to do whatever they can to help their daughter.

"Carly has autism. Three short words must suffice to explain a tome of weird behaviours and limitations. It's a shorthand for Carly-is-different-she-acts-in-odd-ways-she-loves-taking-off-her-clothes-especially-if-what-she-is-wearing-has-a-spot-of-water-on-it-she-likes repetitive-motion-like-that-of-a-swing-she doesn't speak. We didn't know what Carly knew and what she was incapable of knowing. She made odd movements and sounds and covered her ears when it was noisy. She cried often. And she never, ever stopped moving. Never."

And, in one of those 'what if we hadn't' moments....Carly types...Help Teeth Hurt.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From all of the books I've read . . . on Autism.

This is the most amazing because of how it's written (by the father of an autistic child).

The ongoing adventure and record of his daughter's life is absolutely fascinating. As Carly starts to type through facilitated communication, we begin to know how deeply she cares and feels about her life, her family and her thoughts on the world.

As a parent of an autistic child (even though he speaks, he is unable to bring his thoughts clearly forward. I know there is an enormous amount of knowledge and feeling that he is not yet able to communicate.

Reading 'Carly's Voice' brings the hope that my son will continue to evolve and let us know more about his inner life.

A must read for everyone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carly Fleischmann is an inspiration to all families along the autism journey. To be told as a child that she would never function in society or be able to live outside of a facility, and now to be attending University classes is incredible.

This book gives people an idea what autism families go through on a daily basis to give our children the best chance at a "normal" life that we can.

I would recommend it to anyone who's interested in an inside look at an autism family, a candid look at what people really feel, even if it doesn't seem appropriate to say.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Early reviews of Carly's Voice tout it as a "must-read for those living with autism". I personally place this book amidst the many other great memoirs I have read - and I have no doubt it will eventually become one of the big celebrity memoirs, too.
For me, a huge part of the book is how it depicts a very real and beautiful family story. Picture the Fleischmanns standing together, arms linked in a tight, not always comfortable, circle. Five people looking in at each other with intelligent, compassionate, and sometimes very tired and very sad, eyes. They work to solve the problems at hand and take time to celebrate the joys and blessings under their roof. The miracle is how they then turn their eyes outward to work with and advocate for others in need - and not just those on the autism spectrum, but anywhere help is needed. Carly once wrote about tzedakah because she knew of it firsthand; because it was something she, her parents and siblings had lived.
Another amazing thing about this book, about this girl, is how by the time Carly finds an outlet for her voice (I can't say "finds her voice" because she too clearly was born with that intact) she expresses herself without hesitation, without neuroses, without the guile and self-deprecation so common to those her own age. It's not that Carly isn't aware of how the majority of teenage girls communicate, it's just that she eschews it in her own form of self-expression. This is a girl on a mission and Carly instinctively knows how to be persuasive and how to get a point across.
Carly also knows how to make you laugh, how to explain complex things, and how to lay bare an inner life in almost poetic terms. One of my personal favourite things is the way she signs her letters - so revealing, so impactful, and just so freaking cute. Arthur's style is straight-shooting, engaging, and witty. Anyone with a family can relate to and learn from their experience. Don't miss this treasure.
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Format: Hardcover
I took on reading this book with a heavy heart as I've known the family well for more than 30 years and thought reading it would be too painful. But in fact the book inspired me in so many ways, perhaps in no more important way than in terms of my own parenting. Every parent can relate to how challenging it is to help one's children find their own voice in life. How do we encourage them, reward them, guide them, and discipline them in ways that encourage their growth and uncover their true voice? How do we give them the tools that give them the confidence to be all that they can be. And how do we forgive ourselves for all the times we fall short.

This is a miraculous story and I can't wait to see what Carly has in store for us as she continues to use her voice to dispel the ignorance we all have about Autism.
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