Read Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism by Arthur Fleischmann Free Online
Book Title: Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism|
The author of the book: Arthur Fleischmann
Edition: Touchstone (March 27, 2012)
Date of issue: March 27th 2012
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 31.34 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.4
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My feelings are always a little torn about books like this one -- the "autism miracle" memoir. I've read many, many of them and to me, as the parent of a severely autistic boy, they can be both encouraging and hugely discouraging. It's great to see the enormous strides that kids can make with the right intervention. However, not all kids respond in the same ways to the same treatments. It is to the Fleischmanns' credit that they do not suggest otherwise in this book. Unlike some other books of its type, they do not evangelize for any particular diet, medication, alternative treatment, ABA, whatever ... They only explain what helped Carly. They don't make sweeping claims of "cures" that will work for any autistic kid. As a mom that has tried many of these "cures" with limited success at best, I appreciate that.
Part of the value of this book is the unsparing look it gives into the life of a family with a severely autistic kid, specifically one who is doing intensive ABA. The mysterious and violent tantrums, the sleepless nights, the broken furniture -- it's comforting in a way to know that there's someone out there who's living in the same chaotic conditions that you are. Fleischmann describes the social isolation these families endure on the one hand--you feel overwhelmed, afraid and just generally unwelcome when you try to engage in public activities with your kid--and the extreme lack of privacy on the other. Intensive home-based ABA and the necessity of homeschooling kids with severe behaviors means a constant stream of therapists, tutors, consultants and others in and out of your house, pretty much nonstop for years, and lots of times it feels like parenting by committee. I really, really appreciate that Fleischmann describes how exhausting and dispiriting this can be, instead of casting himself and his wife as Perfect Superparents. Again, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has felt this way. If you want to know what life is like for the family of a severely autistic and behavioral kid, read this book.
And then of course there is Carly. I think she will do a lot to dispel the idea that severely autistic individuals have nothing to offer the rest of us. And she gives neurotypical people valuable insight into what it is like to live with her condition. The fact that she began communicating with her parents at a relatively late age, and that it was a long process to get from those first few words to where she is today, is also encouraging. My son Sam is 12, and has limited expressive verbal abilities, but he is getting better at it, tiny step by tiny step. Thanks to his homeschooling and ABA program, Sam's behaviors have improved dramatically. I may never be able to have a conversation with him, but I'm not going to give up hope that his verbal abilities will get stronger.
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