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

304 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439194149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439194140
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (304 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

273 of 300 people found the following review helpful By BeckyFS on May 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As a reader, I think this book is enlightening and inspiring. I am grateful for Carly opening her life and her struggle for the general public to learn and to witness. As the parent of a child with autism, I found the financial and resource discrepancy between Carly's family and many families in this situation start to grind. The list of advantages quickly left me feeling detached from this family: full-time nanny, upper middle-class home/neighborhood, full-time (and weekend) therapists, summer camps for all the children, attorneys, vacations, and people giving up time and resources in every crisis.) Instead of feeling hopeful, I quit reading at page 223 when a neighbor offers to renovate her house to accommodate Carly living there four days a week. I know it may sound harsh, even envious--it is. But I wanted to hear about a regular family's triumph over autism--I hoped to hear about how we, too, may overcome autism. But without even a fraction of these resources, I am left feeling helpless. My husband and I haven't gone on a date in two years. Friends and family shake their heads and "tsk, tsk" over our situation, but no one offers us three hours A MONTH, let alone home renovations. I'm just not sure who the audience is for this book. Mostly because I don't personally know of any family with these resources. I would just caution other autism parents wanting to read a story about family struggle to be aware of this element to the book. Could Carly have improved enough to communicate if she didn't have 24/7 professional staff for the first 10 years of her life? Could her parents have stayed married if they didn't have four days a week without her home? My intent is not to trash the family. It's great that they were able to give their daughter and family so much. My intent is to say that had I known this part of the story, I doubt I would have purchased this book. It left me feeling depressed about what I can offer my child and hopeless for such a recovery for him.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Brian W. Saber on March 28, 2012
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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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jonas T Bradshaw on March 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book has allowed me to understand my own daughter, who is very much like Carly. I even went so far as to purchase a second copy for the ABA classroom that she is in. This book has helped open my eyes to some of the behaviors and activities that have been going on with my daughter. Carly and her family's struggles have helped pave the way for children like my daughter, and this book shows not only what they went through, but why Carly and other autistic children behave and act the way they do. While reading this book, I have highlighted several parts that coincide with my daughter. This is my new bible for my daughter and I can now look at her the way I have always wanted. I have always thought my daughter was extremely intelligent and was working through problems and solving puzzles, but this book has shown me to what extent she is performing at. Thank you both Arthur and Carly for sharing what you have endured, and allowing some of us to be able to take what you have learned to be able to apply it to our own lives.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Gonzalez on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was an inspiration to read. I have to say that my son who is 10, was non-verbal until age 6. He still has speech delays and cannot fully communicate, thus the reason I ordered the book. There were times I cried, like when Carly said "fix my brain". I remember my son saying those words, but only because another boy had told him there was something wrong with his brain. This book has really helped me to continue helping and understanding my son and always allow him to be what he wants to be. Thank you Carly for letting the world know that although you could not speak, you have many amazing thoughts...and parents MUST listen to the inner voice of their child.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bev Pike on April 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first heard of Carly on YouTube. Her videos from 2020 and other interviews actually were what gave me the courage to bring my 47-year-old daughter home after 40 years!

I finished this book in a very short time - the first chapters on living with an autistic child reminded me of what life was like until my daughter reached age 7; the awful frustration, depression, and hopelessness of trying to find "a pill that would fix her" and finally having the "experts" tell you that this wonderful, beautiful little girl will never develop mentally past the age of 3. We were unable to care for her and keep her safe so we institutionalized her when she was 7.

Carly is able to tell the story from what the autistic child hears, sees, and learns - - its an amazing revelation that hasn't been believed until now! It will give you a whole new way of working with autistic children & adults. I think this is one of the most important books to be written this year!
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