Everyone knows Carly Fleischmann, the Toronto teen with autism who was unreachable until she typed a message on a computer at age 10. Here her dad Arthur, author of Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism, talks about the challenges and joys of raising her, and where she is today.
Arthur Fleischmann: I don’t know that I’m ready to be reflective yet. Some of the things would be obvious, like patience and thankfulness. I think I was a product of the '80s where greed was good. I think while we all like nice things, I’m happier with small wins now. And I can definitely look at people with a greater sense of empathy than I could before. On the flip side, I no longer accept the status quo as the only answer. If someone says ‘We can’t do that’ I know it’s just not true.
BLOOM: Was it challenging for you to be candid in your book knowing that Carly would read it
Arthur Fleischmann: Carly was the one who wanted the story out there. A couple of media stories were told and we could see how well they resonated with people around the world. People said her story brought them some insight and hope and help. We were approached to write the book. I said to Carly, “The only way to write this book is to tell the whole truth,” and Carly said “Write it.” Of course I ran passages by her and some things she wasn’t comfortable with were edited out.