Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thanks to Carly Fleischmann

If you haven't heard of Carly Fleischmann, let me introduce you.  Watch this video.  It's almost 10 minutes long and usually I hate videos (sorry, vloggers) because they often don't get the point across quickly enough and they assume I want to see lots of things I don't, but this one?  Every single second of it is astonishing.


She's never spoken a word, verbally, but she can type.  She can express herself beautifully on a keyboard.  And she can clue the rest of us in on how it FEELS to be autistic.

I'm fascinated by the way she describes how she feels.  "When you can't sit still because your legs feel like they are on fire, or it feels like a hundred ants are crawling up your arms."

On why she bangs her head:  "Because if I don't, it feels like my body is going to explode.  It's just like when you shake a can of Coke.  If I could stop it I would, but it's not like turning a switch off.  I know what is right and wrong, but it's like I have a fight with my brain over it."

"I want something that will put out the fire."

I can't even quote the part where she talks about how much she wants to go to school with normal kids and not have them be afraid of her.  It's too heartbreaking.

She's provided a window into our childrens' souls.  For those of us who have watched our children do awkward, odd and bizarre body movements, this is like answering the greatest mystery of life.  Her words are the holy grail.

It just goes to show that our time-honored and trusted methods of determining someone's intelligence are crap.  Sometimes one's body is unable to express the intelligence inside.  Obviously she can't take an IQ test, but obviously she is very bright.

The next time you see someone flailing about, behaving in a socially unacceptable manner, and you assume they are mentally disabled -- remember this video.  Remember Carly.  And know that what you see happening to that person on the outside might have nothing to do with what's going on inside.

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