Rachel is way ahead of me in blog posts (and also, I think, way busier than I am, so alas – I have no excuse). I will keep up SO MUCH BETTER in the future. For now, I just want to write a quick post to highlight this video, which I watched yesterday and which has been on my mind ever since.
If you don’t have time to watch the video, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with “severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking” when she was two years old. Her parents poured money into her therapy for years but saw little to no progress. Then one day, when Carly was ten, she ran up to a computer and typed very slowly, “HELP TEETH HURT.” Unbelievably, she hadn’t been taught to type or spell, and her parents and therapists actually had no idea that she had an IQ high enough to grasp what was going on around her.
Carly’s parents and therapists encouraged her to keep typing. Since then, she’s reached a level of communication with them that shows incredible intelligence, emotional maturity, and even wisdom. She also talks about her suffering in a way that’s really affected me, saying things like:
You don’t know what it feels like to be me, 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.
I know Carly’s case is pretty exceptional. But I wanted to share this video because her story reminded me that, well, we never know “what it feels like to be me,” what it’s like to be another person. Other people suffer in ways we don’t understand all the time. The story reminded me to be kind the way Carly’s father is. Long before he knew his daughter could grasp any meaning behind his actions, he encouraged and loved her. Carly wrote this message to her dad after she learned to type, showing him she’s understood all along.
I love that you believe in me. I know I am not the easiest kid in the world. However, you are always there for me, holding my hand and picking me up. I love you.
Awwwww! Happy Friday!