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Posts Tagged ‘autistic children’

Amazing Video- Nonverbal Autistic Teen Carly “Talks” about Autism

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012



In a recent video that’s sure to change your perception of autism, Carly Fleischmann, a not-so-typical autistic teenager tell us what it’s like inside her head, explaining why other autistic children act the way they do- bizarre behaviors that continue to puzzle autism experts, like head banging, swaying, and refusal to make eye contact with other people.  Only instead of using verbal communication, of which she is incapable, Carly has learned how to communicate using iPad apps for autism.


Branded “autistic” from birth

Born autistic, Carly started showing the first signs of autism as an infant; developmental delays like her inability to start crawling, sitting upright, walking, or talking at the same age as her twin sister Taryn told her parents that something was amiss.  Experts said that she was mentally retarded, and close friends recommended sending Carly to an institution, but her parents refused.

“I could never do it,” admitted her father.  “How can you give up your kid?”

Instead, they introduced Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), a popular therapy for autism, which also helped her with her severe verbal apraxia.  With ABA, autistic children learn small tasks, one at a time, at their own rate of learning, using positive reinforcement.  From the age of four, Carly started receiving 40-60 hours of one-to-one ABA per week.

“I am autistic, but that’s not who I am.  Take time to know me, before you judge me.”

Still, Carly suffered severe autism, and progress was slow; she would rock back-and-forth incessantly for hours, lash out, break furniture, have sudden angry outbursts, and didn’t seem to comprehend anything that was going on around her, or understand what family members would say in front of her.

But looks can be deceiving…

“You know, I can hear you.”

At the age of 11, Carly was working with a therapist, and she was not happy about it.  She was in one of her “off moods,” and didn’t feel like sitting still to learn her vocabulary.  Sitting in front of a touch-screen device, she communicated her first word- “No.”

That one word opened up the floodgates for her; she started typing more words like “hurt” and “help.”

“People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can’t talk.”

Over the course of months, and after much coaxing from therapists, Carly learned how to type every time she wanted to say something.  She learned how to say things to her parents that she was never able to express verbally, things like “I love when you read to me, and I love that you believe in me. I love you.”

For the first time, Carly, a teenager with autism, had control over her environment.  For the first time, Carly was able to have conversations with her parents.

“I stopped looking her as a disabled person, and started looking at her as a sassy, mischievous teenaged girl,” says her dad.  “She sees herself as a normal child locked in a body that does things that she has no control over.”

Carly describes her symptoms of autism

In her writing, Carly conveys a deep understanding of the world around her.  Likewise, she struggles to get others to understand what her world is like…

AMAZING VIDEO- NONVERBAL AUTISTIC TEEN CARLY “TALKS” ABOUT AUTISM, B12 PATCHOn chronic pain: “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 want something that will put out the fire.”

On head banging: “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.”

On covering her ears, moaning, and rocking: “It’s a way for us to drown out all sensory input that overloads us all at once.  We create output to block out input.”

On refusing eye contact: “People say that we have a hard time processing information.  It’s not really true, our brains are wired differently.  We take in many sounds and conversations at once.  I take over a thousand pictures of a person’s face when I look at them.  That’s why we have a hard time looking at people.”

On autism experts: “How can you explain something you have not lived or if you don’t know what it’s like to have it?  If a horse is sick, you don’t ask a fish what’s wrong with the horse.  You go right to the horse’s mouth.”

Carly becomes a delegate for autistic kids everywhere

Today, Carly communicates with other nonverbal autistic kids on the internet.  She Twitters like any other teen, and she has a large fan base on Facebook and her blog, Carly’s Voice.

Carly has been the subject of many television talk shows and news segments, like Larry King Live, 20/20, and Ellen, to whom she donated over $500.00 to the Make it Right Foundation.

“Everyone has an inner voice waiting to come out.”

She has also interviewed celebrities like autism advocate Holly Robinson Peete and Joe Mantegna, who has a daughter with autism.  She is also working on her first novel.

Here is her story on YouTube

Why post this story on a vitamin B12 blog?

If it seems strange that a site containing information on vitamin B12 deficiency would also focus in autism, then know this:

  • Vitamin B12 is brain food. In a study focusing on 50 autistic children who were given vitamin B12 supplements, nine of the children experienced favorable results related to cognitive skills like language and socialization, in addition to changes in biomarkers for oxidative stress.
  • Vitamin B12 is good for the nerves. By supporting the myelin sheathe that insulates your nerve cells, vitamin B12 protects you from severe nerve damage like apraxia and paresthesia
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency correlates with autism. Many children with autism also have vitamin B12 deficiency.  By supplementing with extra B12, parents of autistic children note dramatic neurological health benefits.

Read more about autism:

Autism, B12 and Your Child

Autism Facts and Misconceptions- 9 Common Myths about Autism

Autism Videos for Kids, Teens and Parents: You Tube’s Top 10

8 Great Tracking Devices for Autistic Kids, GPS+

6 Great Diets for Autistic Children

Special Needs for Special Pets: Animal Therapy Success Stories


Autistic Girl Expresses Unimaginable Intelligence

Unlocking Carly: Using one finger, autistic teen uses iPad, laptop to communicate

Carly Fleischmann — Overcoming Autism

4 Promising Autism Treatments, From Vitamin B12 to Alzheimer’s Drug Namenda

Images, from top:

Pink Sherbet Photography, Horia Varlan

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Support for Parents of Autistic Children

Monday, April 11th, 2011

April is National Autism Awareness Month.  Most of us know somebody who has been “touched” by autism, either a mom mainstreaming her child, diagnosed with Autism-Spectrum Disorder, into the public school system, a neighbor who teaches special ed classes for kids with autism, or perhaps a nephew with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Celebrities for Autism Awareness Month

Below is a list of various organizations which provide services, support and advice to parents of autistic children.

Autism Society

The Autism Society has been celebrating April as National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s; their goal is to better educate the public about autism and the people it affects. The Autism Society site has many links to help you get actively involved in the community and support the rights of children with autism.


Find state-specific resources to help you find the appropriate educational services and community support available to you and your autistic child.  The Autism PDD site also includes disability resources, legal resources and financial resources.

Autism Research Institute

The Autism Research Institute offers information to families, educators and health providers about all the most recent scientific advancements regarding autism and innovative treatments and learning programs.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC site provides complete data about all the various types of autism, treatments and diagnoses;free literature, articles and kits can be accessed from their site.

Kids Health

Kids Health is a kids’ landing base for all things related to children with autism, and it’s organized in a straight-forward yet bright format with lots of kid appeal. Tweens and young adults can easily navigate this site to find out everything they might have been wondering about autism.

Daily Strength

The Daily Strength is an online forum for parents or educators of kids with autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder; their site also has links to related health blogs, expert advice and ongoing discussions.

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization which funds autism research and raises public awareness about autism, in the interest of finding better treatments and a cure.


Also read:

This Autism Awareness Month, Embrace a Special Person

10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children

Autism, B12 and Your Child

This Autism Awareness Month, Embrace a Special Person

Friday, April 1st, 2011

April 1, 2011- Director Todd Drezner, in an interview published in today’s  Huffington Post, suggests that for this month of April, Autism Awareness month, we do more than just call attention to autism- that we embrace autism for all its worth.

This Autism Awareness Month, Embrace a Special Person, www.b12patch.com

It’s fair to say that we are all “aware” (a term used all too offhandedly these days) of autism, and most of us know at least a few people who have autistic children or know a functioning autistic adult.  And in case you haven’t noticed, having a child with autism is not the tragedy that anti-vaccination and pro-eugenics activists make it out to be.  Many autistic children amiable, receive plenty of love and attention from their parents, and do reasonably well in school. Not that they have it easy- but neither do all non-autistic children. And there are plenty of functioning autistic individuals who lead happy, meaningful lives.

Take, for example, 12-year-old  Jacob Barnett, diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, who made news recently when he developed his own theory of relativism. With an IQ that soars over Einstein‘s, he taught himself  calculus, algebra, geometry and trigonometry in one week’s time.

Wouldn’t it be convenient, if all pregnant women carrying a fetus determined to be at high risk for autism, could peek into the womb and see if she’s carrying tomorrow’s autistic, yet highly functioning child prodigy genius?

Wouldn’t we all, for that matter?

But that’s not what Autism Awareness month is supposed to be about, says Todd Drezner, who filmed Loving Lampposts, a film about embracing the affectionate nature of autistic children- a film he was inspired to create after his own son was diagnosed with autism.

Loving Lampposts takes a holistic look at autism, acknowledging the trials faced by autistic individuals and their caretakers, but also shining a light on the many ways autistic children have touched lives through acceptance, bare-boned innocence and kindness of nature.

Truly embracing autism goes beyond tolerance (another term we could live without), it means being able to say to an autistic child or adult, “you are special because of your autism” and meaning it.

Learn more about autistic children at Autism Speaks.

If you liked this, you will also like 10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children and Autism, B12 and Your Child.

Huffington Post, Daily Mail, CBS News, Fox News, USA Today, Autism Speaks

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