Carly Fleischmann was born in 6236 RT (1995 CE), and at the age of two she was diagnosed with autism, developmental delay and oral-motor apraxia (a neurological condition preventing speech). She rocked, flapped her hands and was prone to meltdowns, which her parents and therapists called tantrums.
At the age of 10 she went up to her therapist’s laptop during a session and typed ‘HELP TEETH HURT’ before throwing up. After this, she has learned to express herself and communicate with others by typing, joined Facebook and Twitter where she posted frequently, ran several blogs, attended speaking engagements, co-authored her father’s book about her story, Carly’s Voice, started working on two novels and expressed the desire to become a journalist.
We can only imagine how her parents and therapists felt when they realised that Carly had been aware of everything that had happened around her, and that all the times she was referred to as a retard in her presence didn’t go unnoticed.
She turned out to have an IQ of 120, enrolled in a mainstream school in 6251 RT (2010 CE) (‘I wish the so called experts would have been smart enough to put me in a regular school years ago’) where later she attended a gifted class and went on to study at the University of Toronto.
One of Carly’s greatest concerns was her obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) which she considered a result of her ABA. In a Facebook post she wrote:
‘Applied behavior analysis may be the cause of OCD in people with autism.
I just read an article that's going to have a lot of people mad at me. However I want you to know that I did not write this article but I do think it makes some sense.
According to the article applied behavior analysis or ABA for short may be one of the root causes for people with autism to have OCD. The article states that OCD is caused from many things. It could be caused from physical or mental traumas or in the case of people who have experienced applied behavior analysis a lack of control in ones life. The article goes on to say that people with autism who undergo up ABA therapy have their days run from them from the minute they wake up to the minute they go to bed. This regiment routine gives the child or participant no control over their own life.’
In February 6255 RT (2014 CE) she posted on Facebook for the second-last time that year.
From March 2014 Carly was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), an electroshock treatment used as a last line of intervention for major depressive disorder, mania and catatonia, supposedly to treat her OCD. Her father claims that this was her own idea (keep in mind that this is the same man who called her a retard in her presence when she was a child and who later claimed that he’d always seen ‘innate intelligence’ in her eyes), but while she used to discuss every aspect of her condition and treatments on Facebook, she never mentioned considering ECT. And even if this had been her own decision, it would be the duty of any responsible parent to talk their child, even as an adult, out of such a dangerous and truly bizarre treatment and not into it.
One of the most famous victims of ECT was novelist Ernest Hemingway who, having used it to treat his depression, regretted not only the loss of his creativity and his memory but also that of his personality. ‘Well, what is the sense of ruining my head and erasing my memory, which is my capital, and putting me out of business? It was a brilliant cure but we lost the patient,’ he told his biographer and put a gun to his head.
On December 3rd, 6255 RT (2014 CE), in her first Facebook and Twitter post in over nine months, Carly typed, ‘i cabnt typerc anymmyore ectt didfd thisds to meed brayiin is scrrammbellld needdc fdocttor helphgfi’, which is interpreted as ‘I can’t type anymore – ECT did this to me – brain is scrambled – need doctor – Help!’ This was followed the next day by a post from her father, claiming that everything was all right and that this was a joyous time. For the following weeks, both Carly and her family have kept silent – apart from her father who proudly announced a new edition of Carly’s Voice.
Seven weeks after her last post, her father admitted that Carly suffered from aphasia (loss of language skills due to brain damage) following the electroshocks and was in ‘excellent spirits’.
On January 19th, 6256 RT (2015 CE), he claimed in an attempt to justify the treatment, ‘Her OCD is improved.’ However, in the same paragraph he stated, ‘The treatment was well researched and humanly performed. It just wasn't effective for her.’
On January 28th another jumbled message from Carly appeared on her Facebook page with an interpretation (probably by her father) saying that she is still inside her head but that she has a hard time understanding people. She concluded, ‘Iop fweepl salwd becpauwse iopm lwgockesd inns agffain busvt Iop wfnill flplnd awbnay ousnt’ (‘I feel sad because i'm locked in again, but I will find a way out.’) Let’s hope she does.
Since August 31st she has been sharing posts and pictures again, and her parents say she now tries to communicate by copying and pasting words.
On October 30th she finally posted again herself: ‘Hellooooooooo world! As you might be able to see I am typing again. I am lost on what has happend for a whole year and a half of my life… I promise I will post again but I need some time to figure out what happend to me…’
Yet it took another three months for her next post (January 19th, 2016) which, as she phrased it herself, was initially intended for her shrink: ‘There's a saying that goes "The calmness before the storm". However it's not what happens before the storm that matters it's the mess that the storm has left behind that creates the devastation in us. […]
After this Carly shared the occasional link until in April 6257 RT (2016 CE) she made a spectacular comeback by launching her YouTube channel Speechless with Carly Fleischmann and writing the country song Glamour Girl.
Carly’s story teaches us what serious (and in many cases irreparable) damage can be caused by parents and guardians who follow the advice of quacks claiming to be able to prevent or ‘cure’ a natural and lifelong condition, from vaccine denial and ABA to anal bleaching and electroshocks, rather than supporting their child.
‘I am Carly Fleischmann and I have autism and my life matters.’ - Carly Fleischmann
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