Because I am Carly. 13

Carly Fleischmann

“Carly can’t speak. Many people called her dumb or mentally retarded. But after she turned 11 years old, she discovered something truly incredible and found her voice. This is a must see.”

I cannot embed this video, so you have to go to to see it – Yes, this is a must.

Carly has autism. For years she lived trapped, as she tells it, in an inner world, unable to communicate the cause of her sufferings or express her innermost self to anyone. She was believed to be mentally retarded.

At age 11, somewhat miraculously, that began to change, when she suddenly started typing out sentences on the computer. It turns out that she is a very articulate, interiorly rich person. Not even her family knew how much she had it in her. But because of her family’s love and persistence in giving her the treatment she needed, Carly now has a voice.

What I like best about this video is Carly’s own words. Some are painful. Some are funny. Some are quite inspiring. The title of this post is taken from one of her lines in the video — That line moved me deeply.

It speaks of a person, unique and loved. A beautiful soul who has suffered, yet still strives to persevere. A lesson for us all about the unfathomable richness that each person is, deep beneath the surface of what our eyes can see or what our ears can hear.

I want to thank Carly’s family for fighting to give Carly the opportunity to find her voice in this world.  I want to thank Carly for her courage to share her thoughts and feelings with us. I think we need to thank God for many, many gifts, seen and unseen. We should thank him for allowing us to see things that we so easily disregard, when we fail to look deeper, beyond mere appearances.

There is always more to every person than meets the eye.


  1. You might be interested in another Karli with a similar story. She has a condition that made her look retarded because her body was totally uncooperative. Inside was this poet, musician, beautiful person flailing, trying to get out. He blog has her story and her music: It is inspiring to me but also a caution as to how I am to see a person.

  2. This is marvelous. I used to volunteer in a class with autistic and downs’ syndrome children and it was wonderful. One of my oldest kids is a social worker working with autistic children Carly’s age. Watching Carly express herself sheds light on behaviours I’ve seen and my son deals with daily.

  3. This is a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it. I learned much, and a good reminder not to judge the people I see and serve all day long at work.

    • Hello Reinkat! In Love and Responsibility, Karol Woytila (JPII) reminds us of the core of Gospel truth: Love. He explains why the only proper way to relate with another person, always, is with Love. It is simply another way of saying “love God above all things and love your neighbor as yourself.” Carly’s story drives home the point — “To know me is to love me.”

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