Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

"Why are you here?" "I dunno. Why are YOU here?" "I wish I knew."

I am quite certain that each of us is born to learn something.  As we encounter challenges, it is imperative to ask ourselves, why am I seeing this challenge?  What am I supposed to learn from it?

Sometimes the challenge is very obvious as in the case of Carly, a sixteen-year old girl with autism.

When Carly and her twin sister were two years old, her parents noticed a significant difference in their development.  Carly was diagnosed with autism while her sister was not.  Carly was completely non-verbal and displayed the challenges other autistic children exhibit – flapping arms, tantrums, banging her head on the floor, and other uncontrolled movements.

Then the break-through.

One day she ran to the computer and typed HURT.  Next she typed HELP before throwing up.

Using the computer, the eleven year old Carly finally began to communicate.  The amazing thing was she saw herself as a normal girl trapped in “this body”.  Her body was highly sensitive to stimuli so normal sounds, smells, tastes and touch overwhelmed her.  To manage the stimulus overload, she countered the input with output.

Fast forward five years – after many hours of working, Carly has become a celebrity particularly within the autism community.  She has been interviewed by Ellen Degeneres, The Talk and CBS News.  Her blog has 15,000 followers and she is writing a novel.  I was overwhelmed with admiration for this young woman who typed out

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

Whatever obstacle I identify during the Brand New Me class tomorrow, I can hardly imagine Carly would call it a challenge.

I copied a quote of hers and taped it to my bathroom mirror.  Tomorrow when I brush my teeth, Carly’s words will be in front of me.

“I think the only thing I can say is don’t give up.  Your inner voice will find its way out.  Mine did.” – Carly

You can read Carly’s Blog and watch the CBS News segment on YouTube.



Tales by Chapter

%d bloggers like this: