Different. It can be a scary idea for most people – being different, standing out. Most parents hope that their children are healthy and normal. But a young woman demonstrates how beautiful not blending in can be when she revealed a talent that was locked away for many years.
When Carly Fleischmann turned three years old, her parents knew something was wrong. She was different. She wasn’t speaking and interacting the way the other children were, and her parents concern grew.
At the age of three, Carly was not only diagnosed with autism, but also cognitive delay and oral-motor apraxia, which caused her to struggle with sounds and words.
But Carly had a secret – one that she locked away from her parents until she decided to let them in on it. She could sing.
When Reggie Yates, a reality show star-turned-tv host, found out about 23-year old Carly’s talent, he decided to give her family a visit. After speaking with her parents and gaining some insight into her story, he asks Carly if she would be up to singing for him.
Drawing her eyebrows together and running her hand through her hair, Carly contemplates the idea. Asking herself, Carly, is there something you would like to say? – the prospect of her performing isn’t looking too bright.
But her mom coaxes her gently, Should we do All That Jazz?
Carly whispers, Okay.
As the music begins, Carly seems to be struggling with her thoughts, but then she opens her mouth. A voice like glass – smooth and clear – slides off her tongue with unbelievable ease, her normally rigid body melting into one that belongs to a seasoned broadway star.
As the final notes of the piano ring out, Carly’s demeanor continues to remain relaxed, as though the sound of her voice has released her from her invisible shackles.
Carly’s story is such a powerful message in not judging someone based on their differences because you never know what beauty is hidden underneath the surface. It also demonstrates how important it is to find your voice, your passion and what makes you happy in life.
If you know someone who would be encouraged by Carly’s story, feel free to share this video and help someone else find their voice.