by Fiacre Ryan
Irish Book Awards Shortlist 2022 Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year
The first book to be authored by an Irish non-verbal autistic person, Speechless relates Fiacre Ryan’s remarkable life and brings his astounding poetry, social commentary, opinions and ideas to the speaking world.
Fiacre Ryan’s story to this point is compelling. He was the first non-verbal autistic student to sit the Irish Leaving Cert, achieving honours marks in Maths, English & History.
Until the age of 13, Fiacre had no means of communicating with his family or the outside world. His family believed his non-verbal autism had effectively locked him out of an ability to engage, and their perception was that he was incapable of ‘learning’ beyond any basic form of communication.
Through the introduction of the ‘rapid prompting method’ (RPM), a tool designed to help autistic children communicate, Fiacre has subverted all prior perceived limitations of somebody with non-verbal autism. In the process he has unleashed his inner writer to devastatingly beautiful effect through his extraordinary and unique way of combining words and ideas in prose and poetry.
His writing is astonishing, independent from his autism. His poems address his daily experiences, while his commentary showcases his thoughts on the non-autistic world, on how those with autism are treated and his own personal ambitions and dreams for the future.
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Date of Publication: 25/10/2022