Fiacre Ryan’s story to this point is utterly 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 with the world. 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. His writing itself is astonishing, independent from his autism. He has an extraordinary and unique way of combining words and ideas. 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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