An author who has multiple university degrees but who cannot read or write will talk about her book 'Knowing No Boundaries' in Waterstones in Cork next week.
Hannah Daly is a paediatric occupational therapist and an advanced sensory integration practitioner who is profoundly dyslexic and dyspraxic, and who has sensory processing disorder.
Born in Glasnevin, she moved with her parents and three siblings to a small cottage in North Co Dublin. As a child, Hannah was good at memorising stories, and so a dyslexia diagnosis was slow in coming. Growing up in a time when there was little understanding of neurodiversity, she was subjected by classmates in one school to an 'I hate Hannah' bullying campaign.
Before her current career as an occupational therapist, Hannah completed a degree in performing arts. In 2008, at the age of 22, she won the Dublin Rose of Tralee competition, and discussing her condition at the final raised her profile and led to a stint with a modelling agency.
“After talking on stage, people kept asking me to come and tell them more, and the story that I felt was just my lived experience, and was unique to me, but actually there was relevance there for lots of other people,” Hannah told The Echo.
“I went back and trained as an occupational therapist following that, and decided to dictate my book.
“I’ve used readers and scribes and admin support to get where I’ve got in life, and that’s how I did the book as well. I dictated it bit by bit and put it together.” Hannah's book is an overview of her life, examining her struggles in an honest way.
“It’s a very funny book, and it’s very real and honest and unfiltered, which is what you get with me, and it shows when people support you a little bit, or are a little flexible in their thinking, they can actually accommodate or make space for people like me,” she said.
Hannah Daly will be discussing her book 'Knowing No Boundaries' in Waterstones Cork at 6.30pm on Wednesday, April 12.