VIP / News

Keith Duffy shares the moment he realised daughter Mia was autistic

"I was more upset because I knew my wife would be devastated..."

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 15.20.30

Keith Duffy has opened up about discovering his daughter was autistic.

The singer said that certain signs were there early on but that they never realised it meant she had autism.

When the family were in Disneyland, Mia’s parent’s noticed something about how she reacted to the princesses.

“Every time we saw a Disney character, Mia would start to tense up, straightening out one of her arms and then the other one and they would shake”.

“That was the first thing she had started to do what we now know is called ‘tensing’ “, he told the Star.

The dad-of-two also explained that because his son took a little longer to speak, they thought this was the case with Mia.

Keith with Mia, wife Lisa and son Jay
Keith with Mia, wife Lisa and son Jay

“Jay had been late to speak as well and had to have grommets in his ears. We thought it was the same thing”, Keith explained.

However, Keith finally realised when he was speaking to a friend at an autism charity event.

“He was telling me about this school for children with autism and I asked him what autism was.

“With everything he said to me, the penny started to drop a bit further. The more questions I asked him, the more it became apparent that Mia had autism.

“I got into my car to go home and I burst into tears. I was more upset because I knew my wife would be devastated”, he explained.

Keith has always been very proud of daughter Mia
Keith has always been very proud of daughter Mia

Keith revealed that his wife was very surprised when he shared the news with her.

“I got home and Lisa could see I was crying and she was worried and I just blurted out ‘Mia has autism’.

“In the shock and upset of it all she gave me a slap across the face and then she just crumbled”.

The proud dad says he never thought Mia would achieve so much in school, as she is currently studying for her Leaving Cert.

“She’s now in her final year of school and is doing her Leaving Certificate”, the proud dad revealed.

“I never thought she would be in mainstream school, I never thought she’d sit state exams.

“I never thought any of this would happen but she’s done it and I couldn’t be happier for her”.

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