How heartwarming is this? Boyzone star Keith Duffy could literally not be any prouder of his daughter Mia, who has achieved “unbelievable” Junior Cert results, exceeding all expectations since she was diagnosed with autism as a baby.
The 15-year-old was diagnosed with the condition when she was 18 months old, and her dad is bursting with pride with how far she has come since then.
Speaking on RTE Radio 1’s The Ray D’Arcy show, he said: “I never thought she’d be in mainstream school, I never thought she’d sit State exams, I never thought any of this would happen for her.
“We had no idea what to expect when the results came out. She could have come out with 5 or 6 Es and I would have been just as proud of her to be honest. But the fact that she did as well as she did was just unbelievable.”
Bursting with pride, the singer said that Mia was “severely autistic” when she was a young toddler and her progression since then is a “mini miracle”.
“Mia was non-verbal until she was seven. At the time, she was very isolated in her own world,” he said. “She wasn’t responding, she didn’t have much eye contact, she wasn’t interested in spending time with anyone,” he said.
He added: “She spent a lot of time in her bedroom under her bed with a blanket over her head. We were quite a young family, it was so scary; we didn’t know what to do.”
Along with his singing and acting career, Keith is well-known for all the good work he has done over fundraising and raising awareness for Irish Autism Action – in total he has raised over €8m for the charity.