Keith Duffy and his wife Lisa were very proud parents this week after their teenage daughter Mia completed her final exams. Now with school out, Keith and Lisa were quick to praise the 18-year-old for all her achievements, and took to social media to pay a touching tribute, accompanied by a collage of four photos, with the most recent one showing Mia looking all grown up during an evening out. Lisa wrote a touching message to Mia, which was then reposted by dad Keith, which read: "Well done on finishing leaving cert exams today, you've come so far, a determined young woman ready for the next part of your journey and we are delighted to be by your side. Love you so much."
Fans were just as pleased for Mia – who was diagnosed with Autism at just 18-months-old. One wrote: "Congratulations Mia this is all down to Keith & Lisa you have helped so many understand and learn about Autism keep it up and there’s no stopping this beautiful young lady," while another said: "Well done, she has turned into a beautiful young lady." A third added: "Congrats Mia…how proud you must be of yourself … good luck on the next journey."
Mia was celebrated by her parents after she completed her exams
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Last year, Keith opened up about Mia's autism in a moving interview. Appearing on TV documentary called Let Me In, which focused on autistic children around the world, the singer spoke about the difficulties the disability can bring, but also the importance of embracing your child. He said: "One of the most important steps for a parent of a child with autism is to stop mourning the child that they thought they had and start embracing the child that they have." He continued: "Every day you have a realisation that you’re going to have a child with a lifelong disability is absolutely horrifying. It’s so frustrating, horrifying, upsetting. But you have to try and find the positive."
Keith Duffy and Lisa's daughter was diagnosed with Autism at 18 months
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The former Coronation Street actor has dedicated a great deal of time to raising money and awareness of autism, and he told Mirror in 2014 that the first time he noticed Mia behaved differently to other children during a trip to Disneyland when she was one. But it was only when he was invited to a benefit for the education of children with autism that he recognised the same symptoms in his daughter. Keith and Lisa are also parents to son Jay, 22, and have been married since 1998. The couple went out to Las Vegas two days after Keith proposed, with his bandmate Ronan Keating acting as best man.