Keith Duffy and wife Lisa first met while she was working in a clothes store within the Westbury Hotel. The relationship blossomed quickly and they later married in 1998 two years after their son Jay was born.
The couple completed their family of four after welcoming daughter Mia, in 2000.
But Lisa says her world “collapsed” after doctors broke the news that Mia was on the autistic spectrum, adding she might never talk.
Lisa spoke to the independent and said: “I fell apart, and Keith wouldn’t allow himself.
“His strength was finding out everything he needed to find out.
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“Keith was not going to give up on getting her the right, appropriate education.
“He said to me, ‘We’re her voice now, and we’re going to get what we need for her.
“Even in the midst of all the sadness and the despair, we still like to laugh together.
“Keith knows me better than I know myself. He can read me like a book, and that’s what the years have done for us.”
Keith spoke up about Mia’s autism in a documentary called Let Me In, where he spoke on how important it is to embrace a child with autism.
Keith 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.
“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.”
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The Boyzone star told the Irish Independent that during Mia’s early stages there was limited information available to him.
Keith said: “There was nothing even to give us information to tell us what we should be looking for or what we should be doing.”
This lack of information available to the singer and his family is what led Keith to set up his own foundation called the Keith Duffy Foundation, which aims to raise awareness.
Keith added: “So I took it upon myself to use my familiar face to try and create awareness, fundraise and try and help other little boys and girls like my daughter and other families who were going through the same turmoil we were going through.
Keith also spoke of how far Mia has come: “We have a mini-miracle with Mia, she has developed very, very well.
“We didn’t take no for an answer anywhere that we went. She had intensive intervention for most of her life.
“She is now 19 years old and attends Dublin City University.
“She is doing a computer course there, and she is there as an ordinary, typically developing student with no special needs assistance in the classroom or in the lecture hall,”
He added: “It is a real miracle story. It is a tough story.
“We have had tough years but we never gave up, and Mia is a fighter herself, and she is testament to the fact that if the appropriate intervention and help is put in place at the right time, then these kids get a much better opportunity to reach their full potential as individuals.
“And that is all we were trying to achieve, to give every child the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
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