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17/09/2015 11:05 BST | Updated 17/09/2015 11:59 BST

Keith Duffy Praises Daughter With Autism's 'Unbelievable' Grades: 'I Never Thought She'd Sit State Exams'

Keith Duffy is over the moon with his daughter with autism's "unbelievable" exam results.

Duffy's daughter Mia, 15, who was diagnosed with autism at 18 months old, recently sat her Junior Certificate - a qualification in Ireland held for students aged 13-15.

Sharing his excitement, the former Boyzone singer said on RTÉ Radio 1’s The Ray D’Arcy Show: "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 five or six 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."

He tweeted the results, sharing that she received "eight honours" - honours refer to the higher-level exams.

keith duffy

Keith Duffy and wife Lisa Duffy

Duffy's wife Lisa also tweeted her joy at her daughter's results.

Duffy, who also has a son Jay, 18, went on to say his daughter was "severely autistic" as a toddler and it was a "mini-miracle" that she has progressed so incredibly.

He said up until she was seven Mia didn't have much eye contact with other people and wasn't interested in socialising.

The former Boyzone singer 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."

Since Mia was diagnosed, Duffy and his wife have actively fundraised for autism awareness charities.

In October 2014, he received an honorary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) for his charitable work.

Duffy is also a patron of Irish Autism Action (IAA), having raised more than four million euros for the charity.

SEE ALSO:

Boyzone's Keith Duffy On Life With His Autistic Daughter: 'A Lot Of Couples Break Up'

10 Things Parents Of Children With Autism Want To Tell You

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