It’s always wonderful when someone is recognised for their work with children, so we’re delighted that former Boyzone and Coronation Street star Keith Duffy has been awarded an Honourary Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons for his work with children suffering from autism.

Keith has been working tirelessly since 2001 to raise awareness of the condition from which his daughter Mia suffers. His efforts have raised almost 4 million euro for autistic children and their families and Keith acts as the patron for Irish Autism Action, an organisation which led to the development of the first Dublin school which caters specifically for children suffering from the condition.

Speaking about Mia’s diagnosis, the forty-year-old star, who was awarded Philanthropist of the Year in 2013, said: “Mia was non-verbal, she wasn’t tactile and there was no eye contact. We didn’t know a lot about autism, but when we began meeting other parents with autistic children, we learned that early intervention is essential.”

Commenting on the impact that the school had on his daughter, he reveals: “Mia responded amazingly to the education there. Her affection, attention and concentration levels grew in all kinds of ways.”

Catherine Clune Mulvaney, Honorary Secretary of the RSCI Facility of Nursing and Midwifery said: “Keith continues to inspire families and provide hope for those who are faced with the initial shock of an autism diagnosis, by raising awareness about autism in the public domain and highlighting the need for early intervention, appropriate education and care for children with autism.”

 

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