When Paul Fairweather was 12 weeks old, doctors told his parents he would never likely walk, talk, or interact with other children.
Now Paul, 17, is gearing up to take a hard-earned place at Dundee University’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, which he could start in September.
For the first five years of his life, he struggled with tasks children his age were beginning to learn.
Severely autistic and registered blind, Paul’s mum Kelly and dad – also Paul – feared the worse for their beloved son.
But under the guidance of teachers at St Paul’s RC Academy, Paul’s love for art started to shine through.
And last night Paul was awarded the art prize, as his beaming family and friends watched on at the school’s annual showcase.
Proud mum Kelly, 42, said: “Paul was starved of oxygen at birth.
“As a baby, he would not know when he was hungry or when it was time for him to feed, and by the time he was three he had not reached any of the milestones other children his age had.
“At four, he was diagnosed with childhood autism. We were told it was unlikely he would develop past a child’s intelligence.
“He went to the brilliant Longforgan Primary School, but we had to move to Glasgow and he was placed in a special school.
“We returned to Dundee, where eventually he was given a place at St Paul’s.”
After an excellent effort at school and hard studying by Paul, he was able to complete his Highers and record terrific results which opened the door for his place at DJCAD.
Pending on the successful completion of his summer school course, he could join course mates at the start of the next academic term.
Mum Kelly added: “Last year he got two Highers, having not sat any National 4/5s.
“It’s almost as if he doesn’t realise he ‘isn’t supposed to do these things’. It’s amazing.
“He applied to Duncan of Jordanstone and was accepted on the quality of his work.
“Last night he was awarded two prizes from the school for art and achievment.
“These prizes were based on the quality of his work and effort.
“He is inspiring and has been helped tremendously by the fabulous teachers at St Paul’s, including Mrs Marez Carol.”
To view Paul’s illustrations, visit his Instagram and Facebook by searching @pjdraws.