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Jade Small
Jade Small
June 9, 2024 ·  3 min read

High school senior makes day special for autistic date

There are certain rights of passage that everyone deserves to experience at least once in their lives. No matter how cringe-worthy they may be at the time, they become special memories as we get older. School dances are high on the list of coming-of-age events that most kids get to enjoy. This is not the case for everyone, especially those with special needs. One father proudly posted a picture of his son and his prom date. A prom photo that wouldn’t seem like anything special to anyone else. But those who know the family understand because his son has Autism. 

Proud father posts son’s prom photo

Prom photo of Jon and his date, Maddi
Image credit: Facebook

Mike Larson posted a prom photo of his son, Jon, with his prom date. Jon is on the spectrum with autism. Mike never expected his son to be able to attend prom, as finding a date would be difficult for him. However, a senior came to see him one day and asked for his permission to take his son to prom.

“This is my son Jon with his prom date Maddi,” wrote Mike in the caption of his prom photo post. “He is a junior and he has autism. About a month ago, Maddi, a senior, came to my office (I’m a teacher at their school) and asked if Jon’s mom and I would allow her to take him to prom.”

Mike continued, “Maddi had gotten to know Jon through a school club that promotes friendships between special needs kids and regular kids. “He’s a junior,” she explained “so it’s his prom too. I just think he should have the chance to go.” I told her we would be honored to have him go with her.”

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She took the time to make it special

Prom photo of Jon and his date, Maddi
Image credit: Facebook

Not only did Maddi want to take Jon to her senior prom, but she wanted the night to be special for him. She found out what Jon’s favorite color was and made sure her dress was the same color, which you can see in the prom photo. Additionally, she booked a restaurant somewhere familiar to Jon. “During the next couple weeks, she asked what his favorite color was (orange) so she could get a dress in that color,” wrote Mike. “She also made reservations for their group (they doubled with another couple)at a restaurant that served his favorite food – chicken fingers and French fries.”

Read More: Dad’s Plea For Son With Autism Who ‘Hasn’t 1 Friend’ Goes Viral And Birthday Wishes Pour In

Lessons behind the prom photo

Moscow, Russia - June, 2019: Unidentified school pupils in formal dress and suit greeting their teachers in solemn prom graduation party festive day.
Source: Shutterstock

Mike had three reasons for making the prom photo post. Firstly, he wants “to show support for special kids like Jon.” Secondly, he wants to “show support for groups that promote these friendships.” Finally, he wants “to remind us all, in a time when we hear about all the terrible things going on, that there are wonderful kids like Maddi working to make other’s lives better.

Where is Jon now?

Vancouver, CANADA - Feb 27 2023 : Closeup icons of Meta Platforms, Inc., Facebook and Instagram seen in an iPhone screen.
Source: Shutterstock

Since the prom photo was originally posted in 2013, Mike has updated those who were touched by the story. In 2019, he updated the caption of the post to explain how everyone is doing, and to mention that it had over 1 million shares. In the post, he listed over 80 different countries where his post had reached. After that, he said, “Many have asked how Jon is doing. He is well and happy, still living at home.” Lastly, he mentioned that Maddi is now married, and feels “embarrassed” by the online attention. He concluded the post by saying, “Thanks to all who have wished them well.”

Read More: Mom Hid Recording Device in Autistic Son’s Backpack, Got Abusive Teachers Fired