Every now and then, we come across ordinary people who do extraordinary things that restore our faith in humanity.
This emotional post was shared on Facebook a few years ago, but it still melts my heart every time I see it, so why not share it?
It’s about a father who recalls the day when a girl unexpectedly entered his office and asked permission to ask his autistic son a question.
Children with special needs frequently want the same things that any other child their age would want. Finding a date for a school dance is a high priority for any 17-year-old, so it can be a difficult blow to one’s self-esteem if no one agrees to accompany them.
Going alone, while not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, can be socially disastrous for a teenager; failure to secure a partner can thus pose a serious threat to self-confidence.
Some children are hypersensitive and lack the tools necessary to comprehend everything; this is especially true for children with special needs, such as autism.
Mike Larson, the father in this story, decided to document what happened as his autistic son, Jon, prepared for his high school prom. He then shared the entire story on Facebook, where millions of people have shared and liked it. Check it out below!
“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.”
Maddi not only decided to take Jon to her senior prom, but she also wanted him to have the best night of his life. She did some research and discovered Jon’s favorite color (orange), so she could buy a dress in that color. She also reserved a table for their group (they shared with another couple) at his favorite restaurant, which served chicken fingers, French fries, and chocolate milk.
Maddi wanted to check with his father first before inviting Jon to the dance.
“It was a pretty breathtaking moment for me,” Mike Larson told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
According to Mike, he had three reasons for making the prom photo post on social media.
- “to show support for special kids like Jon.”
- “to show support for groups that promote these friendships.”
- “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.“
The viral prom photo was originally posted in 2013, and after that, Mike Larson continued to give updates on what happened to the couple after the prom.
In 2019, he celebrated the post reaching 1 million shares and his text being shared globally. “Many have asked how Jon is doing. He is well and happy, still living at home.”
Mike also revealed that Maddi is now married and feels “embarrassed” by all the attention – she didn’t see this as anything special. Thanks to all who have wished them well.” Mike said at the end of his post.
When Jon’s father was diagnosed with autism more than 16 years ago, he imagined several scenarios in his head. One was that his autistiBut thanks to Maddi, Jon was not just able to go to prom but have a wonderful night!
But thanks to Maddi, Jon was not just able to go to prom but have a wonderful night!
”It’s something I never thought would happen for our family, and not only did it happen, but it’s happened in such a beautiful way,” Mike Larson said. ”And to have it go on and bless the lives of other people is beyond anything I ever could have hoped for. It will be one of the nicest memories of our lives.”
I appreciate the fact that there are still nice and warm people out there; it gives us all hope. If you enjoy this story, please follow the father’s request and share it with your friends and family!
This young lady is so sweet and considerate to have asked his parents first. I hope they had a lot of photos taken of them to remember that special occasion!