This heartwarming prom story goes viral again and we all understand why

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Children with special needs often just want experiences similar to what any child their age might want. Finding a date for a school dance is a high priority for any 17-year-old, so it can be a tough blow to one’s self-confidence if no one agrees to go with them.

To go alone – though not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things – can be tantamount to social ruin for a teenager; failure to secure a partner can therefore pose a serious threat to self-confidence.

Some kids can be ultra-sensitive and do not yet have the tools they need to understand everything just yet – this applies even more to children with special needs, such as autism.

The father in this story, Mike Larson, decided to write down what happened when his autistic son, Jon, prepared for his high school prom. He then published the whole story on Facebook, where it has now been shared and liked by millions of people.

“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.”

Update: I’m reposting to celebrate this post from 6 years ago. Last week it went past 1 million shares. I have received…

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.”

Not only did Maddi decide to take Jon to her senior prom, but she also wanted him to have the best night ever. She did some investigating and learned about Jon’s favorite color (orange), so she could get a dress in that color. She also booked a table for their group (they doubled with another couple) at the restaurant that served his favorite food – chicken fingers, French fries, and chocolate milk.

Before inviting Jon to the dance, Maddi wanted to ask his father if it would be okay.

“It was a pretty breathtaking moment for me,” Mike Larson told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In 2019, he celebrated that the post had reached 1 million shares and that his text had been spread worldwide. He also explained how everyone was doing: “Many have asked how Jon is doing. He is well and happy, still living at home.”