Our trust in mankind is occasionally restored by the actions of ordinary people who go above and beyond.
This heartfelt Facebook post was first shared a few years ago, but it never fails to move me each time I read it.
The story follows a father as he recalls the day his autistic son was asked to marry by a girl who had unexpectedly entered his office.
Many times, the goals of children with special needs are no different from those of typically developing children of the same age.A high school dance is an important social event for any 17-year-old, and if they are unable to secure a date, it may be a devastating blow to their sense of self-worth.
Even if going alone isn’t a big deal in the larger scheme of things, for a teenager, it can be the equivalent of social disaster, and the inability to find a date can be devastating to their sense of self-worth.
Children with exceptional problems, such as autism, often have heightened sensitivity and lack the developmental skills necessary for full comprehension.
Mike Larson, the father in this story, chose to document his experiences helping his autistic son, Jon, get ready for his senior prom. His Facebook post of the entire story has now been liked and shared by millions of people. Below, please read!
“This is my son Jon and his date Maddi,” Mike captioned the prom photo he posted online.A junior, he has been diagnosed with autism. Maddi, a senior at their school, came to my office about a month ago and asked if Jon’s mom and I would let her accompany him to prom.
This is an updated version of a post I made six years ago. The number of shares passed 1,000,000 last week. I have been sent…
To continue, Mike said, “Maddi had gotten to know Jon through a school club that promotes friendships between special needs kids and regular kids.”As she said, “he’s a junior, so it’s also his prom.” I simply believe he should be given the opportunity to go. I reassured her that he was welcome to come along with her at any time.
Maddi invited Jon to her senior prom, and she was determined that he would have an unforgettable experience. She conducted some sleuthing and discovered that orange is Jon’s favourite colour, which led her to purchase a garment of that hue. She also made reservations at a restaurant serving his preferred meal of chicken fingers, French fries, and chocolate milk for their entire party (two couples).
Maddi wanted to make sure she could invite Jon to the dance by checking with his dad first.
What happened “was pretty breathtaking for me,” Mike Larson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Mike claims there were three motivations for his social media prom photo upload.
1) “to show support for special kids like Jon.”
2) “to show support for groups that promote these friendships.”
3, “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 people’s lives better.”
Since the original 2013 posting of the viral prom photo, Mike Larson has provided updates on the couple’s subsequent lives.
He was ecstatic that his message had gone global and been shared over a million times in 2019. Along with it, he gave an update on everyone’s health: “Many have wondered how Jon is doing. He’s doing fine; he’s staying at home, and he’s content.
Mike also shared that Maddi is now married and admits to feeling “embarrassed” by the constant media attention she receives. Mike ended his statement with a heartfelt “Thanks to all who have wished them well.”
More than 16 years ago, when Jon was first diagnosed with autism, Jon’s father imagined a number of possible outcomes. His greatest fear was that his autistic son will be excluded from ever attending a prom. But Maddi made it possible for Jon to not only attend prom, but also have a fantastic time.
It’s something I never imagined happening for our family, and not only has it happened, but it’s done in such a beautiful way, as Mike Larson put it. It’s more than I could have ever hoped for if it continues to enrich the lives of others. It will be one of the best things we’ve ever remembered.
How did my little kid get to be 20 years old today? I adore you, Jon.
That there are still caring and generous people in the world gives me hope. If you found this story enjoyable, please tell your friends and family about it as the father requested.
I hope they took lots of pictures to commemorate the occasion, because this young lady is incredibly kind to have asked his parents for permission before proceeding..