High school senior makes prom special for autistic date

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News
Maddie and Jon. Facebook photo

A high school senior identified only as Maddie is making headlines for her sweet gesture at a prom.

She asked Jon, a junior with autism, to be her date.

Jon's father, Mike Larson, tells the story on Facebook:

"About a month ago, Maddie, 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. Maddie 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 honoured to have him go with her," Larson wrote.

Maddie didn't just ask Jon to go to the prom with her, she made sure to include details to make it extra-special for him.

"During the next couple weeks, she asked what his favourite colour was (orange) so she could get a dress in that colour. She also made reservations for their group (they doubled with another couple) at a restaurant that served his favourite food — chicken fingers and French fries," Larson wrote.

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The proud father hopes Maddie and Jon's story gets shared "for three reasons":

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 Maddie working to make others' lives better.

The photo of the handsome couple at prom has been shared more than 205,000 times on Facebook since it was posted last week.

"I don't know Maddie, but I will always appreciate what she has done for my nephew," Larson's brother wrote on Democratic Underground.

Teenagers get a bad rap. Some are awesome.