Viral Prom Photo: Senior Plans Special Day For Autistic Date

There are certain milestones that everyone should have the chance to experience. Even if they may seem awkward at the time, they become cherished memories as we grow older.

School dances, in particular, are important coming-of-age events that many kids get to enjoy. However, not everyone has the same opportunities, especially those with special needs.

A father shared a photo of his son and his prom date. To most people, it may seem like an ordinary prom picture. But for those who know the family, it holds a deeper significance because the son has Autism.


Proud Father Posts Son's Prom Photo

In 2013, Mike Larson shared a special prom photo of his son, Jon, and his prom date. Jon, who has autism, had always faced challenges when it came to finding a date for prom. However, to Mike's surprise, a senior approached him one day and asked for permission to take Jon to prom.


"This is my son Jon with his prom date Maddi," Mike captioned the 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."

"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 said "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," Mike continued.


She Took The Time To Make It Special

Maddi went above and beyond to make Jon's senior prom unforgettable. She not only asked Jon to be her prom date, but she also made sure everything was tailored to his preferences.

Maddi discovered Jon's favorite color and chose a dress in the same shade, as seen in the prom photo. She even planned to have dinner at a restaurant that Jon was familiar with to make him feel more comfortable.


"During the next couple weeks, she asked what his favorite color was (orange) so she could get a dress in that color," Mike wrote.

"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."

Lessons Behind The Prom Photo

Mike had three main motivations for sharing the prom photo. Firstly, he wanted "to show support for special kids like Jon."


Secondly, he wanted to "to show support for groups that promote these friendships."

Finally, he wished "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?

Since the prom photo was shared in 2013, Mike has kept those who were moved by the story updated. In 2019, he edited the caption to provide an update on their lives.


He mentioned that the post had received over 1 million shares and had reached people in more than 80 countries. Mike reassured everyone that Jon is doing well and is happy, still living at home.

He also shared that Maddi, Jon's prom date, is now married and feels a bit "embarrassed" by the attention the post received. Mike expressed his gratitude to everyone who has sent well wishes to them.