My daughter would like to find an autistic boy to ask to prom...help!! where could we find one??

Rachel - posted on 04/03/2013 ( 27 moms have responded )

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My daughter is currently a senior in high school and believes that the best way to make her senior prom memorable is to give someone else (who generally wouldn't have the chance) the opportunity to go to her high school prom. We have her enrolled in a private high school in Westchester, NY where there isn't a BOCES or special needs program. We would love some advice as to where we could find someone special the chance to go to prom. :)

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Liz - posted on 04/04/2013

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Honestly, I'm with Kristi on this one. (I keep trying to rate your post, Kristi, but it merely says -1 when I do)

If your daughter wants to make positive progress for equality, then by all means encourage her to befriend kids with various disabilities, get to know them as people and NOT merely as boys labelled with the autism tag, then invite one to prom if she likes him sufficiently.

Whilst I get the good intention behind your proposal, it smacks a little too much of charity motivated by pity, which is not really what disabled kids are looking for because it still makes too much of them being different. All they want is to be included in as normal a way as their condition and abilities allow.

ETA: And how do you think the poor boy would feel to know that he was going to a prom because he was autistic and not because of who he is? Adding the idea that you're giving the kid an experience that he wouldn't otherwise have, and the idea smacks of arrogance and a sort of Victorian magnanimity-towards-the-suffering-poor that really misses the entire point of making a kind-hearted gesture in the first place.

Kristi - posted on 04/04/2013

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I have to admit, my knee jerk reaction was kind of disgust. It would be one thing if you actually knew someone with autism and invited him instead of going with the captain of the football team. But, you're on here basically running a want-ad for an under privileged, special needs guy who wouldn't get to go to a prom with out some rich, do-gooder "slumming" it, so to speak. You can parade an autistic young man around at a prom for one night but you need to go to private school during the day to avoid him and others that don't measure up to your qualifications?

I'm sorry, maybe I'm just a skeptical bitch and your intentions are sincere. Honestly though, what are you going to do when you find "one?" Call up his mom and say my daughter found out your son has autism and she thought her prom would be memorable if she took someone special to it with her. Only, his mom would know you actually meant "special" because she has no frickin idea who you are or why in hell your daughter would want to take a boy she's never even heard of to her one and only senior prom.

What kind of BOCES or special needs program did you find her home coming escort from? Maybe they have autistic boys, too? You could check counseling centers that specialize in behavior therapies such as ABA and TEACCH. Your daughter could have the pick of the litter there. Oh, try eHarmony for Autistics, then she could pick out someone with the physical attributes she wants.

Ok, sorry, I'm done. I'm sure I will get slammed and hard for this but whatever. The title of your post raised the hair on the back of my neck. IMO, you might as well have said...WTB(orrow) 17 y/o Autistic Male on 5/13/2013 7p-1a dinner/dance, interested applicants please send photo and reply to youpoorbastard@itsyourluckynight.com.

But for the sake of the "one you find," I hope everything goes wonderfully and both kids do end up having a magical night.

Liz - posted on 04/04/2013

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Absolutely that, Evelyn. The key is whether or not she already knows someone and invites them...and they merely happen to have a disability. It's the notion of shopping for a disabled kid that she doesn't know that makes hackles rise and becomes inappropriate.

Liz - posted on 04/09/2013

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The best thing that the OP can do right now, to be honest, is to use this incident as a teaching opportunity. Help her daughter (and herself, clearly) learn more about autism, what it means to be autistic, about the negative consequences of labelling people, about stigma and why it is undesireable and, perhaps, how they both might get involved in their area in volunteering to help underprivileged families.

Far more benefit to be found there for the daughter in learning how to be genuinely empathic, inclusive and progressive in terms of equality, then in parading someone she doesn't know on her arm (IF the kid doesn't freak out at the strange situation and unfamiliar people etc).

If she really wants to help people, then she won't care that the latter approach won't come with the admiration of her peers or 15 minutes of media fame. We do nice things because we can and we should, not because someone is watching.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/08/2013

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After no response from the OP, I'm going to say that, if they really want to be that "generous"...

How about giving up prom night entirely, taking the $100's of dollars you want to spend, and donating that to a less fortunate family so that they could, say...EAT????

I'd find that much less offensive than shopping for a special person. People that want to shine up their "image" sicken me.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/12/2013

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Kristi C...you crack me up, girl!

Liz - posted on 04/08/2013

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The skeptical, cynical side of me imagines this idea came about because of the recent media stories about a girl who invited a boy from her class to prom who just happened to have Downs Syndrome. It's a question of 15 minutes of fame to some, I guess.

The more charitable side of me thinks that she had an idea to be helpful but just didn't have sufficient understanding to 'get' why what she wanted to do was inappropriate and ill-expressed.

Either which way, Shawnn's idea is a great one.

Kristi - posted on 04/08/2013

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Excellent point! Shoot, I, as I think many of "us" (non-Autustic people), would feel at least some level of anxiety in the very same situation.

I reiterate my disgust at the whole notion of special needs shopping. I was wondering if she might just be a troll the first time I read this. The fact that she hasn't come back on here to "defend" herself, leads to me to believe she is real and for whatever reason, hopefully she grew a conscious, she doesn't have to jewels to say anything to us because she knows there is no defense. I think a troll would absolutely be fueling the fire. Just imo.

Kelsey - posted on 04/07/2013

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I know exactly what you're saying Evelyn. My brother, if his buttons are pushed outside his limit, can throw the biggest tantrum that would give a two-year-old a run for the money. My brother is on the moderate level. Not so high functioning to drive a car, but not too low functioning to need help on daily basis. He did just fine with our prom; because food was involved; he loves his food. Though eventually, he got tired of the loud music and noisy people and wanted to go home.

Jodi - posted on 04/07/2013

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I always find it interesting on these ones when the OP never comes back. That speaks volumes.....

Kristi - posted on 04/07/2013

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Just a little update...

I had to ask my daughter about this. I thought, "Ok, I'll give these "ladies" one more benefit of the doubt and see how another teen would see it."

So, I read her the post first, I did not want to prejudice the jury with the title. Now mind you, she is allowed to curse when it's just the two of us. She hasn't to this day. She said, "What the "F" do they think there is a special section in Target that sells Autistic kids? Who does that? Mom, you're just testing me about bullying aren't you?"

I told her that I was not kidding. It was a real question someone asked on CoM's. She said, "That is sick, that is just "F-ing" sick. Can I post I reply? You didn't tell them you were from NY, did you? I don't want them to think we're like that."

She was seriously pissed. Obviously, I did not let her reply but I did let her read ours. She was relieved we were all pretty upset about it, too. She's like, Human traffic much? 13 1/2 years old. This is word for word. She said F and F-ing not the whole words and even implying those words is major for her even though she is free to say what wants, she just does not. She won't even same damn.

Anyways, I just thought I'd share a teenager's POV.

Kelsey - posted on 04/04/2013

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I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who thought this was a little insulting. I love Kristi's post. I couldn't have said it any better!

Kristi - posted on 04/04/2013

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Thanks for the rates...I just can't see them!! Lol But I appreciate the love! ; )

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/04/2013

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I'm in agreement with Kristi, Liz, Evelyn & Dove.

If your daughter already knows someone, that's one thing, but to go "shopping" specifically for someone with special needs (that you don't personally know) is a bit much.

Kristi - posted on 04/04/2013

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Liz and Evelyn--

Thank you for being so much kinder and more diplomatic than I was. I'm sure your comments will be taken more seriously as they were not made out of anger and full of disgust and sarcasm like mine was. Well done. ♥

Firebird - posted on 04/03/2013

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Kelsey, just because your brother went to prom with one of your girlfriends, doesn't mean that every Autistic boy is going to get that chance. They aren't all high functioning as I'm sure you know.

Rachel, when you and your daughter are looking for someone to escort her to prom, make sure to stay low key about it, the last thing you want to do is upset someone by making them believe that they can't have a moment like this without someone else's charity.

Kelsey - posted on 04/03/2013

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I don't want to sound mean here, but why wouldn't Autistic boys usually have the chance of going to prom? My brother is on the higher scale of autism, he went to both of his proms with one of my girlfriends at the time.

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