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Wed May 1, 2013, 08:36 PM

My autistic nephew Jon, and his awesome prom date Maddie.

From my brother's Facebook page:

This is my son Jon with his prom date Maddie. He is a junior and he has autism. About a month ago, Maddie, a senior, came to my office (Im a teacher at their school) and asked if Jons 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. Hes a junior, she explained so its 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.
During the next couple weeks, she asked what his favorite color was (orange) so she could get a dress in that color. 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.
I encourage everyone to like and share this 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.



I don't know Maddie, but I will always appreciate what she has done for my nephew.

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Reply My autistic nephew Jon, and his awesome prom date Maddie. (Original post)
Arger68 May 2013 OP
dawg May 2013 #1
BeeBee May 2013 #62
CaliforniaPeggy May 2013 #2
Suich May 2013 #3
Skittles May 2013 #4
Summer Hathaway May 2013 #6
sarge43 May 2013 #44
Skittles May 2013 #71
sarge43 May 2013 #88
Summer Hathaway May 2013 #5
mercymechap May 2013 #7
MerryBlooms May 2013 #8
Arctic Dave May 2013 #9
chollybocker May 2013 #10
anneboleyn May 2013 #32
siligut May 2013 #11
Poll_Blind May 2013 #12
Hulk May 2013 #13
enough May 2013 #14
TNNurse May 2013 #15
DirkGently May 2013 #16
mamayo May 2013 #17
MannyGoldstein May 2013 #18
AAO May 2013 #19
BeatleBoot May 2013 #20
liberalmuse May 2013 #21
rurallib May 2013 #22
Marie Marie May 2013 #23
Cracklin Charlie May 2013 #24
ReRe May 2013 #25
AverageJoe90 May 2013 #26
Diclotican May 2013 #27
Ilsa May 2013 #28
El Fuego May 2013 #29
LeftInTX May 2013 #30
PennsylvaniaMatt May 2013 #31
emmadoggy May 2013 #85
wrenken May 2013 #33
freeplessinseattle May 2013 #45
renate May 2013 #68
CountAllVotes May 2013 #87
allan01 May 2013 #34
FourScore May 2013 #35
RainDog May 2013 #36
CountAllVotes May 2013 #75
RainDog May 2013 #80
Wheezy May 2013 #37
JDPriestly May 2013 #38
FedUpWithIt All May 2013 #39
HiPointDem May 2013 #40
Iwillnevergiveup May 2013 #41
mythology May 2013 #42
lillypaddle May 2013 #43
leftynyc May 2013 #46
babylonsister May 2013 #47
Triana May 2013 #48
Arger68 May 2013 #49
Shrek May 2013 #50
abelenkpe May 2013 #51
Ilsa May 2013 #52
Auntie Bush May 2013 #53
leftyladyfrommo May 2013 #54
Dustlawyer May 2013 #55
myrna minx May 2013 #56
Denis 11 May 2013 #57
JNelson6563 May 2013 #58
Arger68 May 2013 #59
xiamiam May 2013 #60
alsame May 2013 #61
Demoiselle May 2013 #63
SunSeeker May 2013 #64
11 Bravo May 2013 #65
Robyn66 May 2013 #66
Heather MC May 2013 #67
Still Blue in PDX May 2013 #69
joeybee12 May 2013 #70
Arugula Latte May 2013 #72
WoodyD May 2013 #73
MadrasT May 2013 #74
MotherPetrie May 2013 #76
Common Sense Party May 2013 #77
virgogal May 2013 #78
malaise May 2013 #79
bigwillq May 2013 #81
redwitch May 2013 #82
smirkymonkey May 2013 #83
Butterbean May 2013 #84
GeoWilliam750 May 2013 #86

Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 08:42 PM

1. What a beautiful young woman.

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Response to dawg (Reply #1)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:58 PM

62. Beautiful inside and out. n/t

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 08:43 PM

2. They are an awesome couple!

I hope they have a great time.



I also like where his hand is...



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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 08:43 PM

3. What a cool story, Arger68!

I love the idea of a school club that "promotes friendships between special needs kids and regular kids."

Hat's off to Maddie!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 08:44 PM

4. OK WHO is Jon reminding me of???

HE LOOKS SO FAMILIAR!!

lovely photo

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Response to Skittles (Reply #4)

Wed May 1, 2013, 08:48 PM

6. Don't know who you're thinking of

but my very first thought on seeing Jon's pic was of a young Tom Courteney. back in his earliest films.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #4)

Thu May 2, 2013, 05:30 AM

44. I think he looks a bit like Stephen Hawking.

Second that about the photo

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Response to sarge43 (Reply #44)

Thu May 2, 2013, 04:10 PM

71. he does have that fiercly intelligent Hawking look



and what a lovely young lady

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Response to Skittles (Reply #71)

Fri May 3, 2013, 10:42 AM

88. Yes she is.

Beauty is more than skin deep and she rocks that gown.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 08:46 PM

5. Thanks for sharing this.

It's a lovely story, and you tell it beautifully.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 08:53 PM

7. What a sweet girl and what a wonderful

thing for her to do. It's good to know there are still caring people in the world. I hope they had a great time. I have a granddaughter named Maddie, I would hope that she would grow up to be as sweet as this Maddie.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 08:55 PM

8. Beaut. n/t

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:02 PM

9. A very charming couple.

 

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:03 PM

10. Beautiful dress, Maddie!

Handsome couple. Hope they had much fun.

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Response to chollybocker (Reply #10)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:59 PM

32. Yes, a very cool dress, and an uplifting story. Made my day.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:12 PM

11. This is wonderful for the reasons he listed

And I love her dress.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:14 PM

12. How can anyone not love this? K&R! nt

PB

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:16 PM

13. Beautiful!

Youth, and their whole lives ahead of them. Damn, what a fortunate pair...whether they walk together or separately. So sweet!
"Let me make you happy, and let you make me happy, and let US make memories to be happy with forever."

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:17 PM

14. They both look great. (nt)

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:17 PM

15. Dear Maddie

13 or so years from now, when my great-nephew is 17, I hope there is someone around just like you. You are a woman I would like to know.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:32 PM

16. Cool. That is all (nt).

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:32 PM

17. wouldn't it be nice if we could all be like Maddie

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:34 PM

18. That is so beautiful. My heart just got three sizes bigger.

Just what I need after a weird day.

God bless them!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:50 PM

19. I'm a little verklempt right now.

 

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:56 PM

20. Thanks for sharing, but...

You owe me a box of Kleenex!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:56 PM

21. Aw, to be young again.

And have the added bonus of being beautiful inside and out. Good for them! I hope they had a wonderful time, and I'm sure Maddie will appreciate the wonderful thing your nephew did for her. It goes both ways!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:02 PM

22. Thanks for telling us about this - makes us feel good

But - well - I have had plenty of orange for the week.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:12 PM

23. Beautiful couple - beautiful story.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:18 PM

24. What a cute couple!

And I LOVE her dress! Jon looks great, too.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:22 PM

25. A truly beautiful spring time miracle..

Thank you, Arger68, for sharing this story of your nephew and his beautiful date for the Jr-Sr Prom. Her dress is perfect! How did she find that dress in only two weeks? What a great organization to have in your school, also. Socialization is exactly what kids like Jon needs.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:26 PM

26. Lucky guy! Hope he had fun(and lots of it!). n/t

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:34 PM

27. Arger68

Arger68

That was a nice thing to do - as many who have autism, have few persons they might connect to.. I have a brother with Asbergers - and I for one would have wished anyone could have treated him better when he was in high school... Not that he was bullied - but rather he was not treated as good as he should have been, as he is a good person who seldom - or never have any anger to others..

I hope your nephew had a great time - with his prom date - and I do hope he will remember it for a long time, with kindness and happyness..

Diclotican

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:50 PM

28. Knowing that there are people like her

in the world greatly comforts my heart.

Please tell her this for me. She is a blessing, and she looks beautiful.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:55 PM

29. Thank you ...

Just "Thank you..."

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:57 PM

30. This is wonderful :)

I love the matching orange between them.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 10:57 PM

31. Wow! What a small world!

I saw this post and picture making the rounds yesterday on Facebook. What a small world that it is a relative of a DU member!

This was such a heartwarming story!!! Hope they had a great time!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #31)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:14 PM

85. I saw it too! nt

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:00 PM

33. I have Autism.

I had it in high school too. I was bullied all the time because I was different. Maddie is amazing. She is a wonderful human being.

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Response to wrenken (Reply #33)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:17 AM

45. I'm sorry those lowlifes treated you like that

The world could sure use more Maddies, and less bullies.

You are among friends now, welcome

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Response to wrenken (Reply #33)

Thu May 2, 2013, 03:26 PM

68. welcome to DU!

I'm sorry you had a tough time in high school. We're glad you found DU!

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Response to wrenken (Reply #33)

Fri May 3, 2013, 07:27 AM

87. Welcome to the Democratic Underground!

My brother had a very difficult time in high school himself.

Lucky for him my father was around most of the time and he frequently went to the high school to "straighten things out" for him.

If my father had not been there for him, I have no idea if he would have ever managed to graduate.

He was laughed at, called names (as was I being I'm the sister of the "crazy" brother I was often said to be), and also he had a very difficult time.

He managed to make it though.

Hang in there and glad to see you here!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:27 PM

34. re:My autistic nephew Jon, and his awesome prom date Maddie.

oh my.!!!!!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:37 PM

35. This is lovely.

After all the trauma and heartache I have read about over the last couple of hours, I shall end my time at DU tonight with this story and and a smile. Thank you so much for posting it.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:41 PM

36. I also have an autistic son

He's somewhat high-functioning, but not in social issues. Even so, he had a girlfriend in high school. But they're no longer together.

His deepest wish is to have a girlfriend.

As a parent, it's hard to see your child struggle with these things once they hit adulthood, too.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #36)

Thu May 2, 2013, 06:19 PM

75. My late brother was "autistic"

Last edited Thu May 2, 2013, 09:55 PM - Edit history (1)

However, in the 1960s he was called an MR (mentally retarded). They wanted to put him away for life but ... my parents would not stand for it!
He never dated at all until he met a woman when he was older, and they got married a few years later.

Sadly, he died not long afterwards.

As for your son, he sounds like my late brother. He had a very difficult time with social interactions and he never really had a many close friends.

I hope your son some day finds a woman to love him that he loves back just as much. It will happen some day is my hope for your son!

Have hope!

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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #75)

Thu May 2, 2013, 06:43 PM

80. sweet!

so happy to hear about your brother.

My son was dx'd when he was in third grade. Luckily for him, we lived in a place that was diverse - my kids went to school with kids from 39 other nations, so there was lots of "difference" that was celebrated. But his third grade teacher had been teaching for decades and, just the year before, she had a child with the high-functioning autism dx, and she put two and two together.

Before he was dx'd, people told me I spoiled him b/c he would have bad reactions to loud noises, etc. and, instead of punishing him, I would just hold him very tightly and rock with him until he could calm down. Later I read that Temple Grandin had created her machine to help her with sensory integration - and thought about those times.

My son is very outgoing, but he misses social cues. He's also a sweetheart and, so, can't pull off "cool." So, the girl for him will have to be someone with the patience and kindness to help him navigate intimate social life in a way that's not gender stereotypical.

I read to him all the time when he was growing up, so at first people just thought he was this jr. genius kid because he could read when he was three. But what had happened was that he had memorized words from seeing them as we read. His disability is math and spatial-related. (Me too, for that matter.) He had excellent tutoring in math b/c his dad's licentiate was in math... but he could never get that form of reasoning. He also has issues with "spatial" things in terms of gait and just being able to "see" that you turn this way or that to help move something, for instance. He took dance classes to try to help with that not too long ago and was totally uninhibited, even tho he's over 6 feet tall now and carries around some heft.

He loves to perform. He was all-state vocal jazz in h.s. but didn't stay with that. His first love is acting. He says he gets to pretend to be "neuro-typical" while spouting Shakespeare or Joe Orton. He also writes... I used to write professionally, too, but don't anymore unless someone asks me for a piece, which I then gladly do. But I'm glad he has taken it upon himself to write about his experience of the world.

When he was in middle school, he was the lead in the school play his first year. Then, he didn't try out for the lead for the next year because he wanted others to have their turns, as well. Then, the kid who had the lead got suspended from school four days before opening night. The drama teacher called my son because she knew about his special skills and he met with her for two days, did a dress rehearsal on the third day, and did the performance on the fourth day without missing a cue.

After the performance, he got a standing ovation and I and everyone else in the crowd who knew what had happened was in tears.

Now that he's trying to navigate the job market, he's having far more problems finding work that is suitable for him. He claims he wants to go to hollywood, but I, as his mom, have nightmares about something like that b/c he's so trusting. He also cannot drive a car b/c it's too much sensory overload, so he takes the bus or walks - and luckily we live in a place that makes this possible for him to get to his job.

He got his own apt. this year. The job he had this year is coming to an end, so he'll be looking for other work. I wish he could find something that would enable him to use his unique skills (as I wish for everyone.) He majored in French and has tutored elementary and college students, but he's not certified to teach and, without a cert or some other more practical skill, he's working in a macjob.

But, again, he loves the interaction this allows him to have with others.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:57 PM

37. I saw this yesterday

on Facebook and it made my day. So happy to know he's in the extended DU family.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:05 AM

38. Maddie will do well in life. She is on the right track.

And Jon looks like a great guy. I wish both of them well.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:41 AM

39. I had shared this the other day.

It is always nice when kindness gets notice.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 01:13 AM

40. what a thoughtful young woman. impressed. did your nephew enjoy the prom?

 

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 01:28 AM

41. What a couple!

They look great and they are great. SAWEET! Thanks for posting this.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 01:48 AM

42. Thank you for sharing this

I really needed to see something good in the world tonight.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 05:27 AM

43. Awesome!

What a lovely gesture - and they are both beautiful!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:27 AM

46. When I grow up

I want to be just like Maddie. Heartwarming story and I hope the prom was everything they both wanted it to be.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 08:51 AM

47. SO heartwarming-thank you for sharing! nt

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 08:58 AM

48. What a sweet girl and a handsome young man.

She is beautiful - inside and out!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 09:02 AM

49. Wow, thank you so much

For the recs and replies. I haven't had a chance to talk to my brother yet to see how it went but I'm sure they had a great time. Just glad to be able to post some happy news for a change!!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 09:06 AM

50. She looks lovely in that dress

And she has a lovely soul to go with it.

Orange is awesome.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 09:26 AM

51. K&R

Sweet story! Wonderful kids!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 09:29 AM

52. I'm sorry, Arger, I was sleepy last night

and got the relationship twisted around.

They really look happy and great together, don't they?

Your nephew looks very intelligent, too. he has a thoughtful look about him.

I'm very happy for Jon's parents, too, getting to see this happen for their son. Alot of people don't understand the heartbreak for the parents when their children don't get to do normal things.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 09:41 AM

53. We need more girls in the world like Maddie! Thanks Maddie.

She and Jon look like they'll have/had a great time at the prom.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:31 AM

54. Wow.

Just Wow!

Good for them.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:50 AM

55. With the right hair he could be Lyle Lovett!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:52 AM

56. Awww. K&R for the sweet couple.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:32 PM

57. Maddie, you are awesome!

I have a ton of respect for you.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:34 PM

58. Beautiful inside and out!

Love it! Gorgeous dress too!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:38 PM

59. Another pic, shows her dress much better!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:53 PM

60. beautiful..nt

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:55 PM

61. Maddie has already made a difference in

this world and I suspect she will do even more in the future. What a wonderful young woman.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 01:09 PM

63. Thank you for this beautiful story. I love orange, too.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 01:24 PM

64. Crap. I knew I shouldn't have clicked on this. Now I'm a mess.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 02:07 PM

65. Every now and then I read something that gives me hope for the human race.

Thanks for sharing this,

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 02:14 PM

66. What a lovely girl!

It is so nice to see someone with such good character!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 03:23 PM

67. omg her dress!!!!!!!!!

who is she wearing?

I love it!!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 03:27 PM

69. What a wonderful young lady.

I think Jon must be pretty wonderful, too. This makes my heart smile.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 03:27 PM

70. Great photo and great post...knr

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 04:30 PM

72. That's awesome. Have you seen this? It made its way around Facebook:

This girls name is Maddie Ramsey and she is my best mates sister. And she invited me to go to her formal with her... I don't care that she has Down syndrome. I don't care what people think of me when I went and brought my suit and got my haircut and they asked what school it was for. I was proud to say it was for a special school, as long as it made her feel special for that one day and night. Not only myself but her mother treated it as a proper formal, it was sad to think that because someone has Down syndrome they don't deserve a proper formal, or a formal that was taken seriously. And I am proud to have made this day very special for this very special girl. (Jesse Cervini)

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 04:42 PM

73. Lovely!

Just lovely, in every way.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 04:45 PM

74. Aw hell now you made me cry



This is really, really sweet and uplifting. What a wonderful thing to do. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 06:21 PM

76. K&R

 

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 06:23 PM

77. I saw this on Facebook a couple days ago.

I loved it and shared it. What a great story.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 06:27 PM

78. Just getting around to this post----an I'm all weepy.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 06:32 PM

79. Very nice

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 06:43 PM

81. This is awesome!

K and R

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 06:53 PM

82. Great story!

I hope they had an awesome time at their prom and I love her orange dress!

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:05 PM

83. What a lovely story! Thank you.

Gives me hope for the human race.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:09 PM

84. Bless her, such a big heart is so appreciated. She gives me hope.

My autistic baby's favorite color is orange, too.

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Response to Arger68 (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 09:31 PM

86. And my guess is

That the apple does not fall far from the tree

In a very good way

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