A Night on the Town: Teens With Autism Attend Special Prom

Prom is something every teen thinks about, but for those on the autism spectrum it can be tough to attend.

On Friday night some of Connecticut's stars hit the red carpet ready for prom.

"You know what they say: 'Dress to impress!'" said Jordan Kates.

Kates dressed to the nines in a suit and tie for his first Teen Night Prom. It's the sixth year Autism Families Connecticut has hosted the big night out. The room was decorated with stars, and a DJ, who is also on the autism spectrum, took song requests.

"I really just love AFC because it provides kids like me with special needs an opportunity to interact with other kids like me, to do things that I might not be able to do because it could be difficult for me," said Kates.

Prom is something every teen thinks about, but for those on the autism spectrum it can be tough to attend. Teen Night Prom takes the pressure off.

"We dance, we have fun, and, you know, we've been doing this now for quite a long time. And the kids come back, they get to get dressed up, they have corsages, and for some of them it's really the first prom they've ever been do," said Jackie Procyk, director of programming and a co-founder of Autism Families Connecticut.

"The kids love it, and they feel like, 'Hey, we're included,' so it's really nice," said Merhan Moshi, whose daughter, Mona, attended the prom. "She gets very excited, and the prom is a big deal. So she really feels it."

If the music and the crowd become a little too much, teens can go to other rooms nearby and take part in other activities.

Benjamin Patnoe says the event is great exercise and that it's hard to pick the best part about the night.

"Dancing and getting to be on TV and having fun with all the other stuff," said Patnoe.

Teen Night Prom is all about being comfortable and having fun. Some dress up and others keep it a bit more casual.

Onika Butler's son, Quincy Porter, has been going to prom for several years. He likes to be a bit more casual, but that doesn't mean he spends less time thinking about what to wear.

"He had his outfit laid out all week, so it was just a matter of 'which shoes am I going to put on?' He was very excited," said Butler.

Parents say they love seeing their kids having a great time.

"I'm just happy that he's able to be a part of it," said Butler.

To learn more about Autism Families Connecticut, click here.

Contact Us