Teen With Autism Asked To Homecoming

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Michael is a junior at Taylorsville High School in Utah. He has autism and ADHD, and he loves Starbursts. When he woke up one day to find that his house had been egged, he didn’t think it had anything to do with his school’s upcoming Homecoming dance. But the prankster had left a note: “I’m sorry for the mess. But how about I make it up to you by taking you to homecoming?”

Not an ideal way to be asked to the homecoming dance, but the name on the note belonged to girl that Michael knew well. The note had even been kissed.

But when Michael asked his friend about the note, she had bad news. “She said, ‘Michael, I already have a date. I’m so sorry. I had nothing to do with that.’ She felt bad,” Jennifer Conrad, Michael’s mother, told Fox 13 News. The whole thing was a mean-spirited prank.

Jennifer said that while her son acted like the whole event was no big deal, she knew it hurt him. “I was out for blood. Mama bear was awoken,” she said.

But Jennifer wasn’t the only one looking at for Michael. A Taylorsville High teacher, Jenn Palomino, was infuriated when she heard that Michael was treated so cruelly. She contacted the winner of the Miss Greater Salt Lake pageant, Dexonna Talbot.

As soon as she heard what had happened, Dexonna wanted to get involved. “I automatically broke down into tears, because just thinking about the fact that someone would go out of their way to make someone else feel bad is so heartbreaking to me,” she said.

But Miss Greater Salt Lake did more than just offer sympathy. She marched into Michael’s classroom armed with a bucket of Starbursts and a sign asking him to homecoming. Though completely surprised by Dexonna’s request, Michael lost no time in enthusiastically replying, “Sure!” The whole class burst into applause.

Dexonna made sure to ask Michael to homecoming where his classmates could see. “I really wanted to make sure it was at the school. So that way, those people who have been bullying could see something positive was coming from this and that they weren’t winning,” she said.

Dexonna will compete for the title of Miss Utah in 2019, but Michael’s mother is quick to confirm that this wasn’t a publicity stunt on Dexonna’s part. “She’s just got a tender heart,” Jennifer said. She said the date has made her son’s year.

Michael and Dexonna had a great time at homecoming. They took pictures and had dinner before heading to the dance, and Dexonna shared the video of her ask on Twitter. “Hoco w the coolest guy out there! Thank you to everyone who made this a reality” she tweeted.

Thank you to everyone who stands up against bullying and helps kindness win out over cruelty.

Watch Michael be surprised by Miss Greater Salt Lake below!

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Katie Taylor started writing in 5th grade and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite place to pen a phrase is in front of her fireplace with a cup of tea, but she's been known to write in parking lots on the backs of old receipts if necessary. She and her husband live cozily in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rainy days and Netflix.
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