Our daughter with Rett syndrome was asked to the homecoming dance
Two special needs families share in the joy of a special homecoming proposal
When I think about high school, I immediately think about friends, sporting events, getting a driver’s license, and dances. As a parent, I’ve always wanted my children to have fun, safe, and positive experiences like I did. Now that my oldest, Cammy, is a freshman in high school, I want her to have as many typical experiences as possible, despite having Rett syndrome.
When I was in high school in the 1990s, students asked one another to homecoming and the winter and spring dances by picking up the phone and calling. Nowadays, the homecoming proposals and “prom-posals” are elaborate and really out of my comfort zone. Even though I would’ve been embarrassed to be asked with a grand gesture, I wanted Cammy to have the same experience as her peers.
A month ago, another special needs mom, Liz, asked me if her son, Jack, could ask Cammy to homecoming. I instantly began crying because I wasn’t sure if she’d ever be asked to a dance. When I asked Cammy if she wanted to go to homecoming with Jack, the biggest smile took over her face. Next, Jack had to think of a fun way to ask her.
Jack and Cammy have been friends since preschool. Even though they don’t have the same condition (Jack has a form of epilepsy caused by a mutation in the KCNQ2 gene), our families have bonded over raising one child with special needs and another who’s neurotypical.
Jack and his family came over last Sunday so Jack could ask Cammy to homecoming. His dad wheeled him in as his mom held a sign and flowers. Cammy was grinning from ear to ear in anticipation. Jack knows Cammy loves “Sesame Street,” and the theme of the dance is Mario Bros., so he incorporated both on the poster.
Cammy used her eyes to look right at him and gave a big smile to answer yes!
The thrill of being asked to a dance is something Cammy will remember forever. We all will. Cammy is filled with excitement to start preparations, including deciding on a pretty dress, hairstyle, and makeup look.
This already is a fairy tale for Jack and Cammy, and the dance is still to come.
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