YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Autistic students at Summit Academy on the West Side are getting ready for prom with a test-run.
The schools’ teachers, with the help of organizer David Knickerbocker, have been planning this event for months as a way to give the 30 students a chance to practice attending the prom.
“We kind of came up with it together so the response was great. The teachers at Summit have been fantastic. It’s a job I could never do full time, but here they love the kids,” Knickerbocker said.
Students are getting their hair and makeup done professionally, and the girls even get to keep the dresses. Organizers said it took a lot to pull it off, but it’s all worth it.
“I’m very happy. I’m very excited for the kids, that they are going to be a part of this wonderful prom experience. And for many of them, it will be their only prom experience, so I am glad it has come together and it’s a really big thing,” said teacher Michelle Walsh.
But the students are even more excited.
“Really, really excited. So excited I have a stomach ache,” said freshman Meranda Wilson.
“Just being able to get my hair done and makeup done and feeling pretty makes me really excited,” said junior Kaitlin Teutsch.
This pre-prom is a way to show these students what the real prom is like before attending it in May if they choose to go. The teachers said they hope they’ll be able to do this again in the future.