Down Syndrome Teens Named High School Prom King and Queen

Filed under: In The News

A special needs couple won prom king and queen. Credit: Getty Images

High school probably should have been tough for Toni Alten-Crowe.

Teens can be cruel enough without throwing a disorder like Down syndrome into the mix.

"I imagined that she would be snubbed and made fun of and not be given opportunities," her mother, Mary Alten, tells the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I imagined that every day at school would be a struggle for her."

But, the newspaper reports, the Loveland, Ohio, the senior was actually so well-liked and accepted at Loveland High, that her fellow students crowned her prom queen. And the king? Drew Anderson, her friend who also has Down syndrome.

"It really hit me at prom that night: What I had imagined for her turned out to be the exact opposite," Alten tells the Enquirer. "That she would be so well-known and well-liked and accepted at school -- that was a pretty huge thing for us."

It's the first time Loveland High has named a prom king and queen with disabilities, but Michelle Diament, who cofounded the website Disability Scoop, tells the newspaper honoring special-needs students is a growing trend, pointing to the TV show "Glee," which features a girl with Down syndrome on the cheerleading team and a wheelchair-boy bound boy in the glee club as inspiration.

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