MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hundreds of students gathered inside a ballroom to celebrate Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ annual Prom Day for students with disabilities on Tuesday.

Students danced around and took pictures, all while showing off their suits, tuxes and gowns.  It was a party.

“For me it’s quite frankly God’s gift, I find purpose and meaning through these types of celebrations,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, there to do the honors for Prom Day for about 400 students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Like any other Senior Prom they crowned a King and a Queen.

Prom Day for Miami-Dade County students with Autism Spectrum Disorder included the election of a King and Queen. (CBS4Miami)

For Ashley Jeanguilles, it was her very first prom and after walking away with the title of queen, she knew one thing for sure.

“I look good,” Jeanguilles said.

Student Ashley Jeanguilles happy to be crowned Queen at prom. (CBS4Miami)

It’s the ninth year of the celebration mostly for seniors. The students came with chaperones and some even had dates for the total prom experience.

“It really gives them the opportunity to enjoy, let loose, relax and have fun,” said Mark Karp, Vice Chair of the Miami-Dade County School Board.

For those on the spectrum, sometimes prom can be overwhelming, a sensory overload.

Karp said this event is tailored to students with Autism.

“I believe there’s areas, quiet areas for students who need that, this environment it seems to be a tremendous success,” said Karp. “They do get out on the dance floor, they’re able to listen to the music, if they need some space they’re able to get away from it.”

It was a moment to cap a year of achievement for students, including one young girl whose dream was to dance with the Superintendent.

Miami-Dade County Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho dances with a student. (CBS4Miami)

“I didn’t know that it was her dream to dance with me, we danced and yes she gave me a kiss on the cheek and I’m blessed for it,” said Carvalho.

Rielle Creighton

Comments (4)
  1. Juan R. Pollo says:

    Not much inclusion, is there? Ironic that these students have fought for inclusion their entire lives only to have a segregated prom at the end. And yes, I have a child with disabilities, And no, he did not attend a special prom, he attended with the rest of his peers.