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Traditional Prom Held For Kids Who Have Autism, Special Needs

SHERMAN OAKS ( — A lot of kids take prom for granted.

But that wasn't the case for a group of kids in Sherman Oaks as each of the attendees has autism and other special needs.

CBS2's Kristine Lazar attended the dance-filled event.

For moms like Sue Rosen, seeing her son Kyle do all the things other kids do makes her smile.

"It's among my greatest joys, and hardest burdens," she says, "but overall, days like this are just amazing."

Today, juniors and seniors at the Help Group Sunshine School in Sherman Oaks attended their annual prom.

"It's all about quality of life for these kids, and they deserve it," says Principal Sue Anne Kaples. "Just like anybody else does."

Kaples started the prom here five years ago.

Many of the students are nonverbal, and Lazar reported that speech wasn't necessary to show that a good time was had by all.

The prom always moves Kaples to tears.

"It's my favorite day of the year," she said. "They're my gift. So we get to celebrate with them. And they show us what they can do and we display it proudly for everyone to see."

They hold the prom at school during school hours, because many of the students wouldn't feel comfortable going to a place they don't know at night.

Like all other proms, there were corsages, and photos and grand entrances.

Judy Wolf accompanied her daughter Katie who will be graduating the school after 10 years.

"It's just such a joy to see her so happy and see her get into it," said Wolf, "it lets me have the opportunity to fuss over her and get a dress."

And when Kyle Rosen was asked what it was like to dance those cares away he said matter-of-factly, "You feel better."

[Editor's Note: This is a reminder the annual Stephanie's Day event is about to be held on the Radford lot in Studio City. Save the date, it's Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  And free!]

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