Sister takes brother with special needs to prom

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HORTONVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) -- After winter weather forced their prom to be rescheduled, Hortonville High Schoolers are eager for the big day, scheduled for Saturday.

Daed and Talia Mann on prom night (Photos: Tori Adkins)

But for one Hortonville duo, the big dance party is more than just a rite of passage.

17-year-old Daed Mann is making a trip to the dance, accompanied by his younger sister, Thalia.

“I had anticipated that this would just be another, I guess, sort of rite of passage he wasn’t going to be able to participate in because of some of his developmental and social special needs,” says mom Tori Adkins. “I said, ‘I don’t think he’s going to prom.’ And [Thalia] said, ‘Oh yeah, he’s going to prom. Because I’m taking him.’”

Daed faces a string of special needs, including autism, anxiety disorders, and ADHD.

That’s why Thalia thought prom would be too much for him – if he went alone.

“Sensory-wise, he couldn't do it,” she says. “But if I was there, I could be like his comfort blanket. Even though I'm just his sister.”

Just 14 months difference in age and one grade apart in school, Daed calls Thalia his best friend.

“It's always been Thalia and Daed,” Thalia says. “His whole life basically, and my whole life, we've been just together.”

And Saturday night, just one more thing the duo can check off their list of accomplishments.

“I want him to experience things as everybody else is doing them,” Thalia says.

“Any time any of our students can be involved in any social activity within high school is great, because that’s part of life. We go to high school, we go to football games, we go to prom,” Daed’s special education teacher Jessica St. John tells Action 2 News.

“Thalia has just always been that driving force,” Adkins says, "and she's just always pushed him to do things like that, and experience everything he can.”

The pair is headed to the Hortonville High School prom Saturday night.

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