MANSFIELD, LA (KTRK) --A teen with autism was recently crowned his high school's prom king.
When Buddy Evans was crowned Mansfield High School's 2016 prom king, his mother, Laurie said it brought her to tears. "I was just so excited," she said.
Buddy's mom wasn't the only excited one. KSLA reports social media has exploded with shares and likes and messages of encouragement.
Buddy was diagnosed with autism at age 5. It's something he's experienced throughout his life and his mom wanted him to have a special suit for his big night to symbolize who he is. She chose a multi-colored suit reminiscent of the National Autism Society's puzzle piece pattern. The logo represents the complexity of the autism spectrum.
Laurie said of her son's suit, "I saw the colors of autism. I wanted a jacket made of puzzle pieces which represent autism. It represents what he went through from kindergarten all the way up."
According to the National Autism Association, Buddy is part of the roughly 40 percent of children with autism who do not speak. However, Buddy has been embraced, despite being non-verbal.
Laurie said, "The last four years of high school, I think those have been the best years for him because he's interacted so much more with kids. They all know him. Everywhere we go. 'Hey Buddy?'. We could be in the store, the girls, even the little girls be like 'Hey Buddy,' and I be like, 'Buddy, you know them?'"
But being prom king isn't the end-all-be-all for Buddy. His mother said, "I think there's much more to come. It's much more to come. God has so much more for him."
Buddy will graduate from Mansfield High School on May 13.