TOWSON, MD. — "It was unexpected. I was just going to like have fun at the dance, the homecoming dance," said Dorsey Keith IV, a senior at Parkville High School on the autism spectrum.
Over the weekend, he won Homecoming King!
"I felt appreciated by everyone," Dorsey said thinking about when he won. Wednesday night, he put his sash on again and said "moments like this I didn't think was possible." He went on to thank his family and everyone at Parkville High School, especially his special education teacher who he's been working with for the last four years to help improve his social skills.
"She said without knowing it I’m able to spread, help other kids and stuff and even ones that are not on the spectrum. I set a good example," said Dorsey. He said this is the only special education class he has. Other than that, his other classes are with students not on the spectrum.
"I feel like instead of putting kids in a secluded place, get them the tools they need and help them to be out their on their own," he said.
Dorsey's dad, Dorsey Keith III, said his son is determined to be part of society. He stressed he's always worked to make sure his son feels comfortable in his own skin. He said he always would tell Dorsey when he was young that he was really autistic because "we want him comfortable with that word so he doesn’t feel like it’s a stigma."
Over the years, Dorsey has continued to grown and now he's a young man.
"This guy right here tells me what he’s going to do and I listen to him and validate every word that comes out of his mouth unless it’s some crazy music that’s the side of him that’s a real teenager," said Dorsey's dad, as Dorsey laughed next to him.
The night Dorsey won Homecoming King, his dad said, "We were like man we did it and there was no way to define that with the exception that we have come so far, we have worked day and night and to get to this point." He added, "it’s been a long long road. It’s just an amazing thing you can’t put it into words, you can’t. But I’m proud to have this kid right here."
Proud of a young man who he says has exceeded what people have told him he can do, a young man who has pushed past struggles in his life and a young man who strives to be better. He said he wants to help children in the future.
Dorsey has some advice for any one not on the autism spectrum. He said, "at the end of the day we're all people. So just, of course this saying has been said before treat others the way you want to be treated and understand we're all human."