Va. student with autism voted prom king by classmates

UPDATE: Arvin's classmates officially voted him prom king on Friday night! Congratulations, Arvin!

It is prom season and at one Virginia high school, the event has grown into something more than people expected. It has turned into a lesson in acceptance and love.

Arvin Duco knows many people and he has a lot of friends. But even his teachers were shocked by a visit from the senior class adviser at Annandale High School.

"She said she was in her room counting the ballots for the prom and Arvin's name kept coming up," said Ellen Ordonez, one of Arvin's teachers.

His name kept coming up on the ballots for prom king.

"It took us a minute because we have our own special education prom," Ordonez said.

Arvin has autism and was supposed to attend the special education prom.

But when the votes were finally totaled, he was one of two finalists for prom king of all of Annandale High School.

"Arvin can walk into a room filled with strangers, and within seconds, he's their best friend, he knows everything about them," said Ordonez. "He just really can light up a room."

Arvin believes he would be a very good prom king.

"For the whole senior class to vote for Arvin and to want him to represent them at their prom, that just tells you how many people he has reached and his gift, what he has given to these kids," Ordonez told us.

Arvin has a way with numbers. He knows the birthdays of many of his classmates and teachers. He even remembered that my birthday is on June 6.

Arvin is so good with numbers that he can easily memorize other people's locker combinations. One morning, he showed up early to school and unlocked a hallway full of lockers.

Ordonez said they had to tell Arvin not to be quite so helpful with that.

Arvin also loves sports. He can rattle off his school's whole football schedule.

"September 5th, they faced Falls Church High School -- they lost," said Arvin. "September 12th, they faced J.E.B. Stuart High School. They won."

Of course, football players get a lot of attention.

"We have students -- they are gifts, they have things to give, and it's not going to be out there on the football field, it's not going to be the [Standards of Learning] test or a perfect score or grade, but it's going to be from the heart," said Ordonez.

But around here, Arvin is already royalty.

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