Special boutique for kids with special needs

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Going to prom is a defining moment in a teen's life. For students dealing with physical and mental challenges, that opportunity is not always a reality.

But one organization is changing that and making sure students get to pick out their prom gowns and suits for the big night.

"I looked around a little bit, but I found my perfect dress," Yvonne Gilliard said.

Liberty Hill Academy student Yvonne Gilliard is talking about the one of a kind gown she picked out at "A Very Special Boutique" which is set up for kids with special needs. Founder Jessica Gibbs started the boutique and annual prom after her own sister Christine, who has Williams Syndrome, said she wished she could go to prom.

"There is a lack of social activities for special needs kids in our area," Gibbs said.

Gibbs says for the students with disabilities, the opportunity to go to a dance with their needs in mind is priceless.

For 9th grader Willyam Watson, the chance to pick out his prom attire was fun but overwhelming.

"It's kind of fun, but you don't know what to look for. But I have staff helping me," Willyam Watson said.

All of the dresses and suits are donated from various businesses in the area in an effort to ensure that prom is a reality for these very special students.

Gibbs says this year, she will dress close to 100 special needs students from schools all over the Lowcountry.

The very special boutique will run through Saturday at the Sheraton on Montage Avenue. This year's prom will be on May 11 in Park Circle. Prom packets for any students with disabilities interested in attending are due by May 2.

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