Earlier this school year, students at Linden High School set out to make Danny Leideker's Senior year his best year of school. Mission accomplished! Danny, who is autistic, was crowned Homecoming King last night at the school's Powder Puff game.

Danny's condition is Asperger's Syndrome, a type of autism that makes it difficult to read social cues. Individuals are often characterized as having eccentric behavior, and are often socially isolated.

Needless to say, Danny was thrilled. "It feels good to be king, it feels great!"

Wayne Leideker, Danny's father, is thankful to his son's classmates for getting to know Danny, and befriending him years ago when they were in middle school. Leideker credits Eddie Walterhouse (and others) who "helped him develop and grow his confidence, personality, and social skills so much."

He went on to say, "Witnessing this friendship develop and spread over four years, and watching them both learn and discover from one another, frequently brought tears of both sadness and happiness  into our home. These kids really don’t realize the full impact, today and tomorrow, they are having on Danny and his fellow classmates."

Leideker said he and his wife were thankful that his classmates got to know him, and that Danny was able to form genuine friendships, especially in an era when special-needs kids can be ridiculed or pranked, evidenced by recent events at another Michigan school.
ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI
- George McIntyre
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