I realize that those of you who know our family personally are used to my Max stories, but I've come to realize that some folks might not know how awesome he is...so I'll give a little background. Max was born in December of 2004 with a severe heart condition and Down syndrome, both of which were diagnosed before he was born. The difference between that medically fragile (and blue hued) little baby and the jokster that lives with us today are tremendous!
Pretty much every day Max has us laughing in stitches! Max attends a regular Kindergarten class in our neighborhood school. Today Larry and I attended their morning assembly to see Max receive his award for Academic Achievement and Citizenship.
Here is part of what the award says:
Max has a smile that is contagious and brings smiles to all of our faces. Our class has learned sign language and we use it every day in our classroom. Max's hard work has caused our class to become more unified and has created a very supportive environment. Thank you Max, you are our best friend. We appreciate your loving heart and personality.
Wow...this is amazing! When you have a child with special needs, you really question their placement. Will he fit in? Will he disrupt the class? Will he fall behind? Will he like school? Will the other kids be adversely affected by having our child in the class? Seeing this award and reading the words really verify that we made the right decision. This is the right placement for Max...and for the other kids in his class. Contrary to my fears that Max would hold the class back, it seems that Max is pulling the class together and enriching their experience.
It's not just Max's class, it's the whole school. Max is known by all of the kids. They all say hello and good-bye to Max....the older kids give him high fives and the younger kids give him a hug! Max has a special relationship with the principal, the lunch staff, the librarian, the office staff and the school nurse (even though he doesn't visit for health reasons...he just likes Mr. King!).
Max is different from the other kids at Cabrillo, and it's embraced. When he was waiting to get his award this morning, he was sitting on the stage with the other award winners and his aide, Ms. Alma. All seemed to be going well until we started saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Max bolted from the stage, so Ms. Alma bolted after him. He didn't go far....he was looking for his teacher, Mr. C. You see, Max always says the Pledge of Allegiance with Mr. C! Why would today be any different?
Another thing about Max is he really doesn't like to wear clothing unless it's absolutely necessary. We have one main rule: We need to wear clothes in public and in the front yard. Our back yard is pretty secluded and we don't have close neighbors, so it's ok to be naked back there and in the house, unless we have guests.
I hope you enjoyed this little slice of Max's life. Every day I feel lucky to be part of it!