Lake George's own Special Olympian Max Jackoski has started a Facebook page to help spread his brand of kindness beyond the shores of the southern Adirondacks. Jackoski and his mother Lisa are more than just mother and son, but a team that can inspire others to make someone's day a little bit happier.
“What I bring to my community.”
“This all started because Max loves to text his friends and ask about their day,” says Lisa. “It then evolved into finding out and sharing the national daily celebration. I teach group fitness and Max would hear me announce a bit about the day and he decided to add it to his Facebook page. He does all his own posting and decides what goes on his page.”
Today’s special video highlights World Down Syndrome Day, which takes place every March 21. The reason this specific date was chosen was to draw attention to the triplication of the 21st chromosome, which is the cause of Down syndrome. Since 2006, March 21 has been recognized by the United Nations as a united effort for inclusion, support equal rights, and the well-being of people with Down’s Syndrome.
With a new video to create awareness and support for the opportunities that all people with Down syndrome bring to their communities, Max’s March 21st video highlights his own joyful life.
“Max works at the hospital’s Au Bon Pain three days a week where he gets to chat with the customers. A lot of times patients will come specifically to visit with him. We’ve been lucky. He has not been a victim of bullying,” acknowledges Lisa. “Max is just really good natured and loves people. Besides, he is very funny.”
Lisa feels that there are also some unexpected results with the video blog process. The page upkeep has been a learning tool in many ways. Max has been able to practice the words he writes down so it’s become a form of self-correction. She has also been able to teach him about Internet safety and being appropriate online.
What is next for Max? His How’s Your Day page will continue to be his own entity as he explores unique calendar days. His schedule will remain full with work and training for the upcoming Special Olympics.
Lisa’s advice on parenting is pretty holistic as she navigated Max’s biological and emotional needs. Her advice to other parents is simple, just keep trying new and different things. Sometimes it will connect with your child and sometimes it won’t. There have been a lot of things that didn't work, but she just kept trying.
To follow Max’s page click here where you go can learn about various activities and what is happening in his life and community. Lisa has been asked if the page would ever become a a fundraising vehicle for Special Olympics or the Lake George Polar Plunge group, Max’s Buddies.
“I’ve had friends asked if Max would sell things on his page,” says Lisa. “That answer is no. This page is to spread love and smiles and to make people laugh. I think it is working. It takes a village to raise a child and people are so supportive of Max. I believe Max is the way he is because of that support.”© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time™ guidebook series. Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy, short Adirondack family hikes for ADK kids, parents, retired, seniors, dog-owners, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebooks online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.