Learning at Henry Viscardi School Goes Beyond the Classroom.
“The whole school has made an impact on me. The skills I’ve learned at Henry Viscardi School have transferred to my everyday life.”
For Max, and the other children with severe physical disabilities who attend Henry Viscardi School at The Viscardi Center, the overall learning experience is far broader than reading, writing, and arithmetic. The School’s fully enriched educational program provides core academics, vital therapies and medical supports, social interaction, cultural enrichment and daily living activities that prepare its students to be active, independent and self-sufficient participants in the workplace and community.
Born premature, weighing just over two pounds, with cerebral palsy triplegia, a medical condition associated with the paralysis of both his legs and his left arm, Max acknowledges that his educators and therapists have “pushed” him since the day he entered Henry Viscardi School as a preschooler. Their dedication and encouragement have helped him achieve “things I never thought I could.”
Now a high school senior, Max is setting his own goals, including attending a culinary institute following graduation to pursue his passion for baking. “I’d like to be a pastry chef and run my own bake shop,” he shares. While that may be a more long-term goal, Max has set plenty for the short-term like maintaining an above 90 grade point average, being the valedictorian or salutatorian of his 2015 graduating class and continuing to improve his daily living skills so he can be even more independent. Committed and motivated, he’s working towards being able to walk, kneel and transfer himself from his power wheelchair by graduation.
“The whole school has made an impact on me,” Max explains. “The skills I’ve learned at Henry Viscardi School have transferred to my everyday life.” One example he eagerly shares is how on a family trip to Spain, he utilized his Spanish and self advocacy skills to converse with a local cab driver to secure an accessible vehicle that could accommodate his power wheel chair.
Self confident and a natural speaker, Max spoke at his 8th graduation ceremony, has performed on stage with sports legends at The Viscardi Center’s annual Celebrity Sports Night fundraisers and is a member of the Student Council. He has also spoken to the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s entire New York chapter after they made his wish come true…the chance to see his favorite “survivor” at one of the show’s season finales. In his spare time, Max enjoys spending time in the kitchen and watching cooking shows with his father.