Max Plansky was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 9 months old. As a young child, he and his father spent time on basketball courts with college players. Max loved it. But when it came time to get an education he lost contact with the basketball court. His educational plan focused on a range of special education activities along with regular curriculum and students in those courses. Max is not able to communicate like others and uses a
wheelchair, but he knew things had changed and showed his disappointment in a variety of ways such as withdrawing, getting sick with stays in the hospital, and temper tantrums.
As Max turned 14 years, his dad, Michael pushed the school to add community transition programs that would help Max. Through a group called “Team Impact”, Mike connected Max with the Northeastern basketball team and Max’s entire demeanor changed. Max has sports in his blood, and Northeastern coach Bill Coen and the team welcomed him “He’s an official team member,” Northeastern coach Bill Coen was quoted in the Boston Globe. “We had a national letter-of signing for him, he’s been a part of the team, he comes to practice — snow days included — he’s in the locker room pre-game, post-game. He wins and loses with us.”
Today he continues with a regular role with the Northeastern Huskies and this year, he began a sports blog. With some high tech computer equipment developed by a Northeastern professor and a student, Max is doing things his dad didn’t think possible. He no longer is having annual trips to the hospital and he is growing emotionally too. Max will still require supports to address his disability, but he and his family have set high, yet realistic expectations.
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