Friday, April 27, 2012

A teen with Down syndrome crowned prom king, and my dream for future kings

Last weekend Max Jackoski, a high school junior with Down syndrome in Lake George, New York, was named prom king. His mom, Lisa Jackoski, taped this video of his coronation. As she said, "Many of his classmates approached us after the coronation and said they decided as a group that it would mean more to Max than any of them." Max got a standing ovation.

He attended prom with a classmate, Hahnah Saroff, who'd reportedly asked Max's parents permission first before asking him out. "I wanted to go to prom with Max because I knew I would have a fun time," she's said. "I would see him at school or at the store down the street from our houses and he always had a smile on his face. His joyful attitude was contagious."

The trend of teens with Down syndrome being named prom queens and kings is all sorts of awesome, and inspiring to me as a parent of a kid with special needs. What I hope for is the day when those with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or other special needs do not make headlines such as "Lake George Prom King Defies Odds." Because a lack of media attention would mean a prom king or queen with special needs is typical. No biggie. Just another cute, popular teen scoring classmates' votes and a crown.


For now, this is real progress. Max is prom king, his family is psyched, he is psyched, and I am so lifted by his bliss.

Image: Courtesy photo 


  1. I am Max's mom and I just discovered your blog. LOVE IT and thanks for writing about us! All this attention is so unexpected, yet wonderful for spreading the message of unity and acceptance.

  2. Soooo true, Ellen! I love that our friends with special needs are getting recognized for their beautiful personalities. However, it is a shame that the caring, sweet teens who have taken the time to get to know a child with special need, have to "rally" for others to see the same beauty, sense of humor, love and innocence that they saw. Hopefully parents will start teaching love and acceptance of EVERYONE no matter the circumstance and one day the ignorance about special needs will lessen... ONE DAY!

  3. Sweet story that's my dream too :)

  4. Love this. When my special needs cousin was a senior in high school in 2004 he was voted "Best All Around" by his senior class. It was so touching to everyone in our family.

  5. Lisa, I can't even tell you how thrilled I am that you stopped by! Your Max is an inspiration to my little Max. I showed him the video and now he keeps watching it.

    And ckpate: amen!

  6. This is a wonderful story! It's not only about acceptance but also of equal chances...


Thanks for sharing!

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