Max Ottinger is an inspiration to all of those around him with his positive attitude and perseverance. He is a fifth-grader at Babler Elementary School in the Rockwood School District and receives services from SSD.
Max was a typical 9-year-old boy playing catch and video games with friends until the day he was rushed to the emergency room and diagnosed with a brain tumor. He lost vision in his left eye and light perception in most of his right eye. But that didn’t stop Max from setting goals and achieving them.
“Max eagerly jumped back into learning new skills to complete his academic tasks,” said Laura Beckhard, SSD teacher of the visually impaired who nominated Max for the Rosemary Zander Award along with SSD orientation and mobility specialist Jessica Givens.
“Within one week, Max learned to read and write the Braille alphabet,” said Beckhard. “He learned how to perform basic math computation on an abacus for the blind as well as on a talking calculator. He has learned how to access sites and applications on an iPad using VoiceOver, and he learned how to listen to digital text.”
Max is a member of the chess club and was accepted to Rockwood’s Center for Creative Learning. Additionally, he uses an electronic Braille notetaking device to create, edit, save and print documents for his teacher.
Max has surmounted numerous health obstacles, but he has a genuine desire to do well and learn all that he can. His positive attitude in the face of adversitynd his willingness to work hard make the possibilities for his future unlimited.