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Why Should I Attend A Special Needs Conference?

September 13, 2011
Autism Awareness Ribbon

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“The truth is, most doctors can diagnose our kids, but they simply don’t have any other solutions or what to DO with our kids other than speech, occupational or physical therapy, or meds.  It is up to the parent to read, to attend conferences, to LEARN about what method (s) will work best for THEIR kid”.  Katrina Laygo, Editor of “Something Special Magazine” 

If you are available this weekend September 17, the 2011 Savannah Autism Conference will be taking place at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. Registration for the event is $60 per person and RESPITE CARE is provided for children by trained professionals for a small fee.  Is this conference for you?The goal of the Savannah Autism Conference is to educate parents with children on the Spectrum, younger children and older. Topics range from developing successful IEP’s to tips on getting insurance companies to cover autism therapies. It also addresses how to best TEACH children with autism. A great resource for teachers and all therapists  (speech, occupational, ABA, DIR) and caregivers.  It’s a very packed day, beginning 8:15am and ending at 5:30pm.  Vendor booths are visited at breaks, and the beginning and end of the conference, and at lunch.

What Can I Get Out of It?

Glad you asked. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the speakers:

Lorri Unumb is the Keynote Speaker.  She is mother to an autistic child and also an Attorney with Autism Speaks.  Unumb was instrumental in getting the groundbreaking Ryan’s Law passed in South Carolina.  She will show parents how to fight to get insurance companies in YOUR STATE to cover ABA therapy. Because of Ryan’s Law, now 27 states cover ABA therapy and OTHER therapies that were deemed before as “experimental”therapies.

-Dr. Toi Curry  discusses the Lifetime Implications of a Correct/Incorrect Diagnosis,

-Teresa Heard, RN from Easter Seals will discuss Financial Aid Resources,

-Dr. Sheryl Kaufman from Educational Journeys discusses, The Power of Language and how it affects Behavior,

 -Staci Bockmann from My Great Kid Radio Show out of Michigan- Building a Strong IEP ? Winning for your Child?s Education Rights,

 -Sally Way from Behavior Consultation Services  discusses ABA: What you need to know before starting a program

 – Jennifer McGee from The Mindspring Center From Social Skills to Therapy: the importance of a counselor’s role in the treatment of ASD,

 – Functional Neurology, by Dr. Steve Ranicki.

 – Katrina Laygo, Editor and Creator of “Something Special Magazine” will discuss  Your New life as a Special Needs parent

WHY SHOULD I ATTEND?

Katrina Laygo, "Something Special Magazine"

The truth is some parents won’t  attend.

 “ I think that some parents won’t attend because they are exhausted”, says Katrina Laygo. “ Between work, and back to school, soccer and any other events for the typical and not so typical kid, they are just tired.  BUT they NEED to come.”

The  RESPITE care is provided by the Kicklighter Academy, for less than 40 dollars. TYPICAL siblings are welcome and charged an additional SMALL fee, but not as large as just one child. But if you require respite care you need to preregister.

Laygo says the conference is also a good way to network with other families with children on the spectrum and let you know you’re not alone in your “On Aisle 9” journey.

“The truth is, most doctors can diagnose our kids, but they simply don’t have any other solutions or what to DO with our kids other than speech, occupational or physical therapy, or meds.  It is up to the parent to read, to attend conferences, to LEARN about what method (s) will work best for THEIR kid”, says Laygo.

“ Medicine won’t cure autism” she continues, “it is important for us to understand that if your family can’t survive without medicine or the child can’t learn at all, that is one thing.  But… documented studies show that the meds they are putting these kids on, don’t help autism at all.  Parents need to learn, until the rest of the world catches up, we have to be educated.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Suzanne M. permalink
    September 14, 2011 9:16 am

    I know many families who deal daily with the wide variety of your family’s needs do not see taking the “time out” for such an event as important. Trust me is extremely important. As a parent you will fill uplifted by the networking opportunity such a conference as this provides. You will be able to get “real life” solutions to sensory hurdles you may be facing with your child, listen to speakers who idenify with your battles with the insurance company, and find out there are many parents struggling with the same daily issues you are. If you can not attend this conference, there are several conferences which take place here in SC. One of the best is held by the Greenville, SC YMCA in November. Information is on their website. Enjoy the conference!

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