Sunday, November 21, 2010

Down Syndrome Connecticut Conference-November 20th, 2010

Yesterday I attended the "25th Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress Convention" in Hartford, Connecticut.  The keynote speaker was Dr. Thomas H. Powell, President of Mount St. Mary's University.  He's the author of "Brothers & Sisters- A Special Part of Exceptional Families.  Dr. Powell's keynote address theme was "Building an America for all Children:  Strategies for Parents and Professionals.
    The reason I attended the conference was quite simple as an educator I've experienced countless children with disabilities.  Over my 21 years of experience I've had the pleasure of teacher young children with Down Syndrome. When I became aware of the convention in Hartford I immediately said to myself "I'm going".  I have always enjoyed learning and since it was in nearby Hartford it was an opportunity for me to take a quick drive and spend the day listening to a variety of mini-seminars to gain some knowledge.
    The three that I attended were; Staying Ahead of the Curve on Educational Planning, Positive Behavioral Support, and Gross Motor Development.  Each of the "mini-seminars" had it's strengths.  It was a worthwhile endeavor for me to attend. Meeting parents, educators, and a variety of professionals that have the insight into teaching children and young adults with Down Syndrome was simply rewarding.
    I was able to meet a gentleman that was a member of "Dad's Appreciating Down Syndrome( He picked my brain a bit to see how we could get more educators involved. I said have a two day conference and a day specifically for educators, perhaps on a Friday.  It's hopeful that that will take place in the future.
   All in all it fit well with my thinking that "Everyone's Shadow Is The Same Color".  Being in that mindset I simply could see that no matter what level of intellect, what disability infants, children, young adults, and adults need our support no matter what.  Also, the parents and families need our support too.  Too often we forget about siblings, immediate family members, and relatives.  It's a life changing event when you have a child born to your family with a disability. To share and feel the love in and during this conference was and will remain a great experience.
    It was great to network with many people. I look forward to attending in the future.

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