I was blessed to be able to attend the National Down Syndrome Congress convention last weekend in Indianapolis. Due to my local Down syndrome group providing my family a scholarship, I was able to attend this convention for the first time.
My husband and I attended the convention alone. I called it a vacation. He referred to it as something else...you can guess. Jason is a welder and not really in to learning about new research findings or how to teach ___ skill. But, we both really enjoyed ourselves and learned new information. He said he'd even go to another convention, so that was a good sign. As for the kids, they got to spend some quality time with grandma, who offered to watch the kids so we could attend the sessions in peace. Grandma got her on education on running a bi-pap machine and all things Jaycee.
The good things about the convention were:
-Hearing some inspiring stories that show how well some with Down syndrome are doing.
-You listen and learn from people who are well educated about Down syndrome.
-If you "stalk" a speaker after their lecture, you can ask them specific questions about your child. The speakers are usually good to parents and offer any suggestions they can know. My husband and I each got some personal advice on our daughter.
-You are surrounded by families dealing with issues like you. I hardly know anyone in my area with a child on a bi-pap but there were numerous there at the conference! It makes you feel less isolated.
-The exhibit hall is full of books, bikes, toys, and clothes that are for/about Down syndrome. I discovered a few products that I never knew existed.
-I came home feeling inspired to try some new techniques and with some more knowledge.
The bad parts of the convention were:
-People's phones or Ipads went off during the lectures. : ( I'm easily distracted!
-Hearing the success stories were inspiring but also left me a tiny bit sad for a moment. My daughter has so many health issues and educational difficulties that I have to admit that I was a little jealous at times. I wish my daughter didn't have so many struggles with her health or her speech.