So, I went to the conference. Nerves and all! I was actually very surprised and had a nice time. The conference began with a wonderful Key Speaker who not only has a special needs child but also works in the field of mental health. She brought a lot of great information and insight to the table and was a very delightful lady. After the speaker, we were given a short break to visit the informational tables. I have to tell you, I had NO idea there were so many resources in my own backyard! I'll tell you more about them as I plan to develop my relationship with each one I feel will be helpful. After a few minutes, we broke into two groups. My group began with the "Navigating thru Medical Systems-Tri West, DGMC, SNIAC, and North Bay". It was an interested workshop. I learned a few things about Tri-Care (our insurance company). I was disappointed with the SNIAC though. The rep made everything look good on paper, but I know that system is flawed and he seemed clueless on it. He wasn't very helpful or informative. Although, through the open forum and this one family that spoke..I had the feeling that if we wore our rank on our lapel, things might be different. After Workshop one, we broke for lunch, which was provided. During lunch was a funny little "stress and relaxation" session. The two ladies were Military Family Life Consultants and they offered advice on how to reduce your stress. It was light hearted and needed! After lunch, we went to Workshop two, which included "Navigating thru the Educational System-SCOE (our office our education), Parent Advocate, and STOMP". OMG! This workshop was great! Most of the speakers were military families or have worked with them for many years, so they actually KNEW what it was like to go into a school or to not see the same doctor twice. This was the best part of the whole conference! I even won a set of books! They are Special education law and advocacy books. One of them has been on my Borders wish list!! YAY!
I wasn't sure what to expect with the conference. But the parents were great and the speakers were good. It was informative and I learned a few things..which is always nice!