Yesterday, I had the extreme honour of attending to the Autism conference. It was an all day conference. Registration and exhibits started at 8am & the conference ran till 5pm. It was AMAZING! I got some incredible information, great sources and I met some of the most awesome people ever!
****PLEASE NOTE: I was not asked to review this conference, I will not give our names of people or share their stories. I will not be posting information from that conference, I will just be sharing MY personal journey and experience during that conference and now that day following! The things I learned and how I feel NOW after learning all this about being my daughters advocate! Please be respectful of the fact that I am being respectful of everyone there's privacy. Thank you!****
The world of Autism, despite being in our lives since our daughter was born, is something really new to us still. We had years and years of a pediatrician stating to us, "oh that's normal", "shes fine", "you're over reacting", "you watch too much tv", "you read to much books or information on the internet, you can't always believe what you read!". The list goes on and on and on. 5 years of that. Being told I was "over-reacting". I was a "over protective mom". That I had "no clue" what I was talking about.
Not just as a mother, but as a human being, I strongly believe that the saying "Mother knows best" is correct, 99% of the time. For those of you that don't agree, think of it this way (it could also be said that father knows best depending on the circumstances but I am referring to my personal experiences! No intent to exclude anyone or make anyone feel bad), if I as a mother am home 24/7 with my child. I see their reactions to food, clothes, the environment, any changes to her schedule, problems at school (this ones still relatively new as shes only in senior kindergarten), her reactions to people (daddy being gone, people visiting, etc), her actions, her reactions to noise, her habits, and all those other things that happen during a day....do you not think that I as a parent, know better then a doctor who sees her when shes sick or her once a year check up? Who see's her for less then 5 minutes and then is out the door? Sorry, but darn it I KNOW BETTER THEN THE DOCTOR!
Yesterday, for me, was the experience of a lifetime! The talks, were incredible. The vendors were awesome, informative and generously helpful with their stories and information. The people I met, well they were another story. I have never ever met such an incredibly inspiring group of encouraging people! Honestly, it was just breath taking, the whole day. And not just because I got a full day out of the house, by myself!
I left that conference, with a new found attitude, a new found spirit! I felt like a new person! I will forever be thankful that I got a sponsored registration, because I would not have been able to attend without it.
The speakers: WOW! They brought light to things I had NEVER even THOUGHT could be related to autism. Could be part of the cause. One woman shared her story, she had me in tears! Another one talked about the products that we're using to "keep us healthy" and keep our homes cleaning, could be making matters worse. (After that talk I will be making some HUGE changes in my household!!!!) I met some amazing people who are HUGE supporters of Autism, fundraising, advocating and more!
Today, I woke up, after a rough night sleep. (More so then usual). I was up off and on all night thinking about the overwhelming amount of information I took in yesterday! About the amazing people, the encouragement.
As a mother, I felt guilty ALL day being away from my daughter, don't get me wrong, I know I can't be there for her ALL the time, but it was hard to be apart from her and I felt VERY guilty! That being said, I think I learned a great deal about HOW I can be a MUCH better advocate for her, take better care of her by watching what she uses, what we clean with and more!
So, I bet you're all wondering what instant things I am going to be doing? Well, yesterday was so information packed, that its HARD to do it all at once, HOWEVER, some things I can change right away are: laundry detergent----I got a bag of soap nuts, which is enough for 300-400 loads of laundry....thats about a year and a half worth of laundry for the average family! I got a brain game that I plan to use for the whole family---its got 4 levels so we can ALL take part in it! I got some awareness pins, clips, necklace/bracelet pieces, magnets, etc. And I got some great new books, so I will be looking into those asap! Oh and I got some allergen free cake and waffle mixes, that I plan to try! I normally make everything from scratch but I am going to give these a shot! Those are my starting points!
I came home from that conference, bursting with happiness. With new found knowledge! It was incredible and I feel so blessed to have attended! I plan to take a lot of what I learned there into affect in my home and my community. Join me on this journey! I will be posting more as I gradually make these changes!
Thanks for reading and please, if anyone was at that event yesterday, I hope you are not offended by my post. I wanted to keep everyones personal information private. This post is just what I learned and am going to do, to help my family! Thanks!!!