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Tom
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PostPosted: August 04 2007, 11:05 AM    Post subject:
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I hope those of you who were able to attend will tell us your impressions of the conference. Also, if you hear where next year's conference will be, let us know.

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kwisteena1021
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PostPosted: August 04 2007, 12:00 PM    Post subject:
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DIdn't someone say it was NJ or Maryland area? Man I can't remember!

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EliasMom
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PostPosted: August 04 2007, 12:04 PM    Post subject:
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yeesss please! im dying to know what i missed!

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Emeline's Momma
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PostPosted: August 04 2007, 6:03 PM    Post subject:
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Well, we went...SORT OF. We went just for last night (Friday). I didn't register for the conference, because we couldn't stay....still have too much to do with finishing moving, etc. but I HAD to meet some folks from downsyn! So we went just for supper Friday night, spent the night, and came home this morning (so we could get back to work here) Rolling Eyes

So I know nothing about how the sessions were. Sorry!! (I'm sure others will, though.)

The highlight for me was meeting about 16 families from downsyn that I had not met before. It was great meeting IRL, even though it wasn't nearly as much time as I would have liked, to visit!!

Bill (DH) was in awe at how many people with DS there were in one place, at one time. "Everywhere you look!" he'd say, just shaking his head. Very Happy I remember Tom saying that in a post a while back-- how amazing it is to have all these people with DS in the same place, and how --for once-- being a family touched by DS is not anything unusual to everyone else around. It was an amazing place to be.

While waiting in line, Bill was able to speak with Mia, an adult advocate with DS from here in Iowa, and he was so impressed and encouraged at all she is doing with her life. He said, "She gave me so much hope for Emma." He brought her over to meet me and Emeline, too. I agree with him; meeting her was very encouraging.

When we left, I said, "Too bad next year's conference is in Boston. I'd sure like to be able to go." He said, "Who says we can't? I think this is definitely something to put on the calendar as a must-do." WOW. Wow, Wow, Wow!!! Shocked Very Happy

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Mom2Sean
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PostPosted: August 05 2007, 7:30 PM    Post subject:
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We got home about 3 hrs ago, so we are probably one of the first to get home. We had a wonderful weekend in the big city. It was so much fun to meet everyone, share stories and get new ideas. I was moved to tears on more than one occasion!

Unfortunately, I had my hands full most of the time and didn't take as many photos as I would of liked! I know Bridget took some at the DownSyn dinner, but it was had to take pics there because everyone was kinda coming and going since it took so long to get food. It was really fun to meet everyone there & I even got to hold little Owen!

After dinner, there was a reception in the exhibitors hall and the Gifts contributors did a book signing (we signed a LOT of books!) I have a few pics of that and was so happy to meet everyone! On Saturday we went to a session that Carmen & Jaemen were at and the two little guys had a blast together. They had so much in common- two little runaways! We sat down to lunch on Sat at a sushi bar in the hotel mall with 3 families from the conference.

After our long day at the conference, we skipped the banquet and met friends of ours from college that live in KC. Had much fun there, then went back to the hotel to rest. For the Sunday session, we just went to the general assembly and the first workshop slot. It looked like a lot of people headed out on Sunday.

We met a few celebrities: Chris Burke, Karen Grafety, and Kim Edwards (Memory Keeper's Daughter author.) We greatly enjoyed hearing the self advocates talk about their lives and just seeing so many people with Down syndrome living their lives!

Will post the few pics I have now in the photo forum.

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Josiesmom
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PostPosted: August 05 2007, 8:53 PM    Post subject:
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I just walked in the door about an hour ago... I am still so pumped up from being there. We had such a great time and it was soo good to see everyone. I will post my pics tomorrow. I am exhausted and have to love up on my babies some more.. Man, I didn't realize how much I was going to miss Josie while I was gone.

We are definitely going to Boston next year. We are going to try to make it a family vacation and bring my parents to watch the kids, however if we can't all come, then Josie and I are going to fly out for the week.

Anyway, it was such a wonderful experience meeting everyone from downsyn in person and FINALLY putting a name with a real face. You were all so wonderful.

Just for the record.... While the pics on here in signatures and photo's are so cute of our kids, they just don't do them justice. All the kiddo's that I saw from downsyn were so much cuter in real life even than in their photos.... I mostly recognized people from their kids faces rather than the parents!!!

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR SUCH A GREAT EXPERIENCE!!!

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marlene
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PostPosted: August 05 2007, 9:21 PM    Post subject:
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ooooo, I can't wait to see and hear more! What are the dates for Boston?

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Josiesmom
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PostPosted: August 05 2007, 9:26 PM    Post subject:
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July 11-13th... I can't wait... I am excited already!!!

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marlene
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PostPosted: August 05 2007, 9:29 PM    Post subject:
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OH THAT'S GREAT! It's earlier!!!! This year's date was too close to our vacation - I was hoping it wouldn't be in August again! YAAY!

I need to go to bed tonight, earlier than my usual 12:00 - 1:00, but I want to stay on and wait for stories! Laughing I keep telling myself they will be here in the morning, but I want to hear them NOW! Very Happy

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Hannah's mom
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PostPosted: August 06 2007, 7:09 AM    Post subject:
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YES!!!!!!!!! BOSTON next year! I am finally going to be able to meet some of you next year. Boston is about a five hour drive for us.It's going on my calendar now. So glad you all had a good time this year.

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Kcnolan21
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PostPosted: August 06 2007, 9:19 AM    Post subject:
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OH GOOD! Boston is only 5 hours from me!!!! I was so bummed this past weekend when I knew everyone was in KC with so many wonderful people!

I am happy for those of you who got to meet each other. It is such a wonderful experience meeting people who help you from day to day!

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momofrussell
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PostPosted: August 06 2007, 10:09 AM    Post subject:
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Barbie!!! You are one that I didn't get to meet!! Sad

I have to just tell all you Downsyn'r's LOL that I met more of YOU guys then anyone! Smile I did meet a few new families from the other sites I go to, but Downsyn was the one group I barely knew anyone from! So I have to say it was GREAT to meet a bunch of you!!! A few of you (Diane, McKenna and Kristen) and saw quiet a bit and enjoyed the company!!

It was a great time and all the families I did meet from her were great!

I will post more later on my info recap stuff...



A.

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PostPosted: August 06 2007, 11:10 AM    Post subject:
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Let's see if I can run down who all I met for the 1st time.. think I can remember everyone? LOL

McKenna
Laurie
Diane
Carmen
Stephanie
Renee
Bethany
Ibby
Kristen
Shiloh (am I spelling that right? LOL)
Brigitte

WHY or WHY do I feel like I am forgetting someone/s... someone help me if I met you and I am having a brain fade moment please!!! LOL I feel more were surrounding me and I didn't know who they were! Wink There were so many from Downsyn there! If I left you out...It's not intentional!

And I was thrilled to meet Laurie because Micah and Reece hit it off SO WELL! Reece kinda didn't have anyone to bond or play with sometimes, and everywhere we went, Micah was there too so Reece could play!

A.

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ME's mom
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PostPosted: August 06 2007, 12:05 PM    Post subject:
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We are home as well. Our morning has been crazy, but I wanted to post to say hey. We met and saw again, lots of down syn friends. We also met lots of people who are not from down syn. It was just an amazing weekend. I loved seeing all of you in real life. Your children are precious. It was just so nice to be able to chat and have some laughs with you all. My kids are already begging to go to Boston. My hubby agrees, so, God willing, we will start planning our trip.

Let me just say this, the Kansas City Down Syndrome group deserves a HUGE and I mean gigantic applause. This had to be the most family friendly convention in the history of NDSC, and that is ALL because of the people in Kansas City. They made this an experience for all ages. It was just an absolute delight for all of my kids. My husband and I were not completely exhausted trying to find stuff for the little ones while we were there, as Kansas City had an area for the kids to play, and LOTS of neat stuff for them to do. I am so impressed with what they did. I hope that the next group will take the lead, and follow in their footsteps. I hope everyone who appreciated all that they did, will write to the NDSC, letting them know what a difference it makes to have this family event, truly be for the whole family.

The conference itself, was good. I went to one great session, which I will post about later. I have to admit, none of the others jumped out at me, but that is me. I would have liked to see some more life applicable sessions. To me, it was a lot of every thing we have all seen. Which is good, but it would be nice to have some more dimensional sessions. The session I went to was in a big room broken up into smaller cubicals. It was a bit hard to hear, but then our entire group pulled really close together so we could actually hear each other.

Overall, I absolutely loved it. I got lots of excersise as it was really spread out. The first day I did not like that. Once I got used to it, I loved it. It sort of became a neat walking experience. With people in costumes doing magic tricks along the way it was quite festive.

I have to say, my heart will always love the Down Syndrome Society from Kansas City, as it seemed to me, they put everything they had out there, and wanted all of us to feel welcomed. Their hospitality was wonderful! That is my over all review. I have much more to say, but I will end with that for now. LOL. I will give your head a break. Di
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McKenna
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PostPosted: August 06 2007, 1:22 PM    Post subject:
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We too are home...and wiped! I am still unpacking and want to take advantage of my husband being home to help, so I'll post more later. But I agree with Di. Kansas City's group was an amazing host! Darah loved meeting Dorothy, the Tinman, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion and DJ and I had so much fun watching the Queen! I got a lot of good information. There's a new reading program which I can't wait to share with ya'll and the ENT session I went to was awesome!! I met so many Downsyner's and loved meeting all of you! The only thing that will be changing for our family next year, is we're either leaving our kids with Grandma or taking her with us next year. Darah was way out of her element and it took her a long time to adjust to the crowds and overstimulation... Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: August 06 2007, 2:39 PM    Post subject:
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I LOVED the conference!! I should qualify this by saying I didn't make it to any of the sessions, but this is something I knew would happen going into this....the choice I made by taking 11 kids with us.

It was so wonderful to meet so many of you!! I just stared in awe, gazing at your beautiful faces and listening to your voices. And seeing your kids!!! Oh my goodness!!! It was so great to be able to play a little bit with your kids!! After seeing so many pictures of them, it was just fabulous to kiss their little cheeks and get a hug!! I LOVED IT!!!

This is why I went to Kansas City!! The actual conference itself would have been great, but for me it was all about my Downsyn friends!! My kids are already begging to go to Boston!! They had such a wonderful time with the rest of the Downsyn siblings!!

I did get to spend some time with the president of the Kansas City Ds Guild. She was absolutely wonderful!! She was so accommodating and open! And she was from a family of 11 children, so we instantly hit it off!!

I wish I had taken more pictures, but I had my hands full!! Laughing I'm looking forward to the rest of you who did take some getting them posted here!!

Ibby

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momofrussell
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PostPosted: August 06 2007, 6:43 PM    Post subject:
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Wait.. I met Amy too LOL.. I knew I'd remember more! LOL

A.

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PostPosted: August 06 2007, 10:12 PM    Post subject:
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We got back 10:30 last night. Life is what it is "busy"! I started a new day with the kids and I am still scrabbling to put things away. LOL! At least my lawn is mowed and the the boys went to swimming class!

The conference was great. I learned a few things and got some good pointers. I was hoping to hear a bit more about technologies/ treatments that assist young children (under age 5) but I got some information that will help Anthony with walking and eating that should be helpful in the next year.

I wish I would have seen others there but I will be honest . . . and I confess . . .I pay much more attention to children's faces then parents. So it is harder to find all of you in the crowd. I had plenty to juggle with my three kids so I give tons of credit to Ibby for even making it to KC.

We did not go to the banquet on Saturday night since I did not think my kids would make it. I figured they would be tired. I was right on that. We ended up spending the evening with a bunch of biker guys by the pool. They all drove Harley's and they were from Chicago. I sure had a few laughs after hanging out at the pool with the biker dudes.

Sunday Sergei spent time at the conference while I drove over to build a Dino with the boys. They had a great time making a Dino. We can only build a bear here not a Dino.

I will add the that the conference sure make it very kid friendly. There was a clown convention going on at the same time and they spend a bit of time entertaining the kids. My kids sure had a great time jumping trough the fountains and checking out local attractions.

We are thinking about Boston for next year as I have a few friends and family in CT . I would love to make a family trip of it again and see everyone then go up to Boston. Sergei suggested on leaving the boys back home. I don't know . . . .I need to think about it. I would miss them a lot!!

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PostPosted: August 07 2007, 10:13 AM    Post subject:
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Boston! wow that would me an awesome family trip!!!!

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PostPosted: August 07 2007, 8:50 PM    Post subject:
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I got back on Sunday but couldn't sign on here for some reason Sad .. We had a great time & I loved meeting & seeing everyone again.. This place and the people from it are just amazing.. I have some pics I need to download and post.. The conference was great & KC did a great job.. Oh & thanks to you guys who helped make Bethany's bday party a blast. Can't wait till next yr!!

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PostPosted: August 08 2007, 9:03 AM    Post subject:
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I also had a great time at the conference. It was so fun meeting people and seeing all the downsyn kids in person! They are the cutest kids! I agree with McKenna they are smaller in person but much cuter! LOL!
We went to 3 workshops and I thought they were alright, my dh wasn't too impressed he thought we knew everything that they went over which is pretty much true except it made us feel more confident in our therapists that they do know what there doing. I liked the exhibits, I found some really neat books for Macy at Super Duper, there website is www.superduperinc.com I had never heard of them before, but they had some neat stuff. I got 5 of the Interactive sing-along Big Books, I think she will learn alot from them and so far likes them.
I'll go post some of my pictures, I really enjoyed meeting those of you that I met and maybe next year I'll see you all again in Boston! Does anyone know what hotel it's at yet??

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PostPosted: August 08 2007, 4:45 PM    Post subject:
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Allan and I and Jackson sat behind Macy (and her parents) at the Libby Kumin workshop and even though the workshop was pretty interesting, it was all we could do to quit watching Macy! She is so precious and pretty and smiley!

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PostPosted: August 09 2007, 9:19 AM    Post subject:
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AMTJmom wrote:
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Allan and I and Jackson sat behind Macy (and her parents) at the Libby Kumin workshop and even though the workshop was pretty interesting, it was all we could do to quit watching Macy! She is so precious and pretty and smiley!


Sorry, she can be a little distracting at times! LOL! Very Happy

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PostPosted: August 09 2007, 11:09 PM    Post subject:
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Alyssa - don't be sorry! That was one of our highlights!

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PostPosted: August 10 2007, 8:44 AM    Post subject:
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AMTJmom wrote:
Allan and I and Jackson sat behind Macy (and her parents) at the Libby Kumin workshop and even though the workshop was pretty interesting, it was all we could do to quit watching Macy! She is so precious and pretty and smiley!


We were right in front of Macy! How did we miss you?!?!?

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PostPosted: August 10 2007, 11:48 AM    Post subject:
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Kristen - I'm sitting here laughing 'cause I probably looked right at you and didn't realize who you were! We really should've worn Downsyn labels so we could recognize each other! I'm really sorry to have missed you.

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PostPosted: August 17 2007, 10:44 AM    Post subject:
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We attended with our three kids and my sis (for an extra child care provider).
I tried to plan ahead for what I knew would be "issues" but even with two adjoining rooms, a portable DVD player, coloring books, extra adult along, switching off kids, I would have to say that I wouldn't go again with my kids. We didn't get to attend much of the conference. I was also very dissapointed in the food situation. I thought that there would be an included continental breakfast at the hotel. The prices in the restaurant were extremely high for an average family and the mall restaurants all had very long lines for lunch. We spent about $800.00 on food for the six of us for the 5 days we were in Kansas City. I was also dissapointed by the lack of interesting things in the exhibitor area. I was expecting to see lots of vendors with adapted toys, learning toys, just fun things to buy, but it was mostly just professional services folks. Katie, my daughter with DS, was very overwhelmed by all the people, new environment, lack of a regular routine, etc. So, I brought her with me to two workshops and had her watch a movie on a portable DVD player with headphones. But she still couldn't really handle it. We spent most of our time in the pool or in the room watching movies. I guess if I went again I would not bring my kids. On the positive side, my oldest son did enjoy the sibling conference and I believe he took some positive things away from that. It was also fun to see so many other families and their kids. I think that the hotel could have been more family oriented--especially in the food prices or just offering a simple breakfast and lunch buffet at a family-friendly price. All in all I'm not sorry that we went. I think it is a good thing to do I guess if I went again I would not bring my kids and would not think of it as a family vacation.
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PostPosted: August 19 2007, 9:40 PM    Post subject:
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I was impressed with the sessions that I attended. I was thoroughly excited Saturday night while at the banquet the others we attended with sat next to Nancy Gianni who started Gigi's Playhouse and Kerry Bergeron! What a couple of neat gals. It was great to hear Kerry's story and even get some of her cards she has made and is selling along with her story on the back. I am greatful for the self advocates and showing us all what they have accomplished!

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Sara Freiberg wife to Dwight- mother of Austin 6 Natasha 5 and Devon 2(DS)
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