NDSC is just around the corner! For those of you not in-the-know, NDSC stands for National Down Syndrome Congress, and they are hosting their annual conference right here in my neck of the woods! It's in a different location every year. Too expensive to have to travel to, I'm really excited that it's a short drive away this year. A mere week and a half away, and I have absolutely no idea how to make it play out effectively and efficiently. Like yesterday's post about my high-maintenance trip to the waterpark, I now have to plan out the details of transportation (to drive in, or to Metro? To go straight from our house, or to stop at my mother's and leave the car there? To stay at home, or to spend the night at her place, right next to the City?), session-selection (my thoughts on this will follow momentarily), entertainment (for the kid, to keep her happy for a very, very long day without Kids Camp), food (snacks, lunch?, drinks, whatever), entertainment (for the husband, to keep him happy for a very, very long day without ESPN/Fox World Sport/etc. - did I get any of that wrong, Steve? Sorry...sports does that to me...), and meet-ups (how on earth to find everyone I want to find? It's hard enough at the local DSA gatherings, let along amongst 2,000 people, searching for faces I've never met in person).
I am the queen of winging it, and I'm sure it'll all work out just fine. My mother is going with us to help distract the kid, but I'm hoping she'll join in with some of the sessions as well. With that, I'm hoping that Samantha will be a perfect angel, able to entertain herself like a pro. Just like I'm hoping that pigs will fly and that David Beckham will ride in over a rainbow on a unicorn, carrying a cupcake (anyone else watch Hell's Kitchen last night?).
So, back to the session selection... I am assuming that people can only attend one of the sessions for each 1 1/2 hour time slot, correct? That poses some interesting dilemmas, as many valuable sessions will overlap. But I have also heard that they will be videotaped and will be made available at a later date, which I hope is true. Here are my choices. I'm able to rule out a lot of the sessions because they're geared towards the little kids (how did Samantha suddenly cease to be a "little kid?"):
Friday - Blogger's Sharing Session (I highly doubt we'll be attending the dance afterwards. Not Sammi's thing, Little Miss Go-To-Bed-On-Time-Every-Night, although I could possibly give her to my mom to take back to her place while Steve and I hang out for the event...)
Video Modeling: An engaging and Effective Means to Teach Children with Ds (it's the social stories part of this that has me particularly intrigued)
How to Prepare for Independent Living Now (I'm a little bit less inclined towards this session, as we do still have at least a little bit of time before we have to get started on this...)
Your Dependent with Special Needs: Making Their Future More Secure (I'd like Steve to attend this one)
Reading & Language Intervention (RLI) (Not so sure about this one - I saw a Webex of this being discussed and ended up tuning it out, although that could have been in part due to me being on my lunch break at work and getting distracted by work stuff. Besides, Samantha can already read.)
Why All the Fuss About Working Memory? Activities & Classroom Support to Enhance Learning
Down Syndrome, Aging and Alzheimer's Disease (Do I really feel like getting depressed, though?)
Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Ear, Nose and Throat Problems Seen in Ds (I saw this presenter speak on another Webex presentation a few months ago, and was blown away to hear that even if a child doesn't have apnea now, they will almost certainly have it by the time they're age 12. I think I need to learn more about this, especially as we've never had a sleep study done...)
Film Festival (All of the Film Festival offerings look amazing. I could spend the whole conference just watching movies, I'm afraid!)
Teaching About Time and Money (now that Sammi can read, I need to learn how to teach her math, and especially practical math)
Encouraging Creativity and Artistic Achievement in Persons with Ds (This sounds so cool!)
Issues & Concerns During Puberty (it won't be long now, but I do actually still have time to learn about this before it becomes imminent)
Film Festival (yep, there's more!)
We're not going to the banquet on Saturday night, but maybe we can hook up for dinner with some other families who are also not going!
Film Festival (woo hoo!! Maybe I'll just go on my own on Sunday...)
Building a Better Reader Through Use of Active Comprehension Strategies (I think I know some good tools for doing this already, but sometimes it's good to have extra reinforcement...)
Achieving the Goal: A Monumentally Rewarding Life
Okay, so now that I've bored you all while I work out my schedule out loud, how many of you are actually going? Which sessions are you planning on attending?