I often hear parents and providers say that they don't attend PWS conferences because they don't learn anything new so what's the point of going. I think back to my first conferences and remember how much I was embraced by the community and how warmly I was welcomed into this small but mighty group of staff, families and doctors. The support that I received as a new person stepping into this confusing and sometimes frightening syndrome is why I encourage people to go to any and every conference that you can go to. You may be a veteran parent or a provider who thinks that you know it all (which I will tell you right now, you don't and never will) but consider your first years, days, and minutes and remember how overwhelmed you felt. It was the support of those who had been there and survived that got you through, that gave you hope, and now it is our turn. Our turn to show parents that their lives may not be how they planned but it will still be a wonderful life. Different, yes, but full of love and pride and really good days. It is our responsibility to give back for all of the support we received and attending conferences is the perfect forum to meet and help and yes, learn. I have been attending PWS conferences for the past 12 years and I have never walked away without learning something, and usually a lot.
Another reason to attend the next several conferences is because Latham is presenting quite a bit over the next few months! In New York we will be presenting on the extensive work we have been doing with sensory integration. In England, a conference that has very few presenters from the US, we are presenting twice! To end the conference season we will be hosting our own conference and then presenting at the national conference in Orlando. Conference organizers always look to Latham to present at their conferences because of our extensive experience and expertise and that is a pretty great feeling. It is also a chance for us to reach out and let new families and providers know that the beginning of the journey may be scary but really cool things happen along the way and no matter how bad things feel, it is worth every minute of it!