Helpdesk: Top 10 Tips for Parents Attending Their First Milestones Conference

Milestones National Autism Conference June 14-15, 2018 Cleveland I-X CenterFirst time attending the Milestones National Autism Conference? We’re so excited to have you! Get ready for two days full of new knowledge, resources and friends. With 90 workshops and over 1,000 people in attendance, we know it can get pretty crazy but don’t fret! With a simple combo of preparation and participation, we promise you will walk away having gotten the most out of your experience. Check out the following tips on how to nail your first Milestones conference.

1) Review the Parent Track ahead of time to see what workshops are most appealing to you! You can also call our free autism Helpdesk to talk with a staff member who can make suggestions based on your child’s age, stage and ability.

2) Take advantage of our discounted family member rate. Register early to receive our Spring Special rate! Also, remember Milestones has scholarships available for parents. The application process is simple and quick!

3) Visit the Caregiver Relaxation Room. Visit the Caregiver Relaxation Room, presented by Hickman & Lowder Co., LPA. This special room offers a calm and relaxing area just for parents and caregivers of individuals with autism. Well deserved!

4) Attend our amazing lunch sessions and walk away with a friend. Everyone around you at the conference has a connection to autism and is looking for the same supports as you. Use your time as a chance to network with peers and leave with new contacts in your community.

5) Make sure you see this year’s amazing keynotes. Don’t miss out on hearing from our nationally known speakers and join us in the ballroom for autism education that can apply to any age of individual!

6) Come talk to the Milestones staff at our vendor tables and information desks. If you have a question during the conference, there will be Milestones staff available to assist you. Talk with our early intervention coordinator about what workshops would be best for children newly diagnosed or get advice from our Teen/Adult Coordinator about how to access services you hear about during the workshops!

7) Explore the Exhibit Hall. Ever feel overwhelmed trying to choose a new provider or service?  Do you wish you could talk with all of them before you make a decision.  Then come meet and learn about over 50 vendors that have services and programs that may benefit you at our exhibitor walk-through. Get concrete information in real time by talking with our vendors agencies.

8) Cleveland Rocks! If you are staying overnight for the conference, make time to explore the city and get a little vacation in after you spend all day learning!  At the end of each day, you may be full of new knowledge and feel energized – use that energy to do something fun for yourself and visit fun local attractions like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

9) If your child is at the transition age (14-22), look at the workshops offered specifically for this age group of children. These workshops will focus on the complex systems and services that begin during transition age as well as help families think about long-term, life-time planning for their young adults with ASD. Transition-age services are important to Milestones because we know they are important for our families, so make sure you take the opportunity to learn more about them!

10) Take notes! You will hear many helpful practical strategies and suggestions throughout the conference. Take notes during workshops so that you can return to them later and implement the strategies you learned or engage the providers you learned about.

On the forefront of transition and adult services, Beth Thompson is Milestones Program Director. Beth has a Master’s degree coupled with extensive hands-on experience working with high school students with autism. Whether students are college or career bound, Beth is instrumental in helping teens successfully transition to adulthood.
bthompson@milestones.org

(216) 464-7600 ext. 108


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