In This Section

2013-4-26-hi-res-RGB -editsDSG event logo4-APPROVED copy copy
sponsor header

CHARLES H. PHIPPS
FAMILY FOUNDATION


GDSF New Logo

PEDIATRICS PLUS
















Fall Conference

fc banner











CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
8:00 AM - Check in & Coffee
9:00 AM - Welcome & Keynote
10:30 AM - Breakout Cycle I
12:00 PM - Lunch
1:15 PM - Breakout Cycle II
2:45 PM - Refreshment Break
3:00 PM - Breakout Cycle III
4:30 PM - Conference Closes
*Resource Fair open from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

ENTRY FEES
$50 Individuals; $25 Self Advocates
Includes snacks, lunch, and handouts
Online registration closes September 6

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS
CEUs available for social workers with certificates of attendance for educators and therapists.



Conference Overview
Each year, the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas’ annual conference brings together members of the community to learn from our collective accomplishments and the expertise of professionals. This conference serves as a platform to share cutting-edge developments and information from specialists in their respective fields, as it relates to Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. You’ll experience first class presenters and hands on sessions full of information you can take back to your homes, businesses, and classrooms and use immediately.

Who Should Attend?
Parents, educators, medical professionals, service providers, direct care staff, and self-advocates are all encouraged to attend. Our goal is to provide attendees with practical information and tools to help individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities be independent and lead productive, fulfilling lives.

NEW for Self Advocates
This year's conference also features a designed self-advocate track.  Self-advocates are invited to join general conference attendees for the keynote presentation, and breakout sessions are denoted below as SA1, SA2, and SA3.

NEW for Spanish Speaking Families
This year's conference also features designated sessions to be translated in Spanish.  The keynote presentation and breakout sessions are designated below, and registration will open soon for this track.

Resource Fair
The conference also provides a great opportunity to network with fellow participants and to shop the resource fair for products and information that will help support people with intellectual disabilities both at home and at school. Be sure to stop by the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas table to find out more about our programs and resources available.

Presenters and Sessions
Keynote: 
The Crnic Institute Human Trisome Project: Improving the Lives of People with Down syndrome through Biomedical Research  (Spanish translation available)
Dr. Waugh will present on the Crnic Institute’s Human Trisome ProjectTM (HTP, www.trisome.org). Designed to be the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, the HTP functions as a research accelerator to significantly improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome. To this end, the HTP is currently focused on understanding why many individuals with Down syndrome are protected from some medical conditions, such as various solid tumors, while highly predisposed to others, such as Alzheimer's disease, leukemia, and autoimmune disorders. Since launching in late 2016, the HTP has already facilitated multiple fascinating discoveries and are hopeful for many more to come!

Breakout Cycle I:
1. A Multidisciplinary Approach to Feeding Therapy
Presented by Kendra Dorsey, MS CCC-SLP. Kendra currently works with patients in the inpatient feeding program at Our Children’s House at Children’s Health in Dallas, TX.

This 90-minute session offers a brief overview of multidisciplinary feeding therapy. Topics covered include - Feeding Therapy 101, when to pursue feeding therapy, red flags for feeding safety and development, the roles of speech and occupational therapy in treatment of children with feeding difficulties

2. Unified Champion Schools - The Inclusion Revolution
Presented by Alice Keller, M. Ed., Director of Inclusive Education, Special Olympics Texas

Using inclusive sports and activities as a catalyst, Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools support social inclusion on school campuses through intentionally planned activities affecting school wide change. These are school climates where students with disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in, and feel a part of, all activities, opportunities and functions.

3. Making the Most of a Behavioral Health Consultation for Adults with Down syndrome (Spanish translation available)
Presented by Bryn Gelaro, LSW. Bryn is a social worker with a passion for behavioral health of adults with Down syndrome. Bryn was a consultant for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation for 18 months before becoming Director of Adult Initiatives and Special Projects in 2017. Her work includes furthering Global’s adult care initiatives, including serving as an executive committee member and co-author of the Adult Medical Health Care Guideline update and supporting Global’s efforts to open a World Class Medical Clinic for adults with Down syndrome. In addition to her work with Global, she previously consulted for the Denver Adult Down Syndrome Clinic and the Denver Health Pilot Adult Down syndrome clinic.

Finding a provider who can appropriately assess mental wellness and behavioral health in adults with Down syndrome is a common concern for families and self-advocates. In this session, we will discuss what to expect and how to prepare families, care takers and self-advocates for behavioral health consultations with their local providers. Whether you are visiting a Down syndrome clinic or seeing a general practitioner, there are things you should be looking for before, during and after an appointment to make sure your adult self-advocate’s behavioral health consultation is useful and informative. In addition, we will review common behavior characteristics of adults with Down syndrome and how they can be used to support overall wellness and be channeled into strengths. Through increased awareness about the process, we hope families and self-advocates leave the session feeling more comfortable talking about behavioral health with their medical provider and better prepared to advocate for their own mental wellness!

SA1. Nutrition for Self-Advocates

Breakout Cycle II:
4. Getting to the Core of Core Vocabulary (Spanish translation pending)
Presented by Angela Standridge. Angela is a speech language pathologist with over 30 years’ experience in assistive technology with an emphasis in augmentative communication. She has worked in public schools, private industry, private practice, rehabilitation, and as an education service center specialist. She is currently the Director of the Texas Technology Access Program at the Center for Disability Studies, University of Texas.

Come learn about the power of using core vocabulary for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to empower communicators to say what they need to say! Eighty percent of what we say consists of the same 500 words - those words are core vocabulary. Almost all communication devices and apps come with pre-stored core vocabularies that you can then customize to meet your child’s communications needs. We will explore the foundations of core vocabulary and supporting implementation strategies.

5. Behaviors in the Classroom
Presented by Pediatrics Plus

Led by an ABA therapist, this session will address common behaviors in the classroom and offer practical solutions for educators and caregivers to decrease undesirable behaviors and encourage useful behaviors.

6. Texas Achieving A Better Life Experience (Texas ABLE®)
Pesented by Anna Mallett. Anna has worked for the Texas Comptroller's Office for ten years and currently serves as the Outreach Specialist for the state’s new Texas ABLE® Program. She previously worked as a Marketing Coordinator for the Texas Tuition Promise Fund, the state’s 529 prepaid college savings plan.

Anna has over 19 years of service with the State of Texas including serving as Grant Program Manager for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Relations Manager at the Texas Department of Transportation. Anna holds a BA in Communications from Southwest Texas State University.

Come learn about the Texas Achieving A Better Life Experience (Texas ABLE®) program and how Texans with disabilities and their families can save for disability - related expenses in a tax-advantaged ABLE account without losing eligibility for certain public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Texas ABLE is based on federal and state legislation and is administered by the state through the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Funds in an ABLE account can be used to pay for qualified disability expenses that relate to the beneficiary’s blindness or disability and are used to maintain or improve his or her health, independence or quality of life.

The presentation will cover all the basics of ABLE and give you details on how to open an ABLE account in Texas.

SA2: Person Centered Planning: It’s My Life! 
Presented by Carissa Paschall ― Disability Rights Advocate and Cindi Paschall ― Mom & Disability Rights Activist 

Carissa Paschall is a young adult who does not let her disability or the system get in the way of her living life as she defines it. She is a fierce disability rights advocate and public speaker at local and statewide events. Carissa is also a co-founder of The Self-Determination Group and believe that people who have a disability should have a voice. 

Cindi Paschall is a parent passionately involved in advancing the rights of individuals living with a disability diagnosis. She has dedicated the past 23 years to advocacy, applying her personal experience and knowledge in helping others. Cindi is also a graduate of Texas Partners in Policymaking. Over the years she has worked and also volunteered for various organizations set up to assist and empower individuals who have a disability and their families to live life as they define – not the system.

Join Cindi Paschall & Carissa Paschall, a mother daughter team, as they provide an overview of person-centered planning and how it will help you plan for and live the life you dream of.

Breakout Cycle III:
7. Pediatric Healthcare for Children with Down syndrome
Presented by Richard Adams, M.D. Richard Adams, M.D., is the medical director of pediatric developmental disabilities at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and Professor of Pediatrics and Division Director, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Science Center in Shreveport, completed his pediatric residency at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and completed a clinical fellowship in developmental disabilities at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. Dr. Adams is board-certified through the American Board of Pediatrics in two subspecialties: Neuro-Developmental Disabilities and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. He has served as the Chair of the Texas Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Intervention and as a member of the Texas Medicaid Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Dr. Adams is a member of the Camp John Marc Advisory Board, and for 25 years has served as the medical director of “Camp TLC,” an annual camp for 100 youths with spina bifida. Having served as chairman of the Committee on Children with Disabilities for the Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Texas Pediatric Society) for a decade, he was recently named “Chair Emeritus” of the committee and continues to work with Texas state agencies on behalf of children with special needs. He was named 2002 “Child Advocate of the Year” by the Greater Texas Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Dr. Adams was the 2009 recipient of a Special Achievement Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for his work on behalf of quality outcome measures for children with special needs across the State of Texas. In addition to clinical and teaching activities, Dr. Adams has published widely in the field of developmental disabilities based on his clinical research efforts at Scottish Rite Hospital.

8. AAC and Literacy: Get your Child Talking AND Reading!
Presented by Angela Standridge. Angela is a speech language pathologist with over 30 years’ experience in assistive technology with an emphasis in augmentative communication. She has worked in public schools, private industry, private practice, rehabilitation, and as an education service center specialist. She is currently the Director of the Texas Technology Access Program at the Center for Disability Studies, University of Texas.

Reading and writing are foundation skills one needs to participate in school, vocation, recreation, and social engagement. Children with limited or no oral communication skills need to have the same access to literacy instruction as non-challenged peers. This can be challenging- but not impossible. In fact, teaching augmentative communication skills and literacy concurrently supports acquisition of both skills! Come explore literacy implementation strategies for AAC users.

9. Person-Centered Planning: Moving from a Systems-Centered Approach Toward a Person-Centered Approach (Spanish translation pending)
Presented by Cindi Paschall ― Mom & Disability Rights Activist. Cindi is a parent passionately involved in advancing the rights of individuals living with a disability diagnosis. She has dedicated the past 23 years to advocacy, applying her personal experience and knowledge in helping others. Cindi is also a graduate of Texas Partners in Policymaking. Over the years she has worked and also volunteered for various organizations set up to assist and empower individuals who have a disability and their families to live life as they define – not the system.

Have you thought about your child’s future – where he or she will live, learn, work, play and worship? Many parents have a difficult time thinking about what the future holds for their child. But know this – the future is coming and it will be here before you know it! The sooner you can look ahead, create a vision and plan, the better. Your vision is your why. Your vision gives you direction. Your vision is the compelling reason why you make the decisions you make. Decisions made create consequences. Without the direction of a vision to guide you, you may end up somewhere else – somewhere you don’t want to be. So where do you begin? One tool is Person-Centered Planning. During this session Cindi will explore the what, why & how of person-centered planning so you (and your child) can create a vision for the future, not the system.

SA3. Making Exercise a Lifestyle for Self-Advocates
Presented by Daniel Stein. Daniel is the founder of Special Strong which seeks to empower the mind, body, and spirit of the special needs population with the strength and confidence to live a more independent and abundant life. Through their services, values, and culture, their desire to unlock potential and unleash the “Special Strong” within every person!

Since Daniel was a teenager, he has consistently exercised 4-5 times a week and has over 10,000 hours invested in the gym. In this lecture, Daniel shares practical tips that have helped him make exercise a lifestyle for so many years, even with his own diagnosis of a physical and mental disability. This session will also lead self-advocates through a workout that teaches exercises they can integrate in their daily lives to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.  Please wear or bring appropriate workout clothing.