We were lucky enough to attend the JA conference out in Philadelphia, PA this year. To say it was amazing, great, etc does not do it justice. This conference brought together over 1,000 attendees, all affected by JA. The purpose of the conference was two-fold (or more). First it brought together parents from all over the nation to meet, network and share information. Second and just as important it brought together kids from all over the nation.
The conference has a wonderful kids program where kids are broken out by age and attend programs that are age specific. Our daughter met many new friends that have JA just like her. Over the years I am sure those friendships will grow and she will come to understand that she is not alone in the fight against JA. I think it is so important for kids to understand that they are not alone in their fight.
The parents program consists of four 1 hour and 15 minute sessions a day on various topics. The day starts with a general session and then there are three breakout sessions where you can choose which topic interests you most. I say most because most of the topics were interesting. In the breakout sessions parents are able to asks questions to the presenter and provide input.
The relationships made are wonderful, no one quite understands what we all go through unless they are going through it themselves.
We learned so much, I can't quite put it into words, you really have to go to understand how great it is.
Stay tuned to future blog posts for more information on this great conference.