TIPS! The Apraxia National Conference!

I'm attending the Apraxia National Conference next week in Charlotte, North Carolina and it's only my second year attending! My time at the conference has been interesting to say the least; last year I spoke with my Mom and this year I am attending as an Apraxia Kids Board Member. Despite my different roles, there are some tips and good things to know for anyone attending:

1. Prepare to be overwhelmed
There is so much information! If you're not overwhelmed emotionally by the amount of experts, professionals, first-hand Apraxia accounts all in one place, your brain will definitely be overwhelmed by all the information.

My Tip? Take Notes. They don't need to capture every single detail [as much as we'd like to], but at least write out 2-5 of the biggest takeaways from each session. It'll keep the Big Ideas fresh and easy to return to when you go home.

2. Talk to People
This includes NEW people. Sure, you will see your friends, maybe even Facebook Friends, but this is an opportunity to meet NEW people who perhaps are at a different milestone in the Apraxia Journey. You may have tips and words of wisdom for them or, even better, they may have some tips for you.

It's amazing what happens when you connect with others and this is exactly what the conference is for. Connections.

3. Ask Questions
Every single session should have time at the end or during each presentation for questions. So feel free to ask questions. If you're shy or hesitant, which is completely understandable especially in the 'bigger sessions,' make it a point to talk to the speaker after the session. They will always make time to speak to you. I guarantee you.

4. Dress Cute & Comfortable!
Attire; ladies I know all of us have been thinking about this. It's Charlotte in July, which makes for quite a humid journey. But, we are inside for a large chunk of time! Last conference, I saw many people in jeans, summer dresses, skirts, and overall snappy cute casual clothes. But one thing everyone had and everyone used-a sweater! Those rooms can get cold and, this may just be assumption, the hotel's AC is going to be on to combat the humidity and heat outside.

Also, wear comfortable shoes so you can run from one session to the next. Maybe not run, but at least briskly walk to the next room to get a good seat!

5. Take Photos!
Take photos, please of anything cool you want to commemorate. Yourself, of friends, of you with your favorite speaker. Sure, there's a lot of learning that takes place, but also enjoy yourself and use these photos to look back and recall what a great time you had!

6. Bonus Tip: Come Say Hi!
Okay, this one may be a bit self-serving. But my only way of talking to you is through this blog! This is an opportunity to meet, talk, and catch up face-to-face! Please come say Hi to me, you'll see me walking around and I'll also be at the reception. So come say Hello, I won't bite (I promise), and I'll more than likely say a corny joke or ask to take a selfie. Plus, I'd love to see photos of your family and definitely of your Apraxia Star!

[Psst. I usually wear eyeglasses too; so if you see a short pixie hair cut blond with glasses on-it's most likely me. If you hear me talking to somebody with an 'accent,' it's most definitely me!]