By Kodey Toney
Bring It On Home To Me
One of the biggest questions I get is, “What resources are available in this area? What do you have in this rural area that will help us with raising a child on the spectrum?” There are limited resources. There are several big conferences that you can go to in either Oklahoma City or Tulsa, but you have to make the 2-3 hour drive to get there.
That is why I’m extremely excited to finally announce that a conference for anyone interested in children with developmental disabilities is coming to our own backyard of Eastern Oklahoma. This will be something that I encourage any family member, teacher, therapist, professional, or just any to attend this free symposium.
The Oklahoma Family Network, who I have discussed in the past, will be hosting this event. They are a great organization dedicated to helping families in the state find resources and ways to better raise children with disabilities.
This conference will be held on a weekend to help with the busy schedule of most families who tend to be worn thin during the week. It will be Saturday, Oct. 26 at Carl Albert State College in Sallisaw. This is going to be in the JT and Mary Jo Stites Multipurpose Student Center.
I’d like to see the placed packed. This conference will be full of great information and will be a good place to network.
You must register ahead of time by visiting the website http://
There will also be a boxed lunch provided, but it is not guaranteed if you register after the dealine.
On the day of the event, check-in will be from 9-9:30 a.m. and include coffee and snacks.
The conference begins at 9:30 a.m. and last until 2 p.m. This will be a day packed with great guest speakers.
Examples (from OFN) include: “The Importance of Family Leadership and How to Get Connected” – You will learn why effective family leadership and building relationships with other families and professionals can make a difference in the life of your loved ones with special needs and how you can ensure that they are receiving the services they need.
“Your Experience is Important – Learn to Share on Boards & Committees” – Have you ever asked yourself, “Am I ready to serve on a board or committee?” In this session you will learn the basics about the different types of boards and committees, the “dos” and “don’ts” of serving and more importantly, why your voice of experience is needed.
“Telling Your Story Specific to Your Audience” – Do you have an important meeting coming up? Maybe it’s an IEP meeting or an appointment with your loved one’s doctor, or an agency case manager. This session is designed to help you organize and share personal information in a format that promotes awareness about your family member so that he or she is receiving the services that best meet his or her needs.
“Building Relationships with Policy Makers” – Whether it is your loved one’s principal or a legislator, building relationships takes time. The presenters will talk about the importance of getting to know the people who have the power to make and change policy at the local and state level.
Information about resources from around the state will also be provided.
For more information, you can contact Doris Erhart at doris-erhart@oklahomafamilynet
Mark your calendars now please, and come join other family leaders for these exciting sessions