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A Life-Changing Moment
A Life-Changing Moment
By Brandi Young / November 6, 2018
I was sitting at a round table with several other parents in a ballroom listening to a gentleman with Down syndrome speak. He was a little hard to understand so we were quiet and listening very closely. The first thing he said was “I’m not broke, I don’t need fixed. I just need support.” WOW! The tears welled up in my eyes, my throat got tight, and that new message left quite an impression on this new mom‘s heart. You see, my son was born with Down syndrome only a few years earlier, and in one phrase this gentleman molded me as a mom and advocate more than he will ever know.
That is the first of many amazing life changing memories I have of the annual educational conference hosted by PEAK Parent Center. Even though that was over 10 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. The full meaning of what he expressed wouldn’t sink in completely for several years to come, but it set the tone for the path our family was to take in supporting our son, NOT changing him. It literally changed the way we thought of him, how we treated him, and how we dreamed for him. Remember, I did say “life changing.”
I have not missed a conference since!!
Every year I would tell teachers, school staff, other mothers, and anyone else who would listen about this local conference held in our state just two hours up the road from where I live because many had never heard about it! I would gather groups of people to go every year and feel so happy to spread the word about such a positive experience learning FROM self advocates themselves. Of course, they were celebrities in my eyes so a keynote speaker photo collection was started. I have shared just a few with you all today that are precious to me.
Accurately describing the value and return on your time and money to attend this conference is a difficult endeavor because the impact is so huge.
This conference exemplifies respect.
This conference supports people with disabilities, those who love them, caregivers, educators and more.
This conference perpetuates the message that the keynoter I heard a long time ago taught me that people with disabilities are NOT broken and don’t need to be fixed.
This conference educates others to do the very same!
You see this conference is changing the world one person at a time.
If you have attended, SHARE what you have learned with others so they too can have the opportunity to learn and be internally moved like you and I have.
If you have NOT attended, GO! You are missing out, not just on an educational conference, but a life changing experience!
To register for the PEAK Conference on Inclusive Education click here for our registration link. For all other information pertaining to the conference please visit the conference section of our website and check back as updates are sure to be posted soon.