By Brittany Brand
The Region 14 Education Service Center will conduct a free Family Conference for children with disabilities and their families on Oct. 24 at the First Baptist Church.
The event, co-sponsored by the Ministry of Counseling and Enrichment, will feature classes for parents, children and siblings dealing with different aspects of living with disabilities. It lasts from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and free breakfast and lunch will be available.
Melissa Richardson, event coordinator and Region 14 consultant for autism and low-incidence disabilities, said the conference offers a great networking opportunity for those in the Abilene area affected by a disability, whether their own or that of a loved one. She said parents will get a break, and children get to come have fun.
The parents can attend classes such as Special Education 101; Trust and Guardianship; Transition; and Working with Law Enforcement.
Brothers and sisters of those with disabilities can attend a session focused on coping with disabled siblings. A speaker with personal experience is scheduled to share her family’s story and advice on how to cope, Richardson said.
A session on social skills and arts and crafts will be geared specifically toward children; in the afternoon, they will go to the Family Life Center for recreation with volunteers.
Richardson asks children attending be no younger than 4, but she said there is no upper age limit.
This is the fourth year for the conference. As many as 100 people have attended in the past, and event planners hope to reach that number again this year, Richardson said.
Students from ACU, Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University will volunteer at the event, and a representative from the Special Olympics will speak.
“We hope that parents come away with new information,” Richardson said.
For more information, contact Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.