Adult Summit: Week One

Published on May 29, 2020

The National Down Syndrome is holding our annual Adult Summit, this is where we usually travel, this year would have been Arizona. We listen and partake in various sessions, listening to different speakers throughout the day. This year is different considering Coronavirus. So I am hoping everyone is staying safe during this time. While this is in effect we are holding our Adult Summit virtually.

May 4th was our start day. It started with Laura Chiocine and Katie Frank speaking on  Living a Healthy Life! Five Ways to Promote Your Health  These two speakers are sharing the different areas of heathy living choices.

May 5th started with Mike Walther speaking on The Essential Elements of a Special Needs Plan. This  covered  ABLE acts financial planning opportunities without losing benefits.  Later that day  there was a session on Decline in Skills and Regression in Adolescents and Adults with Down Syndrome, this focused on cognitive, adaptive functioning behaviors. Case studies were shared and up for discussions.

Another session by a fellow self-advocate Tavrick and his mother, spoke on Making Adult Learning Fun! This provided different tips and tricks to explore  education, socialization and different methods.

Later that afternoon there was a session on Promoting Health and Wellness in Uncertain Times   by Sharon Milberger, she is the Director of Michigan Development Disabilities  as well as self-advocate Mary Borman.

Additionally on the 5th of May, there were two sessions one on Communication Skills for Adult Life & Employment  by Libby Kumin who specializes in working with families and individuals with Down syndrome from infancy to adulthood. Another session by James Hendrix  of LuMind IDSC Foundation spoke on  Research Update: Down Syndrome & Alzheimer’s Disease.  He is the Chief Scientific Officer he directs scientific initiatives.

Jerry Hulick, a Senior Planner from Virginia Tech talked  about Planning for the Future.  Discussing financial means.  One of our self-advocates Austin Underwood who is the Founder and Owner of Austin’s Underdawgs  showed how he started  his own company.  Closing the second day, Reita Clanton discussed the 5 pillars of Health.

May 7th Robin Blitz started off the day talking about medical home care and shared decision making. Following that session, Gabriella Barnes talked about Understanding Able Accounts  and what they are  used for.

Friday  May 8th ,  father and son duo Fionn Angus and Jonathan Angus talked about Fionn passions in filmmaking. Later in the day, Katie Frank from Illinois discussed three different non-medical strategies for health and mental wellness.

The final closing session of the day was David and Bill DeSanctis, Brandon and Tim Gruber, fathers and sons talking about self-advocacy and being  successful advocates at.

If this piques your interest you can view it in its entirety by signing on the NDSS website under the Adult Summit portal.

This was a small recap of the entire first week of the adult summit. I look forward to recapping the second week in my next blog.