MACMH Conference….

Today was the first full day of the conference.  I had trouble sleeping last night, but was up in time to have breakfast with friends before walking to the Conference Center.   The weather was not too bad.  It is suppose to be 20 degree colder tomorrow.  YIKES!!

Last night I started reading the book Mistress of the Art of Death, but couldn’t really get into it.  So I started our book got Book Club this month, which is The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion. 

Today at the conference I saw the keynote speaker, who was pretty good.  He talk about our need to politically involved to change the lives of children in our state.   I went to a workshop called, Potpourri of Strategies for Working with Children with Autism Spectrum.  It was given by two presenter I know and have hired for consulting.  They were really dragging and didn’t cover all the material.  I guess I will just read the hand outs.

In the afternoon I went to a workshop called “An Unplanned Journey: Parenting a Medically Fragile Infant” presented by a woman from Tacoma Washington about a program they started in a hospital there for follow up.  The incidents of neglect and child abuse on fragile children is greater and this has really helped with the medical follow through.  This topic of course I deal in my work all the time, but my nephew just had his first child (Harley James) last week and he was born with a cleft lip and palate.   My nephew and his wife are pretty young and really have alot of hard work ahead of them in raising a child with these type of medical needs.  

Then I went to a workshop on Fetal ALcohol: a Unique Challenge.   It was interesting, but I realized I had seen this speaker a few years ago.   FASD is the only preventable cause of developmental disabilities.  Many people think and even Drs say that social drinking doesn’t cause FAS.  WRONG!!  This is the one thing I am really able to get on a soapbox about!   She told a story of a woman that only drank communion wine 5 days a week at communion and gave birth to a child with FAS.  The first three month of pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant is the most crucial in development.   It is an invisible disability a small percentage of the children actually have the facial characteristics.   The state of MN was 4th in the nation for the amount of women that drink during child bearing age, we have now dropped to number 7 this year.   Interesting Wisconsin is the #1 state in drinking…hmmmm…..

After the conference we went to Angie’s Canteena for Supper and Happy Hour.   Now I am back in my room to hang out with another book for the evening.  My last night to read for such long stretches of time.  What a guilty pleasure!!  Tomorrow is suppose to be 20 degrees colder than today.  BRRRRRRR….tomorrow late afternoon, I will head home.  I am ready to go home to my family. 

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