Straight from the Source - Amy Kleinman: Why I Attend the Milestones Conference
Posted on 05/24/19 in Milestones Conference by Amy Kleinman
I enjoy attending the Milestones Conference each year for several reasons. Attending gives me a chance to meet with other people in a safe, friendly environment. I usually run into at least one person I haven’t seen in a long time at the conference, and I often meet new people as well. Attending also gives me the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone, especially when I was asked to speak last year. Public speaking is a difficult thing for me to do, but I did it, and was told I did well.
The conference also gives me ideas about techniques and tools that might help me and how to access them. At the conference, I saw some people with fidget cubes and thought they might help me, as I get very anxious and antsy. I acquired one at the conference last year and have found it really helps me calm down.
Another reason I enjoy the conference is I acquire new knowledge from attending the sessions. I've learned about communication and social skills, work-related skills, and general life skills. Attending with my mother has helped her as well. She has been able to understand me better and seems to have figured out different strategies to help me, at least sometimes.
I would encourage people with Autism and their family members to attend Milestones. It may seem a bit frightening at first, with all the people and stimulation, but it really isn’t that frightening once you get in the door and meet people. I've always enjoyed my time at the conference and often come away with something useful.
If you do come, you can expect to learn a lot about Autism and various tips and strategies to assist with functioning in a world that doesn’t always understand those on the spectrum. I'm especially looking forward to the sessions on communication skills that are being given this year. It might not seem like it from this article but communicating is something I have to work on.
I hope to see you at the conference this year!