A Beginner’s Guide to Surviving AutismOne


Are you excited?! The biggest autism conference in the world is rapidly approaching. For many of your TMR family, this is our yearly opportunity to squeeze each other and catch up. For first time attendees, it’s all very overwhelming.  Here is a brief list of some things you can to do minimize the overwhelmingness and survive without maxing your credit card.


Make a plan:

Come up with 5-6 top issues of your child’s that you want to address, then look at the schedule. The schedule is laid out already for you to pick and choose what events fit for you. I recommend checking this before you get there and figuring out what you want to see because when you arrive the busy starts.  Perhaps Google the presenters and read their webpages prior to attending their workshop so you ensure that you are focusing on exactly what you need to be. Bring a recorder or phone with audio notes instead of trying to write it all down.

TMR Debuts our Survival Boot Camp this year at AutismOne!

Thursday May 21:

1:30-2:30 p.m. in Cassatt:  IEPs and the Assessment Process (Jennifer Limekiller)

3-4 p.m. in Cassat:  Mirrored Healing, Body, Mind, Spirit Transformation (Leia Vitale, Virginie Chriqui)

4-5 p.m. in Cassat:  How Not To Die (Lisa Joyce Goes, Kim Spencer, Helen Conroy, Megan Davenhall)

Friday May 22:

10:15-11:15 a.m.  in Montrose:  Medical Cannabis Perspective, with TexasMAMMA.org (Felicia Leggio Braud)

Friday May 22,  2-4 p.m. in Montrose: TMR Autism Recovery Parent Panel (Marissa Ali, Kim Spencer)

Friday May 22, 4:15-5:15 p.m. in Montrose: Revolutionary Grandparent: Healing generations with hope and love  (Helen Conroy)

Friday May 22, 5:15-6:15 pm in Montrose: TMR Writing Workshop: Writing from the mind and the heart (Megan Davenhall, Laura Hirsch, Zoey O’Toole, Marissa Ali, Cathy Reilly)


TMR at AutismOne 2013

Pack for Comfort and Convenience:

Wear layers, pockets and comfy shoes. You will be given a tote bag upon arrival to carry around and keep things in. Bring a notebook. The hotel is on the cool side of things, so a sweater or sweatshirt can help.  You’ll be sitting a lot.

Be able to tell your story:

Rehearse your child’s story so that you can get it across in under three minutes to that MAPS doctor you just cornered in the elevator.

Practice saying “Thank you, I’ll be in touch”:

You don’t have to buy anything this weekend unless you want to. There are going to be a lot of vendors with exciting stuff, and it’s helpful to remember that those vendors will still support you after the conference is over. It’s very easy to spend thousands of dollars on stuff from vendors — and if money is an issue for you, consider bringing only a debit card for the hotel and a preset amount of cash.

Only get swag you really want:

Do not arrive with a stuffed suitcase, you will need some room for all the swag you are going to come home with. Maybe even a lot of room. Even so, you will want to only pick up the fliers and swag you are sure you want, otherwise you’ll be sorting them at the last minute trying to squeeze them in your suitcase home. Plan on a lot of pens, magnets, and notepads coming home.You’ll probably buy a shirt or a book or two.

Practice discernment:

There are many fantastic, cutting-edge speakers at AO. Nothing works for every child, so go into the presentations knowing your child’s primary issues. No one knows your child better than you do, and no speaker should make you feel otherwise. And no speaker can/should claim they can recover every child.

Remember to make time for renewal:

TMR’s recovery and relaxation lounge will be open every day from 10 a.m. -6 p.m.  We have designed an awesome renewal space where you can put your feet up with a drink from our bar, make new friends, meet the Thinking Moms, grab a healing session, do some yoga, or sit in the sauna.  Its going to be the best part of the entire weekend.   Don’t miss Friday’s Karaoke party either. There is nothing quite like autism moms who are child-free and let go.

We want you to come away from the AutismOne conference with what we have — lifelong friends, lots of information on therapies to dig through over the summer, and most importantly – hope!

~ JuicyFruit

For more by JuicyFruit, click here.


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