By Tim Welsh a.k.a @TannersDad
Autism. This is a topic that I could write a book about. So many words come to mind… Answers, Support, Respite, Education, Freedom, Camaraderie, Community, Personal Growth, Advocacy, Legitimacy, Integrity, friendship, Humanity, and many more flood my mind. During the week of May 25 – 29 the world joins hands at the Generation Rescue/AutismOne conference in Lombard Illinois at the The Westin Hotel.
The conference would be complete, educational and inspirational even if you were only able to attend a few of the activities. Jenny McCarthy and the teams at AutismOne & Generation Rescue have some amazing events planned. They educate, reward, share and pamper the mind, soul, and body. What every mother, father, caregiver and service provider needs. This is a chance to be introduced to the most amazing and passionate group of leaders you will ever meet! I am especially looking forward to the Keynote address in which Jenny McCarthy and Special Guest Byron Katie will be discussing “Care for the Caregiver,” providing the tools you need to take care of yourself on the journey.
Byron Katie first entered my life through my sister’s interaction with her in Japan. Byron has helped the world with simple and profound ways of looking at our world. She is able to take events, things that happen to us, tear us down, apart, and help us restart, restructure in such a way that they actually empower our lives. This is a treat that to me is beyond the definition of a bonus at this year’s conference.
I have attended the last two years. I cannot adequately describe the depth and breadth of the experts in so many fields that come to the conference. There are actually 150 Autism Experts speaking on 6 special content tracks. I was amazed at how accessible all the figures in the news are. Also how down to earth and human they are. It is one thing to read the headlines and stories but to actually visit with, eat with, and karaoke with all those involved in asking for and fighting for answers is quite another.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Autism Recovery on a Budget: Empowering Parents.” AutismOne & Generation Rescue put their money where their mouth is making the entrance into the conference as economical as possible. Registration itself is FREE! There is a small fee for conference materials but this is potentially life changing for you and loved ones. It was for me.
The first year I attended I was just overwhelmed. I cannot tell you how many times I looked down the hall at the largest gathering of Autism Advocates in the world and just cried. We live a very lonely life at times as parents and caregivers of loved ones with special needs. From the minute I walked in the door, I was shaking hands, sharing and learning.
I hope that in this brief article I have sparked your appetite. If Chicago seems far away, travel and hotels seem like dreams – know that there are those that will have taken planes, trains, taxis and ships to make it to Chicago. I met people that literally travel around the world to attend. The passion, drive and desire to find and give help is reaching to all nations. This is one event that I pray, fight and claw my way to.
I am excited to report that I will be reporting daily from the conference and I will have posts afterwards from experts I interview. The Generation Rescue/AutismOne site is very well done. It has all the information about lodging and special events. Visit HERE.
Bottom Line. I have tweeted this often. Come to the Generation Rescue/AutismOne Conference, we will hold hands until we are not lonely anymore. Look for hashtag #Autism1 on twitter for updates and exciting announcements. I have started 50 days of Prayer for Autism Awareness month and to help bring Churches and service groups into the conference. I am looking forward to meeting with you in person. See you in Chicago ( Ok, its Lombard, IL ).
Tim Welsh, a.k.a “Tanners Dad” is an autism and vaccine safety advocate.Tim is also a Generation Rescue “Rescue Angel” (a family mentor). Connect with him on twitter – @TannersDad and on Generation Rescue.