The conference drew 350 attendees, comprised of parents, researchers, healthcare professionals and teachers. Participants learned about evidence-based practices and approaches related to a range of topics, including executive-functioning skills, improving quality of life, mindfulness, parenting during transition, sexuality instruction, social skills, substance abuse, as well as college and employment.
The conference was especially meaningful to parents, who found practical solutions for preparing their children for life after high school. “The Advance LA Conferenceprovided the best, most encouraging information I have heard so far,” said a father who attended the conference. “I was so impressed with all of the speakers, and it was great to meet and see so many parents that are in the same situation.”
One key theme of the conference was the importance of transforming young lives by focusing on strengths and abilities. During the luncheon, parents David Wyles and Judith Feldman spoke candidly about how their son, Rio Wyles, had encouraged them to “dream big,” on his behalf, something they had almost forgotten to do after his Autism diagnosis. The audience was treated to a performance by Rio, a rapper and composer whose star is rising in the music industry.
Brought together by the common goal of transitioning children to greater levels of independence, attendees left with a stronger understanding of how to make a rewarding life a reality.