On Friday morning my dad and I hit the ground running in Florida. I was so excited to be there! I had breakfast that first morning with my Ruby’s Rainbowfamily (check out their cool website!). After that I headed to the big conference hall by myself, independent and feeling good. I spent the morning hanging out at the Reason to Smile booth and the Ruby’s Rainbow booth. I was able to meet and talk with lots of other people at the conference; older girls, younger girls, mothers, fathers, sisters, and old friends from many different states. It was great to see some of my old friends and make lots of new friends too!

The second day dad and I spent time learning new skills and ideas. The classes were fun and interesting. I learned about long distance relationships and how to deal with the challenges of being far from your sweetheart. I also learned about getting ready for college and how to get your boxes to your dorm. I went to a workshop on speaking up with a big voice, self-advocating for younger kids, and helping parents with teaching  independent skills. Later that night at the dance, I asked all 15 girls to dance with me! And they all said yes! Some of the girls with DS asked me to dance with them, we all had a great time that night.

While we were at the conference I also:

  • Learned how Zumba dancing is just a different kind of fun dance, I tried it out…
  • Played self-advocate trivia
  • Showed off my awesome hip hop dance skills in the talent show
  • Spent time with my dad swimming at the hotel
  • Met the cast of the “Born This Way” TV show on A&E
  • Went to restaurants in Orlando
  • Had a blast!

Coming home my dad and I  felt great, extra happy that we had so much success together and learned so much. I can’t wait for next year!