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OPWSA 2014 Fall Family Conference

Registration is now open for the

2014 OPWSA Family Conference!


Date: Saturday, October 18

Location: Yorkdale Holiday Inn, Toronto

Time: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Please join us for a great day of information sharing, resources and networking, including wonderful programming for PWS participants of all ages.

Register today to receive early bird conference fees available until September 30, 2014.

For more information and to register please visit:

Please register on or before Tuesday, October 14, 2014. Registration will be closed after this date.

This year includes the popular Swim-a-thon program for PWS participants - have some fun, get some exercise and raise funds for OPWSA!

Subsidies are available. Please contact Debra Baptiste at

We look forward to seeing you in October. This year's conference promises to be another memorable and informative gathering for our community!

Conference Agenda:

8:30 - 9:00 (30 min) Registration

9:00 - 9:30 (30 min) Welcome and announcements from the Board

9:30 - 10:45 (1 hr 15 min) Planning for the Future

Brendon Pooran (Pooran Law) and Patricia Parker

This session will cover wills, trusts, guardianship, microboards and circles of support as well as have lots of time for questions from the audience.

10:45 - 11:00 (15 min) Coffee

11:00 - 12:00 (1hr) Connectability

Don Murray (Community Living Toronto)

This session will highlight how we can help you to:

Create your own regional community hub of news and information within the community:

• Record and publish your event/presentations;

• Help you connect with the community through online discussions;

• Amplify your message and make it accessible to a large audience.

12:00 - 1:30 (1 hr 30 min) Lunch and AGM

Concurrent sessions:

1:30 - 2:15 (45 min) What does a Successful Prader Willi Group Home Look Like?

Sarah Woodhead Program Supervisor and staff from Vita’s PW Group Home will share their views on what makes a successful PW Group Home. AND Patrice Carroll Manager of PWS services at Latham Centers in Massachusetts will share with us their supportive living model.

2:15 - 3:00 (45 min) Discussion on residential options in Ontario Facilitated by Jessie with the help of some interested and experienced parents.

1:30 - 2:15 (45 min) Demystifying Psychological Assessment and Helping Your Anxious Child

Melody Ashworth, Toronto District School Board and Surrey Place

While psychological testing can seem like a scary prospect, it has a myriad of benefits, especially for children and youth to make sure the nature of their difficulties are better understood, that they are receiving an accurate diagnosis, and proper treatment and educational programming. The first half of the talk will educate parents about identifying the need for an assessment, the different kinds available, and how to access psychological testing in the community. The second half will focus on anxiety, the most commonly diagnosed mental health condition in children and youth. This part will describe what anxiety looks like across childhood development as well as provide a tool-box of strategies of how parents can respond with empathy, modelling, and coaching to help their child take charge of their anxiety.

2:15 - 3:00 (45 min) Discussion on school advocacy, educational assistance and early childhood issues

Facilitated by Phyllis Thompson with the help of some interested and experienced parents.

Coffee 3:00 - 3:15

3:15 - 4:00 (45 min) Partners for Planning

Susan Beayni

Session Description to come.

4:00 - 4:40 (40 min) Prader Willi and Aging

Dr. Glenn Berall

Session Description to come.

4:40 - 5:00 (20 min) Wrap up and thank you from Committee

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