A trio of concerned presenters will make a command performance of a four-hour workshop given last month at Dibble's Inn in Vernon.
Supervisor John Salka (R,C,I -- Brookfield), director of cardiac and respiratory services at Community Memorial Hospital of Hamilton, was one of those presenters. Salka, who also sits on the county's Public Health Committee, was joined by Camden Central School District Superintendent Lenny Giardino and Lisa and Mike Carey, parents of 13-year-old Jonathan Carey, who was killed while in the care of a state-run facility.
"The conference, 'A Time for Us,' is for parents of children with disabilities and professionals wanting to make a difference," said organizer Tammie Knight, who founded the Oneida Area Autism/Special Needs support group after having her own negative experiences trying to get compassionate, appropriate services for her child.
At the March 1 session, the Careys told a compelling story of bureaucratic stonewalling that kept them from obtaining the facts surrounding Jonathan's treatment plan, behavioral modification plan and eventually from physically seeing their son.
Like the Careys, Salka and Knight reported running into stumbling blocks getting safe, competent educational situations for their children, and when they removed or mentioned their intent to remove their children from what they felt were potentially life-threatening situations, Child Protective Services involvement to address "educational neglect" was begun or threatened.
See complete coverage on cnylink.com and in next week's Madison County editions of Eagle Newspapers.
'A Time for Us'
Who: Oneida Autism/Special Needs support group
What: "A Time for Us," a conference for parents of children with disabilities and professionals wanting to make a difference.
Where: Life of Christ Church, 5526 Rome-Taberg Road, Rome (Route 69 West past Wal-Mart)
When: April 26 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Why: To provide parents and professionals with tools they can use to advocate for those with special needs who can't advocate for themselves.
How: Organizer Tammie Knight asks those wishing to attend to make a reservation by calling 361-1090 or 533-6953. The presentation is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome.