PRISMS is proud to sponsor international educational conferences where families and professionals can come together to learn and support each other. Our conferences are typically held every 2-3 years. These conferences are a major program for our group. Please make every effort to attend these important events.
2012 International Conference
PRISMS 7th International Conference, "Building Bridges of Hope," was held on June 28th - July 1, 2012, at the Denver Renaissance Hotel, in Denver, CO. This was our largest gathering of international families and professionals yet! Families, and professionals attended the conference from the Unites States, as well as Canada, Philippines, France, Mexico and Denmark. Many persons, from infants to adults, with SMS attended the conference, (another new record!), as well as siblings and extended family members. Their presence really made the conference feel like a family reunion. Our diverse number of speakers focused on all topics of SMS, from genetics, to diet and behavior supports. Behavior supports and strategies were presented from several points of view, underscoring the need for interested professionals who are willing to expand their knowledge and experience of SMS, as well as stay engaged with our families to find new interventions to support those families. Many of our professionals met with families one on one during the conference to offer specific help and guidance for their child. The conference was also mingled with a very successful silent auction, with all proceeds benefitting PRISMS.
The Smith-Magenis Syndrome Research Symposium preceded the conference, whereas researchers from around the globe convened to share and present the latest research on SMS. The meeting unites those on the research fronts in areas of molecular genetics, clinical genetics, special education, speech, occupational and physical therapies, and sleep disorders.
Our 6th International Conference, "Building Bridges of Hope", took place September 17-20, 2009, at the Reston Hyatt Hotel in Reston, VA. Families and professionals from all parts of the globe, (including Japan, Canada, Mexico, Iceland, The Philippines, Denmark, UK, France, Australia and the US), came together for 3 days to learn, share, advocate, support and celebrate all that is SMS. This was our largest gathering thus far, with over 335 persons in attendance. Attendees participated in lectures and workshops, including research updates on Smith-Magenis Syndrome, effective behavioral strategies, genetics 101, sibling workshop, fitness for your SMS child, speech & communication strategies, estate planning, advocacy & awareness, puberty and adult issues, independent living, and "the inner toddler." Many of our PRISMS parents presented these lectures, as their expertise is invaluable and real and their strategies "perfected." The conference was energized by the presence of our SMS children, (ranging in age from infants to adults), who were much a part of the conference activities, and were helping hands wherever they were needed. Rick Guidotti, (Positive Exposure), was ever-present, photographing our SMS children and capturing their fabulous personalities! The conference also included a very successful silent auction, (our fourth silent auction), with all proceeds benefitting PRISMS. We closed our conference on Sunday with a Parent Panel, whereby four families shared their stories and journeys while raising a child with SMS.
Preceding the conference, on Thursday, September 17th, was the 5th SMS Research Roundtable. The Research Roundtable gathered the Professional Advisory Board and other researchers and professionals from various research sites for a time of collaboration, discussion and planning, to further the research of SMS. The Research Roundtable works in tandem with the goals of the PRISMS conference, and the reinforces the partnership between "parents and researchers."
The conference was supported by:
National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, Office of Rare Diseases, Gene Dx, Quest Diagnostics-Nichols Institute and KIDS PLUS.
Our 5th International Conference, "Buliding Bridges of Hope", was held May10-13, 2007 in Reston, VA. The conference was attended by 300 family members and professionals; our largest turnout yet. The conference began with a welcome reception on Thursday, filled with dancing, singing and magic tricks! It was a wonderful kickoff to he busy days ahead in conference sessions. The conference ended with the conclusion of the Silent Auction and our Mother's Day breakfast on Sunday. Thank you to all who supported the conference with their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm.
Our 4th International Conference "Building Bridges of Hope" was held on April 29 - May 1, 2005 in Cincinnati, OH. The parent conference was preceeded by a Research Roundtable held on April 28th. The Research Roundtable was co-moderated by PRISMS PAB members, Ann Smith, MA, and Sarah Elsea, Ph.D. We want to thank the Office of Rare Diseases and the National Human Genome Research Institute (SMS Research Unit at NIH) for their generous funding support of this conference.