Most commonly asked questions about PRISMS 10th International SMS Conference

Each conference, attendees from all over the world gather to listen and participate in presentations from our expert speakers, discuss concerns and issues, and meet other families. Attendees learn from educators, researchers and medical professionals, and each other. They strive to better understand their children and what they can do to help them. They gain knowledge, perspective and hope. And of course, they also have a lot of fun meeting new friends and catching up with old ones.

Everyone is invited to attend the conference. This includes parents, their children, extended relatives, friends and professionals. Many siblings also look forward to attending conferences, especially this year when we will have sessions for siblings only, and a session on Genetics for middle and high school aged siblings.

Update –  PRISMS 10th International SMS Conference has an unprecedented 350 registrants! Due to the high number of registrations, registration is now closed. We are unable to accept or accommodate onsite registrations this year. Please email with questions.

Registration Fees                               Up to 6/25/18                           
Adult (16 & up)                                           $260
Child (15 & under)                                      $100
SMS Individual                                            $75
Professional                                                $315
Professional in training                               $270

PRISMS generously subsidizes the conference, along with the help of our conference sponsors. Each family is responsible for the cost of their hotel room at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center hotel. It is not a part of registration. The registration fee includes four meals and a reception: reception Thursday evening, continental breakfast each day, coffee breaks and snacks, and lunch on Friday and Saturday. We will also host an Ice Cream Social on Saturday. The fee also covers the cost of the facility for our sessions, subsidized childcare and related supplies, printed materials, and speaker costs. The registration fees for the conference are kept at the lowest possible cost and it is our desire to make it financially possible for as many families to attend the conference as possible. Parent volunteers help staff the conference committee. The committee has generously donated their time to plan and organize the conference.

Yes. PRISMS has a limited amount of financial assistance to help defer conference costs. Consideration is given to first-time attendees. We do encourage families to also seek funding through local resources such as: Developmental Disabilities Councils, The Shriners, (, Knights of Columbus, (, Lions Club International, (, and Salvation Army, (

Families may also seek funding through their child’s IEP process. Click for more information on how to obtain funding for the conference.

Financial aid applications will be available when registration opens, (spring 2018). Please check back then. Financial aid will only cover registration and hotel fees and not travel. For information please email: 

Financial aid applications are due by June 1, 2018.

• Sessions begin: Thursday, July 19, 2018
o Childcare & the PRISMS Den open at 1:00pm, Thurs.
o First Steps session begins at 1:15pm – 2:45pm, Thurs.
o Workshops begin at 1:30pm – 4:30pm, Thurs.
o Reception from 5:00pm – 6:30pm, Thurs.
o PRISMS Night at City Center – 8:00pm-11:00pm

• Full day sessions will be held on Friday and Saturday, July 20-21, 2018.
• Sessions end on Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 6:15pm.

The Hospitality suite will be open on Saturday until 10:00pm. So, please plan to stay late and celebrate!

*** Please note times may vary slightly. ***

Yes. Childcare is available for children from 4-18 years old and will be provided by Corporate Kids. The childcare is for children with SMS and their siblings. Space is limited, so please reserve your child’s spot early. A 1:2 ratio is provided in the childcare for added support and security. Check back in later April for opening of Childcare Registration.

Childcare (ages 4-18)
Thursday, July 19 1:00pm-5:00pm $45.00
Friday, July 20 7:45am-5:15pm $90.00
Friday, July 20 7:00pm-9:00pm $20.00
Saturday, July 21 7:45am-5:15pm $90.00

Yes. We will be offering The PRISMS Den, for young adults and adults with SMS, (ages 16 and up), on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Specific activities, geared towards the older individual, will be offered. Corporate Kids will staff this session. Check back in the spring 2016 for The PRISMS Den Registration.

PRISMS Den (ages 16 and older)
Thursday, July 19 1:00pm-5:00pm $40.00
Friday, July 20 1:00pm-5:00pm $40.00
Saturday, July 21 1:00pm-5:00pm $40.00

There are children of all ages – from 4 to 18 in the childcare rooms. There are both typically developing children and children with Smith-Magenis Syndrome. There will be several rooms used for childcare, including a “quiet room.” Siblings are very welcome in the childcare and are often very helpful with their SMS sibs! Infants and very young babies are usually with their parents in the sessions, or the parents take turns attending sessions and taking care of the baby, (ages 4-18 in the childcare). Many times, families bring a relative or respite/caregiver person to help care for the child. Please note that we cannot and do not provide one-on-one childcare. If a child needs to be closely monitored, he/she will come into the sessions with the parents or stay with their relative or caregiver. Of course, they are always welcome in the childcare room with their caregiver.

The conference schedule will be continually updated on the registration website, so please continue to check. We will offer two workshops this year, besides the First Steps Session, all which will be held on Thursday, July 19, 2018.

Adult Living Workshop, (open to all)
Teacher & Support Staff Training Workshop, (open to all)
The First Steps Session, (for first or second-time attendees only)

Other conference presentations will include sessions on:

Behavior supports

Preparing for Adult Living

Teacher & Staff Training Workshop

Managing food-seeking behaviors

Sibling workshops, (for sibs only!)

Genetics 101

Guardianship & Special Needs Trusts

Sleep & SMS

Managing caregiver stress

Advocacy in school

International research updates

Education supports

Medical management of SMS

Adolescent Adventure

Alternative Approaches & considerations

Positive Exposure, (Rick Guidotti)

And much more!

Many of our speakers are professionals in their field and very willing to chat with you about your child and discuss general aspects of current research. But, please remember that this is not a clinical setting and they cannot dispense individual medical care. We will have Q&A with many of our speakers and we hope they can address many questions in a broad setting.

We will also be offering “Curbside Consults,” which is a time when families can meet one on one with a variety of presenters to ask specific questions.

We strongly encourage all attendees to stay at Pittsburgh Marriott City Center to ensure the experience of camaraderie and fellowship with other attendees. Being together at the same hotel is so important and lends itself to the very purpose of our conference. Families spend these few days together and connect in a way that is life-long and supportive. Most people secure their hotel room first. We encourage you to do this early, as the hotel may be completely booked if you wait until the last minute. Remember, the early-bird rate deadline for the hotel, conference and childcare is June 25, 2018. We encourage you to make your accommodations as soon as possible. If you are planning to travel by airplane, airline costs are going up, so book early!

No. PRISMS cannot prorate registration fees for days not attended. The registration fee remains the same whether you attend the conference for one, two, or three days.

Under most circumstances, there will be no refund. If the conditions are extremely serious, feel free to contact the office to discuss the issue.

If your infant/toddler will NOT be going to daycare and/or will NOT be eating food provided at the conference, it is not necessary to register or pay for them to attend. However, if they go just once to daycare or eat a meal, then you are expected to pay for them to attend. You are welcome to bring your infant with you to the sessions; however, please respect others in the group by taking your infant out if he or she is causing a distraction.

Does he/she plan to join us for meals? Yes, they pay.

Does he/she want to sit in on a session? Yes, they pay.

Will he/she join us for the reception on Thursday evening? Yes, they pay.

All professionals are expected to pay the full registration fee of $315. Please consider that we will be having a Teacher Training workshop on Thursday, July 19, 2018. We are offering a number of grants for teachers/support staff to attend the conference so they may benefit from the training workshop. For more information visit our Teacher/Support Staff Grant Application.

Yes. PRISMS will provide a hospitality suite/meeting room for the conference attendees on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7:00pm – 10:00pm. Snacks are welcome in the Hospitality Suite!

Pittsburgh Marriott City Center is 25-35 minutes from Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). There is not a free shuttle from the airport but SuperShuttle has offered us a discounted rate.

The current SuperShuttle Shared-Ride Rate is $24.00/passenger for one way to Marriott City Center from Airport (not including gratuity at the customer’s option). Round trip is $43.00 per person.

ExecuCar Sedan is $63.00 per sedan for one way (not including gratuity at customer’s option). Round trip would be $119.00 per sedan.

How to make reservations:

A special rate has been negotiated on your behalf. You can book your service two ways:

  1. Go to: or use the SuperShuttle App and enter the discount code (QCVAW)
  2. Click on this website link into your browser and choose ‘Airport Ride’

Discount valid via web or app only.  Gratuity not included.

Note: A $3.00 booking fee will apply to phone reservations that are booked by a reservation agent

If you are planning to drive to the hotel, PRISMS has a discounted rate of $18/day with in and out privileges.

Onsite Restaurants:

Steelhead Brasserie and Wine Bar

Crafted North


Pittsburgh Attractions:

Within 15 minutes of the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center:

Within 30 minutes of the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center:

Within 45 minutes of the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center:

Within 90 minutes of the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center:

We welcome your generosity, as PRISMS subsidizes nearly 70% of each individual registration for the conference. It is our goal to make the conference as affordable as possible for the SMS community. Your generous gift helps make that possible.

Visit our Donate page or sign-up as a member of our 17p11.2 Society to contribute today

Please visit the PRISMS website for more information. Or you may email the conference committee:

For speakers who have any questions about their session, presentation or other questions, please email us at:

If you need help with registration, please contact: