The main reason for our Disney trip was to attend the annual Families of SMA conference that was being held at the Disneyland Hotel. We had never been to a conference and we thought since this year it was close enough to drive that we would sign up. It was fun to see families that we only correspond with through social media networks. The first night was the family meet and greet. We hauled Riley's power chair all the way out there so he could cruise around with all the other kids. It was so funny to see these little kids cruising and weaving in and out of everything. It was good for Riley to see other kids just like him.
Riding in ready to meet all his new friends
At the meet and greet they had lots of fun games for all the kids to play and this incredible buffet of food. Disney sure knows how to do it best! Every year they have a relay race where the SMA kids race the doctors and researchers. Riley got to race Dr. Swoboda and Riley smoked her!
Getting ready to race!
At the conference we were able to meet some fun new friends and people that we only correspond with via internet. Here are some of the friends we met
Maggie and Riley
Riley and Gwendolyn
Veronica and Riley
Riley's best friend of all came to the conference as well. None other than MICKEY MOUSE! The poor kid was so tired because we had done Diseny all day long before we went to the meet and greet so he was not giving us very good smiles.
The second night of the conference we were all escorted into the park to watch the fireworks. I wish they would have been able to sit us a little closer because there were so many people standing in front of all of us that I don't think the kids could see very well.
The highlight of the whole conference though was when we went to the Tobii Eye Gaze vendor booth. For the past few months Riley has been doing practice eye gaze with picture boards to train up for the vendor to come over and fit him for his very own. The child has to demonstrate a certain level of understanding and ability with the system in order for insurance to pay for it that's why we've been practicing. We went over to the booth and they put the computer in front of Riley and he instantly took to it. The reps were very impressed and they have no doubt that he will do very well with it. Now he was most interested in playing the games on there but hey he's 5. The plan is to get the rep out to our house in August. It will take a lot of practice but once he gets the hang of it, it will open up a whole new world for him.