top of page
Making Connections South Tarrant Logo English.png

Saturday, February 4, 2023
9:45 A.M. - 1 P.M.
Bill R. Johnson Career & Technology Center
4500 Longhorn Trail, Fort Worth, TX 76036

Schedule of Events

9 A.M.

  • On-site Registration and check-in begins.  Check-in, drop the kids at the SibShop and Kids Corner, then make your way to the breakfast and keynote presentation.

9:10 -11:45 A.M.


  • SibShops is a fun program just for brothers and sisters (ages 5-8) of kids with IDD. These workshops for "typical" siblings combine fun activities with discussing the good (and not so good) parts of having a sibling with special care needs. 

9:15 - 10:15 A.M.

Keynote Panel Presentation: "Accessing Community Resources"
  • Join us for a complimentary breakfast and keynote panel presentation to learn of valuable resources available to families. Panel will include representatives from Social Security, My Health My Resources, Texas Workforce, and more. 

10:15 A.M.

Exhibitor Hall Opens
  • Visit with a variety of Exhibitors providing services and resources for people with disabilities and their families.

11 - 11:45 A.M.

Breakout Session 1 
Breakout descriptions

FitAbility Workout 
  • Choose to attend a breakout session on:

    • Essential Caregiving: Mindfulness and Self-Care

    • College Programs for Students with Disabilities

  • FitAbilityTX provides a wide array of activities geared to help individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities gain strength and independence in the gym. They will be leading a fun demonstration workout for the entire family!

12:15 - 1 P.M.

Breakout Session 2
  • Choose to attend a breakout session on:

    • Basics of Behavior Management

    • Sexual Health Education and Puberty

1 P.M.

Exhibitor Hall Closes
SibShops Ends
  • Please thank Exhibitors for the wonderful information they've provided.

  • Siblings will have had so much fun, they'll want to come again!

  • Future SibShops will be scheduled throughout 2022.

Making Connections Feb2023 English STD.jpg

​Download Flyers
in English
y en Español

Making Connections Feb2023 Spanish STD.jpg
Breakout Sessions (subject to change):


Basics of Behavior Management

Julie Compton is a highly experienced educator and practitioner with proven expertise working directly with challenging behaviors.
She will offer strategies for addressing behaviors at home.

Essential Caregiving: Mindfulness and Self-Care

Learn about self-compassion, mindfulness and calming strategies for caregivers. By Sandra Cobb, MHMR Trauma Therapist

Sexual Health Education and Puberty

Going through puberty can be just as challenging for parents and caregivers as it is for their children. This session will offer information to help parents and youth develop supportive bonds during the physical and emotional changes brought on by puberty. By Dr. Michael J Parker, PhD, Senior Clinical Director, James Turnage and Laura Golden, My Health My Resources of Tarrant County


College Programs for Students with Disabilities

A panel discussion with college representatives and a parent.  Get your questions about college programs for students with disabilities answered!

Breakout Descriptions

Our Presenters


Dr. Michael J Parker, PhD

My Health My Resources of Tarrant County

Dr. Michael Parker is Senior Clinical Director of MHMR Tarrant Disability Services and Director of IDD Eligibility.  He chairs the DS Clinical Team and belongs to a variety of agency committees. Dr. Parker is a graduate of Northwestern University, holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Fisk University and obtained his doctorate in School Psychology at Texas Woman’s University. He has 40 years of experience in private practice, community-based settings, such as Child Study Center, and the school districts Dallas ISD and Fort Worth ISD. His preferred populations included individuals with emotional, intellectual and behavioral issues. Professionally he enjoys consultation, supervision, program development, and public speaking. Dr. Parker is a former adjunct with the University of North Texas. He has been interviewed by CNN, NBC and CBS news as well as quoted extensively in Time Magazine.  He contributed to writing the Texas HHS Commission’s Determination of Intellectual Disability: Best Practice Guidelines. Dr. Parker is a licensed Psychologist, a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, and a certified mediator.

Laura Golden White Bio Picture.jpg

Dr. Laura Golden, OTR, OTD

My Health My Resources of Tarrant County

Dr. Laura Golden, OTR, OTD, is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist in the state of Texas.  She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Areas of expertise include intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, feeding impairment, and movement disorders. She has provided clinical therapeutic intervention to individuals from birth to adulthood with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

James Turnage.jpg

James Turnage, M.A., LPC-S

James Turnage, M.A, LPC-S, is Director of Supports with Disability Services and Behavioral Health Services. He is also clinical supervisor for the supported employment program which serves disability and behavioral health programs. He directs a trauma-based services team for individuals who are victims of crime within the Disability Services division of My Health My Resources of Tarrant County. He also provides professional staff developmental trainings in MHMRTC and in the community related to understanding mental health issues in individuals with IDD.


Additional Bios coming soon


bottom of page