Monthly Meetings

All meetings are held at the Settlement Home, 1607 Colony Creek Dr, Bldg. B, Austin, TX on the third Monday of each month. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by discussion groups for birth families, adopted people, and adoptive/prospective adoptive parents. If you have a topic that you would like to see presented at a future meeting, please let us know.

Upcoming Meetings


“What’s it Like to Have Biological Siblings Who Grow Up in a Separate Home?”
Monday, September 15, 2014 at 7pm

“Openness in Adoption” has dramatically changed the landscape of “familial” relationships for those persons touched by adoption.The complexities of birth-sibling relationships might bring up issues around a person’s identity vis-a-vis birth order, confusion and pain around relinquishment, jealousy of siblings’ claim to the birthfamily, and more.

Variations on the theme might include minor children in open adoption who have older birth siblings who came before or younger birth siblings who came later.  Likewise, what is it like for adult adoptees who search for and find birth siblings who grew up in a separate home?  Various triad members of AKA will present as a panel on their experience with birth siblings in adoption.

“Making Sense of Sensory Processing Issues-What You Need to Know”
Monday, October 20, 2014 at 7pm

Have you ever wondered exactly what the umbrella term of Sensory Processing Disorder encompasses and what are some typical signs and symptoms?  Join AKA at our monthly meeting as Tammy Santoro, Registered Occupational Therapist, presents on the topic of sensory processing difficulties and how these difficulties may show up in adopted individuals.

Tammy Santoro has worked as an occupational therapist for 32 years.  She has dual certifications in Neurodevelopmental Treatment and administration/interpretation of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests. She is currently studying to become certified as a Kinesio Taping Practioner.

During her career, she has worked in a wide variety of settings in Austin to include Austin State School where she worked with children who were deaf, blind, and profoundly mentally retarded, Easter Seals Central Texas where she worked with children who were dealing with various medical conditions, to include cerebral palsy and sensory processing difficulties, Chris Cole Rehabilitation Center where she worked with legally-blind young people and adults, and at St. David’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Hospital where she worked with adults recovering from head injuries, strokes, amputations, as well as, in  pain management.

Tammy has been married for 26 years and has two precious children: a 14-year old biological daughter and a 6 ½ year old adopted daughter.  They have worked alongside their mother, at times, serving as amazing “junior therapists” and wonderful models for her young patients.  She enjoys the privilege of homeschooling her daughters 2-3 days per week as they participate in a University-model school in Austin.

She is currently working at From the Heart Therapy Services where she treats children and adults with sensory processing difficulties, as well as, children with various neurological conditions, cerebral palsy, torticollis, Down’s Syndrome, Autism/Asperger’s, eating difficulties, chronic pain, mental retardation, and more.  She has had the privilege of working with many children who were adopted domestically and from other parts of the world.

No November Monthly Meeting

Please join us at our Annual Conference November 7-8, 2014 with Leslie Pate Mackinnon, L.C.S.W.

Annual December Potluck
Monday, December 15, 2014 at 6pm

Bring your family and friends to celebrate the holidays with AKA.   Everyone is invited.  This is a great chance to re-connect with old friends and meet new AKA members in a casual setting.  Please bring a salad, vegetable or dessert for four to share. AKA will provide the meat, drinks and bread.  Children should bring a book for a book exchange.  Bring a re-gift or a gift under $10 for the White Elephant Gift Exchange.


 

Past Meetings:

August 2014 – August 18, 2014 “Doing Their Best When Out of Your Nest; Helping Adopted and Foster Teens Prepare for Adult Living” with Janet Legler Luft LMSW

July 2014 – July 21, 2014 “What I Thought I Knew About Adoption as a Mental Health Professional of 40 Years And What I Have Come to Learn as an Adoptive Parent of 14 Years ” with Suzi McCoy

June 2014 – June 16, 2014 “Adoptee Rights to Their Records & Access to their Original Birth Certificates” with Shirley Dodson and Connie Gray

May 2014 – May 19, 2014 “Healthy Openness in Adoption” with Michelle Crawford, LPC

April 2014 – March  21, 2014 “Closure Ducumentary”

March 2014 – March  17, 2014 “Let’s Make a Lifebook…A Mini Workshop with Glitter, Glue and Guidance from the Adoption Guru” with Janie Cravens, LCSW

February 2014 – February  20, 2014 “Human Connections:  They Power of Play” with Suzette Lamb, LPC-S

January 2014 – January 20, 2014 “Authenticity, Identity and the Adopted Individual” with Doug Feldt

November 2013 – November 8-9, 2013 AKA Conference “Chapters in Adoption:  Telling Our Stories” with Keynote Speaker Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

October 2013 – September 21, 2013 “Birthmother Stories” with Janet Mulcahy and Sheri Williams

September 2013 – September 16, 2013 “Back to the Books”  Roundtable Book Review

August 2013 – August 19, 2013 “Race and Adoption” Panel with Families with Children from China

July 2013 – July 15, 2013 Lecture Video – Adoption & Addiction:  Remembered not Recalled by Paul Sunderland

June 2013 – June 17, 2013 “The Father’s Perspective” A Panel of Adoptive Fathers

May 2013 – May 20, 2013 Unlocking the Heart of Adoption

April 2013 – April 15, 2013 “Greatest Lessons Learned/Greatest Lessons Needed” (with extended discussion group time)

March 2013 – March 18, 2013 “Trust-Based Relational Intervention:  How To Empower, Correct, and Connect With Your Adoptive Child” by Katie Ludtke, MA, LMFT-A

February 2013 – February 18, 2013 “Martha McCutchan’s Adoption Story” by Martha McCutchan and Family

January 2013 – January 21, 2013 “Changed by Adoption:  Stories from the Adoption Triad” by Janie McMahan

November 2012 – November 2-3, 2012, AKA Annual Conference with Keynote Speaker, Sherry Eldridge

October 2012 – October 15, 2012 “Openness in Adoption Panel”  by Patricia Cody, PhD, MSW and a panel of adoptive parents representing the various paths to adoptions (private adoption, international adoption and adoption of children from foster care)

September 2012 – September 17, 2013 “Openness in Adoption” by Patricia Cody, PhD, MSW

August 2012 – August 20, 2012  “The Myth of the Five Stages of Grief & the New Science of Loss” presented by Suzi McCoy, M.S., LPC

July 2012 – July 16, 2012 “Teenage Adoption” presented by Sally Fussell, LCSW.

June 2012 – June 18, 2012 “A Birth Father’s Story” presented by the birth father (a member).

May 2012 – May 21, 2012 “The Hero’s Journey from the Primal Wound to Wholeness: The Development of the Self in Adoptees” presented by Michelle Bohls, LMFT.

April 2012 – April 16, 2012 “How to Talk about the Hard Truths of Adoption” presented by Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

March 2012 – March 19, 2012 Viewing and discussion of the movie First Person Plural.

February 2012 – February 20, 2012 “Nature vs Nurture” with Kathryn Paige Harden.

January 2012 – January 16, 2012 “20 Years With AKA – How Does AKA Serve the Core Issues of the Triad?” presented by a panel of AKA members