28 experts offer special-needs advice - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

28 experts offer special-needs advice

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

When children face the challenge of a life-long disability, parents by instinct and necessity go to war.  It's a day by day, hour by hour struggle to acquire the best possible therapy, education and guidance.

The battle is exhausting and often lonely.  It's why special-needs advocate Robin Rettie is committed to genuine relief.

"Parents are spending every last dime they have to try and make their child prepared for the future so if we are all spinning our wheels in isolation, we are not getting anywhere, so we've got to come together as one group," Rettie said.

What Rettie has brought to the table for Houston-area families is an event called Breaking Barriers, a day long convergence of 28 special-needs experts in Cypress, all offering their insight for free, all authorities on behavior, bullying, advocacy, speech, reading, nutrition and conditions like Tourette, ADHD, dyslexia, Down syndrome and autism.  All together, there's potential for a "critical mass" of special-needs know-how.

"That's what we are here for: to support the families and it has to be free," Rettie said.

Veteran special-needs advocate Louis Geigerman calls the Breaking Barriers resource faire a rare and valuable opportunity for parents struggling to get their disabled children where they need to go.

"There are people with tremendous expertise that are going to be sharing insights that they understand about the system.  You've got to have that because without information, it's almost impossible to access the system because it is a maze," Geigerman said.  "It's free so why wouldn't you go?"

Rettie urges families to check the schedule of presentations and devote at least a portion of their Saturday to learning.

"You can hear from those professionals about how you can access some of these resources.  What does the future look like?  I think it looks good, but it takes all of us."

Where: Cypress United Methodist Church @ 13403 Cypress N. Houston Rd Cypress, Texas 77429
When: Saturday, September 29 @ 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free

ONLINE:

Breaking Barriers 2012 schedule
Presenters program
Vendor flyer

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