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Town To Host Siblings Forum

Dr. Robert DiDomenico has been hoping for more than 30 years to bring siblings and families of children and adults with disabilities together to share their experiences. In August, that dream will come true here in Greenwich at the first International Sibling Conference.

"It's a chance for people to talk about their experiences and see what others like them may have to [learn] from people all over the world," said DiDomenico. "We have people coming from as far away as Japan and Australia in addition to those in the U.S."

The conference, Aug. 7-8 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, is being presented through Ari of Connecticut, the Sibling Leadership Network and the Kennedy Center. More than 150 siblings 13 and up and parents are expected for the series of workshops and lectures

There will be 15 breakout sessions and workshops on subjects such as "What is self-determination and why is it so important?" and "Families of children with special needs: Issues and restructuring of family roles."

"I'm so excited because we have so many people actively involved in the movement who will be there," said DiDomenico, who has worked in the rehabilitation field since 1970.

DiDomenico does not yet know if the conference will become an annual event. For future conferences he hopes to have celebrities like Glenn Close, Eva Longoria and "Saturday Night Live's" Kristen Wiig, who have siblings with mental or physical disabilities, share their stories. DiDomenico, himself a veteran, also hopes future conferences can include silblings and families of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are struggling.

DiDomenico says there is still time to register. Fees are $100 for individuals and $175 for families. For more information visit the International Sibling Conference Web site.

For more information, visit the International Sibling Conference Web site .

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