Let’s talk “The Arts” – specifically movies.  Rachael & Laura Doukas, sisters, are the founders and producers of Doukas Pictures.  They began their entertainment industry careers acting but soon graduated to writing and producing short films.  The Ryan Express, their feature debut screenplay, advanced to the second round of Austin Film Festival’s Script Competition, a distinction only achieved by less than 20% of nearly 14,000 submissions.   The Ryan Express is based on their short, “Rocket Man,” which was nominated for Best Short Film, Best Screenplay and won Best Ensemble.

The Ryan Express tells the story of an autistic 6th grader named Robby who builds a time machine out of cardboard and scraps to go back and fix his biggest mistake – the day he was kicked off the baseball team.  This film illustrates the true magic that autistic children bring to this world. 

The Doukas sisters have also partnered with the Best Buddies organization on The Ryan Express, and have made a commitment to the disabled community to hire 10% of their cast and crew to be those with developmental disabilities.  If you are interested in participating in the film, please reach out to them Get Involved

To hear Rachael, Laura and Annette discuss “The Ryan Express”, inclusion, community support and understanding and how “Art” can be used to bring a message forward and to change the way the world views those with developmental disabilities, listen to the full podcast episode here.

Listen to the full episode here!



Annette Hines has been practicing in the areas of Special Needs, Elder Law, and Estate Planning for more than 20 years. Ms. Hines brings personal experience with special needs to her practice and podcasts as the mother of two daughters, one of whom passed away from Mitochondrial disease in November 2013. This deep, personal understanding of special needs fuels her passion for quality special needs planning and drives her dedication to help others within the special needs community.