Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities Highlights Community of Parents at an Evening “Celebrating Kids’ Strengths”

SKLD staff member Betty Granata, Executive Director Jane Ross, and gala MC Robert Tudisco

As a child with an undiagnosed learning disability, a lot more was going on behind my eyes than I was getting credit for

On Friday, April 21, Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities (SKLD) hosted its 17th anniversary benefit gala at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, CT. The evening celebrated the winners of the annual Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Awards, as well as honoring Dr. Christopher Bogart, founder and executive director of the Southfield Center for Development, with the organization’s Community Service Award.

Attorney and ADHD-activist Robert Tudisco, a partner at Barger & Gaines, served as master of ceremonies. He described SKLD Executive Director Jane Ross as his “hero” for founding an organization focused on the “enormous intelligence and talents” of children with learning disabilities (LD). “As a child with an undiagnosed learning disability,” Tudisco said, “there was a lot more going on behind my eyes than I was getting credit for.”

As part of the evening’s awards ceremony, SKLD board member Danielle DeGrazia recounted her experience as a parent of a child with learning disabilities. When her son Justin was 13, DeGrazia was told by his school that he was “not college material” and would not be put in college-track courses in high school. DeGrazia and her husband were “devastated.” Then she attended the first program sponsored by SKLD, a talk by noted pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Fred J. Epstein. DeGrazia called it “divine intervention” and credited SKLD with giving her the “tools, courage and community of parents to empower” her to fight for her son. She said Justin graduated…

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