More than 200 parents, children, professionals and supporters joined together for the second annual Smart Walk for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities on Sunday, Sept. 22, at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. The event raised more than $30,000 for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, a Norwalk-based nonprofit that provides educational programs, youth mentoring, parent networking and resources for families.
The afternoon celebrated the strengths and talents of young people with learning disabilities and ADHD, rejected the stigma attached to these issues and empowered parents, a press release said. Leading the opening ceremonies was Robert Tudisco, a nationally known disability rights attorney with Barger & Gaines, author, and motivational speaker, and also an adult diagnosed with ADHD. Tudisco spoke about the promising future for youngsters with learning disabilities and the importance of their parents, their champions, in serving as their advocates. Student speaker Tori Ingulli of Redding, a junior at the Wooster School in Danbury, spoke about how she embraced her learning disabilities, which helped her work harder, learn more and discover new passions. “There’s nothing wrong with being different,” she said. “Embrace your difference ... own your disability!”