Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities provides information, support and inspiration to parents of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, while also educating the public about the remarkable gifts and talents of these kids.

Our comprehensive, award-winning website and blog, free e-newsletter and regional educational programs empower parents to become effective advocates for their children. Smart Kids also emphasizes the importance of nurturing a childs interests and strengths, and works to dispel the stigma and misconceptions about learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

Upcoming Events

JANUARY 12, 2017
The ABCs of Effective IEPs
By Jill K. Chuckas, M.S.W.

Expert guidance on creating and implementing an effective IEP (Individual Educational Program) for children with LD and ADHD, including how evaluations and tests are reported; and how to develop targeted, specific, and measurable goals and objectives. Jill Chuckas is the Director of CT Education Advocacy, and has served in a variety of positions in the special education process for over 22 years.

Time: Registration at 6:30 pm, program from 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Ridgefield Library, 472 Main St, Ridgefield, CT
Sponsored by: Northern Fairfield County Chapter of Smart Kids with LD
To register: https://effectiveieps.eventbrite.com


FEBRUARY 8, 2017
Assistive Technology: Tools to Level the Playing Field for Students with LD
By Shelley Lacey-Castelot, ATACP, MS

Shelley Lacey-Castelot, an expert in the use of assistive technology (AT) for students with learning disabilities will discuss the options available to parents and students. She is the Director of Literacy Solutions, providing evaluations and instructional design for reading, writing and math AT use at home and at school, and an authority on the use of speech-recognition software. A former teacher, she is also a certified reading and language arts consultant as well as holding her ATACP certificate in assistive technology.

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Westport Public Library, 20 Jesup Road, Westport, CT
Sponsored by: Smart Kids with LD  and the Westport Library
To register: https://at_for_ld.eventbrite.com


MARCH 2, 2017
Auditory Processing: Mysteries and Misconceptions
By Dr. Lydia Soifer

Auditory processing, what does that really mean? Parents and teachers alike will be better informed and more able to understand, help, and teach children with auditory processing challenges after hearing Lydia Soifer, Ph.D. speak. Come learn the key concepts, the controversies, and approaches that make auditory processing a topic of ongoing interest for anyone working with children who are working hard to learn. Dr. Soifer is a language pathologist with over 40 years of experience in clinical and private practice, and university teaching. She was Director of The Soifer Center for Learning and Child Development, the first multidisciplinary private diagnostic and remedial setting in Westchester County for 25 years. She continues to provide educational consultation and advocacy services to families on behalf of their children, in coordination with other professionals and schools, and is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences. She is Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and a faculty member in the Early Intervention Training Institute (EITI) at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Temple Sholom, 300 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT
Sponsored by: Smart Kids with LD, SpedNet Wilton, and Temple Sholom of Greenwich, CT
To register: Info to come


MARCH 14, 2017
Literacy Evaluations and the Dyslexic Student
By Sheryl Knapp, M.Ed., A/AOGPE

Sheryl Knapp, founder of the Literacy Learning & Assessment Center of Connecticut in Norwalk and Ridgefield, will discuss the essential components of literacy — including phonemic awareness, word identification, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension — and the importance of each. She will speak about how each can be effectively assessed, with a particular focus on students with dyslexia. Sheryl Knapp provides training and consultative services to local families and school districts, as well as direct literacy remediation for students with a wide array of disabilities. She earned her Associate level Certification with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners & Educators in 2010 and is currently working toward the next level of certification with the Academy. A frequent presenter on topics relating to literacy interventions and assessments, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Dyslexia Society of CT and is a contributing writer and editor for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities.

Time: 6:00 pm Sandwiches & refreshments / 6:30 – 8:30 pm Presentation
Place: SoNo Branch Norwalk Public Library, 10 Washington Street, Norwalk, Community Room
Sponsored by: SPED*NET Wilton, and Smart Kids with LD
To register: Info to come


MARCH 15, 2017
Foundations of Reading: Pre-Literacy Skills for Beginning Readers
By Dr. Margie Gillis

Reading is the most important skill children learn in school.  Parents of preschool and early elementary-school children play an important role in helping children with the basic skills needed to enter kindergarten ready to read. Dr. Margie Gillis, President of Literacy How and a leading expert on reading, will discuss such basics as reading and talking with your child, alphabet and beginning writing activities, as well as red flags suggesting your child may need extra help. In addition to training teachers in research-based reading instruction through Literacy How, which she founded in 2009, Margie Gillis, Ed.D. has partnered with many CT organizations to close the state’s reading achievement gap, and collaborates with Stepping Stones Museum for Children on the development, delivery, and duplication of the Early Language and Literacy Initiative (ELLI), an evidence-based PreK lab school model.  She is a founding board member of Literate Nation, a grassroots organization working to support states in passing literacy legislation, and of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities.

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Westport Library, 20 Jesup Road., Westport
Sponsored by: Smart Kids with LD & the Westport Library


APRIL 4, 2017
High Risk to High Potential: Post-Secondary Transition Challenges for Students with ADHD and LD
By Robert M. Tudisco, Attorney from the law firm of Barger & Gaines

Students with ADHD and LD face social and legal challenges that put them at high risk of failure during the transition from high school to college, despite their intelligence and extraordinary potential. Attorney Tudisco will discuss how to dramatically reduce the chance of failure, including practical strategies such as making the most of transition planning; converting 504 plans to reasonable accommodation requests; high-stakes testing accommodations; and providing structure, support and accountability for students away at school.  Attorney Tudisco, a former national Board member of CHADD and the ADDA and a frequent media resource on issues relating to ADHD, will also inform parents and students about what they need to know concerning the diversion of medication.

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Westport Library, 20 Jesup Road., Westport
Sponsored by: Smart Kids with LD & the Westport Library