EASTCHESTER, N.Y. When Robert Tudisco was a 11 his father woke him up one night after a teachers conference.
I had done very well on a math test and my dad said my good grade gave him positive proof that I was a lazy student, not a dumb student, Tudisco said. So basically I got in trouble for getting a good grade after getting so many bad grades.
What Tudisco and his family did not realize was that his performance in school, sometimes good, sometimes not so good, was linked to a neurological condition now known as ADD or ADHD - attention deficit disorder or attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder.
In those days there were no ADD kids, just BAD kids, Tudisco said. Now we know better.
Tudisco, who is now deputy town attorney for the Town of Eastchester, spends much of his time advocating, representing and raising awareness and money for kids who are suffering the way he did.
One of the things that makes me the saddest is the kids who dont get a proper diagnosis, Tudisco said.
Four years ago Tudisco put his passion for running, together with his passion for bringing awareness to ADD. Since then, Tudisco has earned and donated thousands of dollars to The Edge Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers advice, support, coaching and therapy options for kids and adults with ADD or ADHD. Tudiscos donations are given to the scholarship program, allowing families who do not have the financial means to get the help they need for their kids.
People with ADD or parents who think their kids have ADD need to take a multi-modal approach, which can include coaching, medication and working with a therapist, Tudisco said. Of course I am a big advocate of exercise as well.
Tudisco said it is important for parents and teachers to know that ADD and ADHD are chronic conditions and getting kids help when they are young will give them the coping skills they will use for their whole lives.
Many adults dont understand why they have failed relationships and lose jobs, but those are classic symptoms of ADD," he said.
Tudisco said some parents and people with the disease are often worried about the stigma or think the disease is an excuse for bad behavior.
Often when people are looking at this disorder as a reason their children are having problems, they realize they have the same problems, Tudisco said. ADD is hereditary and accepting it as a condition your child has can mean accepting it as a condition you have as well."
For more information or help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Help4ADD. org or CHadd.org.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.