Yesterday was the 10th Annual Adam Jeffrey Katz Memorial Conversation at Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse in New York City. The two-part program, designed to raise awareness and educate the public about ADHD and dyslexia, was attended by over 500 people.

Part one featured Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, co-chair of the Scientific Research Council and an expert on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Dr. Hinshaw’s talk on ADHD covered everything from causes, public health policy, and the persistent stigma associated with the disorder to treatment possibilities and the effectiveness of stimulant medication.

The lecture was followed by a question and answer session with Dr. Harold Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute, and Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer. Mr. Grazer spoke about the challenges of growing up with dyslexia. He attributed his successes to being resourceful and pushing himself harder in other aspects of his life. Ultimately, his message was one of resiliency and the importance of championing the successes of children with learning disorders.

In his conversation with Dr. Koplewicz, Mr. Grazer described how his grandmother’s belief in him set up conditions for his success in everything from reading to swimming to moviemaking, sounding much like a child treated at the Child Mind Institute might. “As much as all of the forces of reality, meaning empirical evidence, were showing that I wasn’t, she was able to overpower me and make me believe that I was special,” he said. “So any time I could have a success that was a unique success, I felt like Superman.”

The lecture began in 2002 in memory of Adam Katz, who struggled with ADHD and dyslexia. The Katz family created this living memorial to raise awareness about psychiatric and learning disorders. This event is made possible by the generosity of Ellen and Howard Katz.