Getting to Know You

My name is Starr Stixrud and for the past 23 years I have been the administrative director for The Stixrud Group (TSG).  We are a group of psychologists and neuro psychologists who evaluate children, adolescents, and adults with a wide range of learning differences and or social difficulties. In addition, I recently partnered with Martha Ein, M.Ed, to form the Stixrud Educational Consulting (SEC), where we work with families to find the optimal educational and social avenues for their children.  (For more about SEC and our backgrounds, please feel free to check us out here.)

My dual role at TSG is unique in that I spend equal amounts of time running and managing a business as I do working closely with psychologists, parents, schools and referral sources. If I had to identify my favorite role, however, it is listening to parent tells me about their child and their family; in our office we call this the clinical care manager (CCM).  I have heard many, many stories about kids and their families. Each story is unique and yet there are some common themes that are nonetheless present. Without a doubt the primary underlying theme is that the parent expresses a deep love for their child and at the same time a fear that things are not going as expected.  We live in complicated times and yet I would say that this is an ongoing universal themes about children, families and development that transcend time.  My hope is that in sharing my perspective and experience I will answer some of your questions and relieve some of your fears.  In the coming weeks I will talk about many of my experiences as a teacher and as a clinical care manager from which I believe we can gleam some timeless and universal truths about children and families.

As parents and educators the greatest and most important gift we can offer our children is to be a non-anxious presence in their lives. I know as a teacher and as a parent, when I feel calm and at ease, my students and my children are more likely to feel the same. If this feeling does not transfer to them, at least my response and actions are not magnifying the situation.  I will come back to this theme over and over.  Today I bring it up as something to think about when asking:  what is this best school for my child?  The answer: when the teachers are smiling, waving and happy to see my child get off the bus or out of the car.  It is only with this joy and ease can a teacher be a non anxious presence in their student’s lives.

More on this next week.