Social Distancing- Is There a Silver Lining?

Written by Heidi Borst

Most of us are reeling in the midst of a pandemic we were grossly unprepared for. In the last couple of weeks, our whole world has changed. Daycares, schools, and businesses have closed. The always-bustling cities and towns we live in have come to a screeching halt as we follow our leaders’ instructions to stay home. We are desperate to ‘flatten the curve’ and keep our loved ones, and ourselves, healthy. With an economy in crisis, the fortunate amongst us are able to continue working remotely. Our days are drastically different than they were a mere two weeks ago; we’re grappling with how to maintain some semblance of normalcy to our days, if not for ourselves, for our kids.

First, the gyms and restaurants were shut down, a week later came the playgrounds and parks; athletic courts were padlocked and signs reading “Closed Until Further Notice” were demonstrably hung. Playdates, once the foundation of our children’s social lives, have become taboo. As parents, we’ve been left with no choice but to become our children’s teachers as well as playmates, whether or not the demands of our jobs allow it. It all feels like TOO MUCH.

And yet, with all of the restrictions placed upon us, we have so much to be grateful for. How can we shift our focus to the positive when our entire world has been turned upside down? It’s time to call upon our inner strength and will ourselves not to give in, but instead to get through this. It’s time to buckle down and push forward.

Stop and breathe. Instead of becoming paralyzed by what you can’t do, change your perspective. Focus on what you can do, and on what you have. If you’re holed up with your family, find ways to truly connect with each other. Play games, dance, sing songs, hug one another, talk about how you’re feeling. If you’re alone and the isolation is wearing on you, reach out to a loved one for support. There are so many members of our community who are lending their support to those in need, so just ask. If you’re able, offer your services to someone who may need them, of course always being mindful of your safety and theirs.

Reflect on the small things for which you feel gratitude. Maybe it’s a hot shower, or cupboards stocked with food. Maybe it’s the fact that your family unit is together, healthy and safe. Do everything you can during this crazy time to cultivate moments that nurture your soul- read a book, watch a movie (or binge a whole series), bake some cookies, go for a walk outside, cuddle with your fur baby, play with your kids, Facetime a friend.

More than anything now is the time to ease up on the stress of the expectations we make of ourselves. Instead, make room for self-acceptance and self-love. With so many uncertainties about the upcoming days, weeks, (months?), we have to let go. If we can re-direct the stress we’re feeling, instead of concentrating on a mindset of gratitude, our positivity and resilience will see us through. We’ve got this.

How to Care for Your Mental Health While Caring For Your Child’s Needs

When we became parents, our children became the center of our universe. Our own self-care became secondary. This is especially true when we have a child with disabilities. Our child’s needs become primary, but one thing I know is that by not taking care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of your child.

How many times have you thought, “I should read/sing/talk to my child because it’s good for them,” even when you really don’t want to?

You may be experiencing some burnout. That is, you feel like you are tired — tired of thinking about what’s next, what if, what will I do when… and you’re managing all of these thoughts while trying to hold on to the guise of being a woman or a man, a wife or a husband, a daughter or a son, a brother or a sister and a friend. If your head is spinning, I understand. I hear you and I feel you.

I know when I get to the point where my head is going to explode with the constant running lists, when I’m checking those lists on my phone and I’m adding more “things,” I know I am good to nobody. Not my kids, not my husband, not my patients; no one, nowhere.

I know it’s really hard, and I combat the feelings of guilt of wanting to run away and hide in a corner for a few hours right along with you. I crave silence in my head, even when the room is quiet. I crave not having my name called for the 523.67th time in the past hour. I want to owe nothing to no one.

That’s burnout.

That’s just plain old burnout in its truest form.

When I get here, I know something has to give. I know I have to change my mindset and my routine in order to survive.

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by Dr. Liz Matheis, The Mighty

Making New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

Before diving head-first into burnout, let’s consider this: the higher our reach, the more likely our failure. In fact, most of us will abandon our resolutions before we’ve undressed the Christmas tree. But don’t despair—it’s possible to set achievable goals.

Read on for ideas to turn fling-like resolutions into long-term commitments.

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by Heidi Borst

Relieve Stress with These 8 Tips for Creating a Mindful Space in the Home

Mindfulness helps improve concentration, reduces ruminative thinking that contributes to high levels of stress, helps us understand our emotions in healthy ways, and even bolsters our immune systems. By creating a mindful space in the home, we can keep stress and anxiety levels down and live an overall healthier life. Here are eight tips to help you create a mindful space in the home.

1. Set an intention
Before creating a mindful space, one of the first things you should do is set an intention. If you make mindfulness a goal instead of an intention, you create a rift between what you’re experiencing in the current moment and what you would like to happen. With an intention, there’s no required result and no pressure to achieve a goal. Intending to practice awareness or focusing on your breathing are two intentions that you can set for yourself.

2. Go big (or small) with your space
You don’t need to dedicate an entire room to mindfulness—maybe you choose a sunny corner in your living room or a small table in your kitchen. “You could devote an entire room to meditation or just a corner of a room,” says Joy Rains, author of Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind. Rains offers the following examples as ways to achieve mindfulness in your existing space:

  • Carve out a small space in your basement or laundry room. Installing adhesive floor tiles and a sliding translucent screen for an outer wall can transform this nook into a sacred space.
  • Transform a bedroom corner into a private meditation space by using a sheer curtain as a divider.
  • Use a favorite chair in the living room.

When creating a space for meditation and mindfulness, prioritize somewhere you can be quiet and won’t be disturbed, like a tucked-away reading nook or walk-in closet. According to Laura Sage, co-founder and CEO of CH/LL Meditation, even the smallest of homes can provide nooks of privacy (at least during specific times of the day). “Your meditation space should be your own space,” says Sage. Remember: your intention for creating a regular meditation place is more important than the actual size of the space.

3. Declutter and organize
According to researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CLEF), cluttered environments are tied to higher levels of stress. Annie Draddy, co-founder of Henry & Higby, a professional organization company, has seen first-hand the positive impact that the process of decluttering and organizing spaces has had on her clients. “Finding ‘homes’ for things so that they are no longer cluttering up surfaces helps to create a clean and clear space which in turn makes the home more tranquil.”

Declutter your space by organizing your stuff into three piles: one for keeping, one for donating, and one for throwing away. Get rid of things you haven’t used in a year and store small items like notepads and pencils in bins or boxes to reduce the look of clutter.

4. Eliminate distractions
If you live in a noisy area, add a white noise machine to your space to block out unwanted sounds or consider soundproofing your apartment with a plush rug or draft blocker. “While we should all be able to meditate with ambient noise, for newbies, the less noise the better,” says Sage. Pare down on technology, especially items like laptops, tablets, and cell phones that can ruin energy flow and bring work and stress into your space. According to Kita Williams, CEO and lead designer at KMW Interiors, a California-based home staging and interior design company, TV should be limited to one place in the home, like the family or living room.

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by Kealia Reynolds​

The Link Between Cell Phones and Anxiety

Cell phones are more ubiquitous than ever. You’d be hard-pressed to find an American adult who leaves their home without their cell phone in their pocket or purse, even if just for a quick errand. With the rise of smartphones, we have access to anything we want—communication, games, information, navigation—with a few taps of a finger.

On top of that, with the influx of social media use, seemingly everyone is connected at all hours of the day, and most of us rarely choose to turn off our phones and disconnect from it all for a bit.

Naturally, while this connectedness allows for a more globalized world, it also comes with its downsides, especially when it comes to mental health.

The Studies on Cell Phone Use and Mental Health
As cell phones have become more commonplace, researchers have increasingly studied their effects on our mental wellbeing.

In a review of 23 peer-reviewed articles on the topic, researchers found ample evidence that exhibits a link between smartphone use and anxiety, as well as depression and increased stress levels. With higher levels of smartphone use came reported higher levels of these disorders.

One study found that participants who had high levels of regular cell phone use experienced separation anxiety from being apart from their phones. On the other hand, participants who had lower levels of cell phone use did not experience those high levels of anxiety when separated from their phones.

Another study even found that some highly cell phone dependent participants experienced the same symptoms of addicts experiencing withdrawal. When we get a notification, we experience a hit of dopamine—and it can become addictive.

How You Can Mitigate the Negative Effects of Cell Phone Use on Your Mental Health
Our phones have practically become an extension of ourselves. For many of us, when we take a hard look at our phone habits, we realize just how attached we have become to our devices.

Since we have concrete evidence on the link between cell phones and anxiety, it is smart to break down bad cell phone habits. These are a few practices you can implement to keep yourself from mindlessly staring at your screen and scrolling through social media apps.

  • Establish strict no-phone times in your typical routine. Decide on a few times during your typical day when you aren’t allowed to look at your phone. Maybe you don’t bring it to the dinner table, or you officially disconnect 30 minutes before bed. Setting this ritual will help you approach these moments more mindfully, and bring down the anxiety associated with constantly checking your phone.
  • Set a no-phone timer. When you are at home or work, you might be particularly prone to mindlessly checking your phone – even if you haven’t received any notifications. Throughout the day, set aside some chunks of time where you aren’t allowed to look at your phone until a timer goes off. Even allotting just 20 minute periods of time can be beneficial. You’ll still be able to satisfy the need to check your phone, but won’t be automatically reaching for it every free moment you have.
  • Set a daily time limit reminder on apps. Certain social media apps have created a setting that you can turn on where it warns you when you’ve reached a set daily amount of time on the app. Many also track the amount of time you spend on an app so that you can go over this data. Take a look at this information – the data on the average time spent per day on an app might be enough to convince you to limit the scrolling.
  • Turn off notifications for the non-essentials. If your phone beeps or vibrates every time you get a new like on Instagram or a friend request on Facebook, you have more of a temptation to check your phone more regularly. Leave your ringer on for the essential notifications – like phone calls and text messages – but turn off any noises for apps that are less vital.
  • Don’t leave your phone on your bedside table at night. Anxiety and a poor night’s sleep go hand in hand. Add the temptation of checking your phone when you can’t fall asleep, and you have a night of no rest ahead of you. If you use your phone as your alarm in the morning, leave it on the other side of the room. Better yet, get a real alarm clock, and leave your phone in a different room as you catch some Z’s.

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by Kyra Heenan

The Struggle is Real: Introverted Mama Raising an Extrovert

Earlier this week, I admitted to a friend how utterly exhausted I was, not physically, but mentally. I felt overextended, at the end of my rope. I confessed that some days I fantasized about sitting alone in pure silence. I needed some space. I’m an introvert; I desperately need time alone to recharge my batteries. When I don’t get it, I feel drained.  Lately, at the end of the day, I couldn’t summon the energy to listen and engage with my son as much as I knew I should… Instead, I’d tune out the noise and imagine myself in a quiet room, no one asking me questions or needing my help, until another “Mom!” would abruptly break me out of my spell.

Sound awful? It did to me, and mom-guilt was ever present, weighing heavily on my heart. I felt contrary to everything I believed I, as a mother, was supposed to be. I should want to listen attentively to every sweet word that came from my child’s mouth, yet instead, I was selfishly letting him down.

Graciously, rather than responding from a place of judgement, my friend kindly smiled and nodded, gently observing that my son was a LOT of work; more work, in fact, than her two children combined- how did I do it? Surprised by my friend’s reaction, I relaxed, fully appreciative of her understanding and support.  With a few kind words, she had reassured me, validated me, and my self-doubt melted away.

It is true, my son is a lot; non-stop activity is all I have ever known (trust me, I’m beyond grateful he’s healthy and active)., and most days, I can keep up. But when I don’t have even a minute to decompress, especially over the course of several days, the weariness catches up with me.

You see, unlike me, my son is an extrovert; he feeds off of human interaction as much as I need a break from it. He needs to talk and engage as much as I need silence & “me” time. We do our best to meet in the middle, but it’s a delicate dance, a balancing act on a tightrope. But when I became a mother, isn’t this is what I promised to do, even welcomed with open arms? To be there for my child, to support and nurture him, and to do everything possible to keep him healthy, safe, unjudged, and loved.

Like most mamas, I try my hardest to put my own needs in the background until they simmer up to the surface, demanding my attention. Every day, I try to focus instead on the amazing human my son is becoming. His sweet smile can turn the worst day around; his profound wisdom can catch me off-guard (how is it possible for a 6-year old to know SO much?). His enormous heart is pure gold. The world needs more people like him, and I’m privileged to witness his growth.

And yet. Some days I am humbled by the demands on my time and attention. Those days, I’m on autopilot.  I feel like I’m failing, letting myself and my child down. But I just keep going, because what other choice is there? I signed up for this! And somehow, every single time, some saving grace comes along to float me toward shore, getting me through.

Every day, I try to remember to reflect with appreciation and gratitude on what a blessing it is to be his mommy. Despite the challenges and the endless tests to my patience (not a virtue of mine), I would not change one single thing. I’ve been granted the responsibility, no, the privilege, of helping guide this beautiful person through life. He is a gift, a bright star, a caring, thoughtful, sensitive soul. I GET to be his safe place in this crazy world, a soft cushion for him to land on. That’s my job. Image by Heidi Borst
by Heidi Borst

Simple Self-Care Methods for Introverts

While society may emphasize the importance of socialization and being productive every minute of every day, these are actions that help extroverts thrive. Introverts, on the other hand, are easily depleted by social gatherings and working with others. If you’re an introvert and feel like you live in an extrovert’s world, don’t let that discourage you from practicing self-care on a regular basis. Here are some simple ideas for working self-care into your daily routine:

Schedule appointments with yourself.
Chances are you’re a busy person, and time to yourself isn’t going to just happen. That’s why you have to make time for yourself like you would any other important activity in your life.

With that in mind, The Cut suggests scheduling time to spend in solitude each day. Once in the morning and once at night is ideal, even if it’s just for 10 minutes at a crack. However, once a day is better than nothing. This time can be used for anything that helps you to de-stress and recharge, whether that’s journaling, meditating, reading, or anything else.

Work out.
Regular physical activity is one of the most beneficial things anyone can do for their overall health and well-being. But if you prefer to exercise alone, it’s important to ensure that you are safe. If you are injured while running, cycling, swimming, or even brisk walking, it can help to have a smartwatch.

For instance, some models like the Apple Watch Series 4 come with features to help keep you safe, like emergency SOS and fall detection. These features can help you get in touch with someone in the event of an accident. Also, they can track your health and help you to accomplish your fitness goals. If you’re looking for a more affordable model, the Fitbit Charge 3 has heart monitoring, long battery life, and sleep tracking.

Unplug periodically.
These days, we are subject to non-stop stimulation in everyday life, from loud public places to rush hour traffic to social media. Taking a break from all the stimulation can do wonders for your mind and soul. Obviously, you can’t avoid every source of stimulation, but Huffington Post suggests unplugging from social media, television, and other kinds of digital media for a few days every now and then.

Go outside.
Being among nature is one of the most calming things a person can do, not to mention all the health benefits that come with exposure to sunlight. And it doesn’t cost any money to spend time outside. Do something active (running, hiking, yoga, etc.), or simply relax by reading a book or lying on a blanket in the park. Don’t overthink it, just enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and greenery around you.

Learn to say no.
Finally, don’t feel bad about saying no to people. It may not be pleasant to disappoint someone, but overcommitting will only leave you stressed out and underperforming. For example, if you need to recharge, opt to stay in for the weekend instead of going out with friends or working overtime. Making fewer commitments in your everyday life will leave you with more time to rest and more energy to do the things you do well.

Self-care is paramount for living a healthy, happy life—especially if you’re an introvert. Remember to make time for yourself, and add exercise to your routine. Take a break from social media, TV, and other sources of stimulation. Lastly, spend some time outdoors, and learn how to say no without feeling guilty. You’ll be happier and healthier as a result.

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by Eva Benoit

The Effects of Social Media on Our Stress Levels

Social media plays a powerful role in creating a more globalized society. We have the ability to communicate with people on the opposite side of the globe, and we can connect with others in seconds. While maintaining friendships with people who don’t live in close proximity was a challenge before, it has become much easier to stay in each other’s lives thanks to Facebook, Instagram, and the likes.

With social media, the world seems smaller and more connected—but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t significant downsides to be noted. Social media does deserve a lot of praise, but—depending on how we engage with it—it also plays a huge role in elevating our stress levels.

The Addictive Potential of Social Media
With constant access to social media through smartphones and other portable devices, it is easy to become addicted to scrolling through social media.

In a review of 444 participants’ Facebook habits, researchers found that people had an increased likelihood to become addicted to technology.

Researchers found that participants would switch between different activities on the platform (such as scrolling through the news feed, posting updates, or chatting with friends) as each activity became stressful.

This habit could lead to technology addiction, as users would switch to different stress-inducing activities within the platform as a way to cope with stress—rather than log off and turn to something else. This means more time on the platforms that are causing stress in the first place.

The Comparison Effect
Since the emergence of social media, we have been hyper-connected to the people both physically near us and far away. We are constantly aware of the lives of others (or, at least, the curated lives they present), and are prone to entering a cycle of unfair comparisons and jealousy. This can lead to stress, particularly when we feel the social pressure to present a life online that is deemed as exciting or interesting as the lives of others on social media platforms.

A 2017 review found that passive use of social media can lead to this stress. When we mindlessly scroll through feeds, we can harbor feelings of jealousy and stress.

In these instances, we aren’t using social media as a tool to build connections. We are simply passively absorbing whatever shows up on our screen, isolating ourselves from others. On the other hand, when we actively use social media to engage with others, we can feel less lonely and more connected to others.

However, interestingly enough, researchers have argued that more time spent on social media engaging in these detrimental behaviors isn’t actually the major factor when it comes to social media and stress levels.

According to researchers at Pew Research Center, social media most dramatically affects stress when it comes to shared negative information.

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by Kyra Heenan

Parenting From Our Childhood Wounds: How to avoid parenting from a triggered place.

Parenting is a dance. Each party involved brings their own energy—and between our energy and our child’s energy, there will be times when the energies will undoubtedly collide.

When you think about it, our children only live in our homes for a short period of time. Granted, the individual days may feel long, but the years are flying by. In most cases, we have our children for 18 short years; this is the most powerful time in their emotional development, and one that will shape the rest of their adult life.

When I first made that realization (while listening to one of Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s presentations), I panicked. In fact, I cried. This is the time when our children build their internal messages—when they build their sense of self as separate from us, as well as when they build their emotional and relationship foundations. This is when they develop their friendships and their sense of self-love. Our parental voice becomes internalized as their own. This voice will guide their decisions, relationships, friendships, and work habits for years to come. No pressure, right?

For me, the hardest part of parenting has been re-living and re-visiting my childhood “issues,” the ones I thought were behind me. I didn’t think “those” experiences had an effect on me any longer because I was “older” and done with them. Well, as it turns out, not so much.

You Will Be Triggered
Something your child says or does—or how they say it—will trigger you. And when you are triggered, your response will be intense, and likely scary to you and your child. In fact, your response will likely not be commensurate with your child’s actual behavior.

When I made this connection—with Dr. Shefali’s help—and discovered that I was parenting from my own childhood wounds, I was taken aback. But I also realized that many of the times when my children asked me why I became so loud or angry, it was because I was responding to a pretty benign situation with a strong sense of hurt and disappointed that had to do with my own unresolved childhood demons.

Image by: Pexels 

by Dr. Liz Matheis

Preventing Burn Out While Parenting a Child with Special Needs

As a parent of a child with special needs, you are on duty 24/7 with no sick or vacation days. Days become weeks and weeks become years and burn out becomes inevitable if you don’t take care of yourself.

I know what you’re thinking.

Easier said than done.

But preventing burn out while parenting a child with special needs is just as important as caring for your child. If you are sleep-deprived, fatigued, or feeling anxious or depressed, your ability to tend to your child is compromised. So, if you need momentum and motivation to come from your child, here it is!

Take care of yourself so you can take care of your child.

These 2 strategies can help.

#1: Ask For Help
If you have social or family support that is available to you, I encourage you to take advantage of it. If you have a friend or family member who is offering to help in the care of your child, take it. Set up a schedule where a family member cares for your child while you care for your other children. Or take time to run errands by yourself or read a book at your local coffee shop.

I’ve heard parents say, “I don’t like to ask for help. I think I can do it all by myself,” too often. You need to leave this mindset behind and ask for help. If you do not have help from a person who lives outside your home, set up a system with your partner. Tag team who is on duty and who needs to take a break for the sake of each other’s sanity! For example, divide a task that is labor intensive, like bed time, so you are rotating each night or every two nights.

#2: Take a Daily Break
Quiet time is important for you and for your family members because it gives the physical signal that the day is coming to an end, but it also gives you time to disconnect from the day and all of the stimulation that came with it. This may be your time to process the day so that you are not waking up in the middle of the night thinking of solutions or worrying about a situation or potential situation. To make quiet time happen, decide on a time to shut down the house and set aside time to decompress every evening.

You may choose to do this as a family or as the adult(s) in the house. For example, you may decide that by 7 in the evening, you will stop making lunches and washing dishes, dim the lights, and engage in an electronic-free activity.

Your self care is just as important as the care of your child. Preventing burn out while parenting a child with special needs requires investing in yourself as much as you invest in your child. Asking for help and taking a daily break are ways of making small investments that pay big dividends for you and your child.

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by Dr. Liz Matheis
"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Julie C.
"Dr. Matheis has a remarkable ability to understand the unique needs of her patients and address them constructively. She builds strong, meaningful relationships with patients and their families, encouraging trust and collaboration. When working with my son who struggles with autism-related anxiety, she created an environment in which he was able to calm down and open up to her in ways I had not seen before. She was able to reach him and helped him work through his crisis/problem. Most importantly, she empowered him to move forward."
- N.L.
"Dr. Matheis is amazing. She has tremendous resources and loads of energy. She is not willing to accept anything less than the most effective results for her clients. She made me feel as if my son was her top priority throughout the entire process. I would, without reservation, give her my highest recommendations.  Thank you, Dr. Matheis!"
- Anonymous
"Dr. Matheis has an amazing ability to read kids and connect with them. She has been an invaluable resource for our family over the past several years and has helped us with everything from educational consulting, to uncovering diagnoses as well as family therapy. Working with Dr. Matheis never feels clinical and most importantly, our children love and trust her. We can not thank you enough Dr. Liz!"
- Anonymous
"My teenage son had been seeing Dr. Matheis through his senior year of high school, as he was only diagnosed with ADHD at 16 years old.  Dr. Matheis came highly recommended from our pediatrician and she has done wonders for our son as well as our family, navigating new ways for him to deal with his diagnosis without the use of medication.  She taught him ways to organize himself and even when something did not work for him, she patiently continued teaching him new ways to keep himself on track.  She has also helped us as parents to understand how his mind works so that we did not continue to blame his lack of focus on him, rather on his unique way of thinking.  Thank you Dr. Matheis!!!!"
- LG
"Dr. Liz is the best! Our family was directed to her by our Pediatrician to assist with figuring out severe mood changes, severe anxiety, strange new fears and food aversion that had come onto one of our children literally overnight. After just a couple of visits, she suggested that the issues may actually be rooted in a physical issue and suggested we immediately take our child to be swabbed for strep, because Dr. Liz suspected PANDAS (a pediatric autoimmune disorder brought on by strep). The same Pediatrician that suggested Dr. Liz would not do the swab (they do not believe in PANDAS and we no longer go there) but I took my child to my doctor who did the swab and it was positive for strep. When our child went on antibiotics, within 24 hours all symptoms went away and our child was back :-) Dr. Liz then recommended a PANDAS specialist who helped us and our child is in complete remission and is happy and healthy. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Liz for her knowledge of all things, even the most remote and unusual and for helping us so much! Thank you!"
- Anonymous
"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Anonymous
"Thank you, Dr. Liz. Although we have told you countless times, it will never feel enough. You have listened when J could barely speak and continued to listen when he was sad, angry and confused. You've challenged him and directed us in our roles as parents. You've helped J face his fears while the list evolved and changed, and yet you've stayed committed to 'the course.' We pray that your children realize that time away from them is spent helping children learn and that vulnerability is a sign of strength and bravery."
- June I
"My son was admitted to an Ivy League school when only 2 years ago, you assessed him and saw his struggles, his Dyslexia. We are grateful that he no longer has to carry that deep feeling of inadequacy or shame that must have kept him so self conscious and from reaching his potential. He has the PERFECT program for him. He has A's in high math and economics. He became a Merit Scholar, a Boys State legislature, the HEAD captain of the football team and help a job ALL while studying and managing his classes and disability. I am PROUD of you, a young doctor, who knows and sees the vulnerability of children and helps them recognize "it's NO big deal" God bless."
- Anonymous

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