Suzanne StarseedSuzanne P. Starseed, MHS, LOT is a former Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Louisiana State University Medical Center. She has over 30 years experience treating children with sensory processing, attention, emotional, and learning differences in clinics, schools, and in the community both here and abroad. Ms. Starseed founded In-Sync Therapy in 1999 to give the parents of children with Sensory Processing Disorder the tools they needed to help their children cope with the challenges of everyday living. Since then, In-Sync Therapy’s mission has expanded to include helping parents whose children experience emotional dysregulation regardless of diagnosis. Ms. Starseed is author of the book The Ecology of Learning: Re-Inventing Schools (2011). She speaks widely on parenting, child development, sensory processing, child mental health, and educational issues and is a strong advocate for holistic and compassionate services for special needs children and their families. She lives in Richmond, Va with her adopted daughter, Marissa.

“Researchers have found that the automatic fight-or-flight response to a perceived threat interferes with learning and executive function skills like attention, working memory, planning and self-control. The fight-or-flight response to shame, fear, or high levels of stress is more likely to be triggered when people have no control over or ability to change their situation, when they, ‘[can’t] succeed despite their best efforts.’ This puts students who believe they cannot succeed at a great disadvantage. When children experience stress, shame, or fear in school, their academic difficulties are compounded by their fight-or-flight responses.”