Stephanie Gerstenblith, Ph.D.
Founder and Owner
Executive Function Coach
I am passionate about helping others overcome challenges. During and after graduate school, I focused on preventing children from becoming involved with crime and drug use. Later, I supported students’ transition from community college through graduation from the University of Maryland. After observing the difficulties my students had learning, studying, writing, and managing their school, work, and family lives, I expanded my focus to assist students to develop the skills and systems they need to navigate through their academic journeys and to help professionals maintain organization in their work and home lives.
Upon completing Orton-Gillingham (OG) Plus training with Fran Bowman in 2012, I immediately fell in love with my role as an academic therapist. To be honest, it has never really felt like "work." Creating games and activities, helping my students improve their skills, and collaborating with parents and children's support teams are the most fulfilling job requirements I can imagine.
While it may sound strange to some, I am drawn to organizing. Whether writing lists, scheduling my day or organizing my closet, office, or pantry, I find comfort in keeping things in order. It wasn't until much later in life that I learned my organizational skills fall under the umbrella of Executive Functioning (EF) and that I'm uniquely situated to help others improve their executive function skills. I can't express the thrill I've seen students experience when they've weighed the pile of papers they've emptied out of their messy binders (one student's load weighed 6 pounds!). Or the relief they've expressed when they've come up with a strong 5-paragraph essay. Or their excitement when they've memorized all of their vocabulary words after making and playing a matching game. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with ways to help both children and adults improve their executive function skills.
In addition to helping students, I offer support and guidance to parents who experience frustration, confusion, and difficulty while trying to help their children grow into successful young adults. I also collaborate with the members of children’s support teams, including therapists, teachers, school counselors, advocates, and speech-language pathologists.
Finally, understanding the challenges that come along with trying to meet goals at work, I also help professionals strengthen their time management, organizational, and other executive skills as they progress through their careers.
Since I take a strengths-based approach, I spend a lot of time getting to know each of my clients and their needs so I can design individualized instruction and approaches to support their success.
I received a Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2000 from the University of Maryland and was trained in Orton-Gillingham "Plus" in 2012. In addition to helping others achieve success, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two boys, playing the violin, practicing yoga, taking walks, and reading.