I am a Mother, certified Waldorf teacher, and have been a Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrician for more than 30 years. After graduating from Carleton College and Northwestern University, Feingold School of Medicine, I completed a 3-year pediatric residency at Children's Memorial Hospital (Lurie Children's Hospital) in Chicago and a 3-year fellowship in Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics at U.C.S.F.
During my fellowship years, I directed the Early Childhood Clinic and evaluated children with Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, expressive and receptive language delays, and Attention Deficit Disorder. I had extensive rotations managing children in Behavior clinic, School-age clinic and identifying children with various learning challenges during their week long Comprehensive Learning Evaluations. I completed a year rotation in child psychiatry, serving on the psych-laison service along with child psychiatry residents, and spent 3 years doing supervised family therapy, individual and group child therapy sessions, and child sand-tray therapy.
After my fellowship, I became an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF and Co-director of the Pediatric Obesity Clinic and Shapedown program with Laurel Mellin M.A. I also served for 7 years with the San Francisco Unified School District as their Physician Director at Golden Gate School Health Center evaluating hundreds of children, from preschool through 8th grade, that were having challenges in behavior and learning at school.
After my son was born with sensory integration and processing challenges, I spent 3 years becoming a certified Waldorf Teacher and an additional year of training in sensory integration and remedial support (Extra Lesson) at Rudolf Steiner College. I have participated in numerous seminars and workshops exploring various forms of movement therapies such as Therapeutic Eurythmy, Parelli and therapeutic horseback riding, Spacial Dynamics, Brain Gym, HANDLE, and Bal-a-vis-x.
I have also completed Marshall Rosenberg's International training in Compassionate Communication, Total Biology 1 with Gilbert Renaud, and traveled to the Lukas Clinic in Arlesheim, Switzerland, to study Anthroposophical Medicine 1, a more holistic approach to medical care and treatment for children and adults.
All of these experiences have taught me that children with auditory and visual processing problems need movement therapies that strengthen their vestibular/balance system. Children who have difficulties with sitting still, paying attention, and visual processing/visual memory skills, that impact reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics, need movement therapies that strengthen proprioception. There are also non-manipulative cranial therapies and nutritional recommendations and modifications in the home and school environments that can decrease the over stimulation of the child's sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system and promote integration and healing of children's neurological pathways.
Please feel free to call me at (916) 638-8758 if you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment.
Susan R. Johnson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
1. Anthroposophical Medicine is a comprehensive integrative approach, practiced by fully trained physicians in hospitals and outpatient practices around the world. It was founded in the 1920s in Switzerland by the Ita Wegman, MD, and Dr. Rudolf Steiner, philosopher, scientist, and visionary.
At the core of Anthroposophical Medicine is a contemplative method by which living organisms, the psyche, and the spirit may be understood and researched in a scientific way. Through this method, there emerges an image of the whole human being in health and illness.
This pioneering form of integrative medicine draws upon the ancient knowledge, that balance brings health and imbalance leads to illness. Anthroposophical Medicine also represents 21st-century medical thinking, investigating not just pathogenesis, but also considering sources of health: Such as what gives humans resilience and strength, even in times of inner and outer stress? And what are our sources of self-healing?
Anthroposophical doctors may prescribe allopathic medicine's, homeopathic's, herbs, and other remedies from nature, transformed through unique pharmaceutical processes. Referrals are often made to other holistic therapists in movement (Therapeutic Eurythmy), rhythmical massage, art, music, speech, educational support (Extra Lesson), and anthroposophical nursing, in addition to Biodynamic Cranial Osteopathic physicians and other holistic practitioners.