Barbara Lipscomb’s childhood was greatly impacted by a child with special needs when her older brother became profoundly deaf at the age of 17 months. Barbara, only 15 months younger than her brother, developed an acute sensitivity to his needs and, in her love for him, began to develop herself as a responsive and attuned caregiver.
As an adult, Barbara attended the California State University at Northridge to pursue her interests in child development, psychology and special education. In 1979, she graduated, Magna Cum Laude, with her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. She then earned two teaching credentials in a fifth year of study: a General Education, K-12 credential and a Special Education Specialist Credential in Severely Handicapped, K-12. In 1980, Barbara opened one of the first seven classrooms for severely emotionally disturbed children in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Working with these students and their families afforded Barbara many opportunities to apply her thinking and experience about the teaching and treatment of children with emotional and learning challenges to varied populations, some dealing with abuse, mental illness and poverty.
After earning tenure with LAUSD, Barbara brought her unique point of view to the Corporate world as a Trainer for Hughes Aircraft Company. There, she continued to help individuals develop their unique voices and capacities by helping to create dialogue and support among divergent groups. Barbara enjoyed expanding her professional experiences from the world of education into the aerospace industry where she made the most of the opportunity to work with adults and professionals. She found that her philosophy of teaching could extend beyond formal classroom instruction and assist individuals in realizing their goals in many areas of their lives.
In 1988, Barbara began her first business as a Personal Assistant to creative and academic writers. The opportunity to work in the world of writing and literature allowed her to witness the creative process in a more direct way. She understood that the honing of one’s individual voice, born of unique experience, results in sharing that voice in a way that deepens connection, supports growth, and furthers healing, not only for the individual, but potentially for entire communities.
In 1997, Barbara returned to the field of education as a High School English Teacher serving emotionally disturbed children living in a residential treatment facility. Teaching literature and creative writing to ninth through twelfth graders was exhilarating. Students were visibly relieved by their ability to write and share the most profound experiences of their lives, writing authentically in the safety of Barbara’s classroom. After teaching for nearly two years, Barbara was promoted to Vice Principal. Her administrative position allowed her to train Teachers, Teaching Assistants and Social Workers in the unique and positive ways she had developed to work with children and families with emotional and learning challenges. Her ability to hear, value, and reflect everyone’s unique perspective also enabled her to facilitate teams of students, parents, treating professionals and funding agencies to work together in the best interest of each student.
In 2003, Barbara returned to the public school system as a Resource Specialist Teacher for eighth grade students with a variety of learning differences. Once again, Barbara found herself developing young people’s individual voices while creating classrooms that provided the safety necessary for a wide range of students to learn together. Her work in the academic arena brought her into contact with increasing numbers of students struggling with ADD/AD/HD. She observed that these students are bright and creative but struggle greatly with the ability to fit into the standard school structure. In 2007, Barbara left the public school district to bring all of her personal and professional experiences together via Barbara Lipscomb Coaching to serve children and adults dealing with AD/HD, executive functioning issues or other divergent learning styles, as well as those creative individuals who simply learn in ways other than most of their peers.
Barbara works with people of all ages to help them define and create the lives of their dreams. She serves clients in the Santa Monica and West Los Angeles areas of California, as well as long distance clients via phone and video calls.