Close the Gap Reading/Close the Gap Dyslexia Services is owned and operated by Deborah Zitrin. During my 20 year career as a public school Education Specialist I searched out curricula and programs to help students who struggled with reading, spelling, and writing. I have been using the Susan Barton Reading & Spelling Program for many years. I am a certified Barton tutor.
I am passionate about honoring students' strengths, using diagnostic techniques to determine areas of need, and using research-based curricula and programs to build upon student strengths and remediate weaknesses. My experience as a public school Education Specialist has strengthened my abiding belief in and respect for the variety of learning styles and the immense potential of every student. I use a variety of tools, methods, and programs to teach reading, spelling, and writing.
I am a licensed Special Education Teacher, and I am also a licensed Attorney. I hold a current license from the State of California as a Kindergarten through 12th grade Education Specialist. As an Attorney, I hold a current license from the State Bar of California. I am admitted to practice law in the State of California and the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
I offer tutoring in reading, spelling, and writing. All of the programs I use have been field tested and proven to be effective. They are backed by independent research and data. The programs I teach are Orton-Gillingham and Multi-Sensory System of Supports programs. They are recommended by Dyslexia experts and universities.
Susan Barton has partnered with an internet company called Whizzimo to make quality, Orton-Gillingham instruction available to dyslexic students in a way that works for today's families. Online Barton tutoring offers all of the benefits of one-to-one instruction, without driving, traffic, and time away from your home and family.
My years of experience in our public school system have given me a deep awareness of issues facing struggling students and their families. I know how to navigate the general and special education systems to obtain appropriate assistance and supports for struggling students.
If you choose to pursue an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan, I can guide you in your journey. I have written and led hundreds of IEP's. I can coach you on how to advocate for your child, or you can engage me to advocate on your child's behalf.
I offer advocacy services in the San Francisco North Bay Area.
Accommodations & Technology
Adjustments at school can help your child be more comfortable and successful. For example, a struggling reader should not be forced to read out loud in class. Called 'Accommodations," these things are often simple to implement, yet can make a world of difference for a child.
I can also assist you in working with your child's school to determine appropriate classroom accommodations. Accommodations can help your child access the material at school, and show what they have learned.
Technology can also help, both during and after the tutoring process. There are many devices and applications designed to help students access curriculum and complete assignments. Deborah can assist you in navigating the many choices available and can help you identify the technologies that will be of most benefit to your child.
"Formal Assessment": It may be important for your child to be assessed by a licensed Psychologist. This process is often called "Formal Assessment." The tests done during Formal Assessment provide a window into how your child processes information. Formal Assessment also provides data on your child's functioning as compared with other children of their same age and grade.
I can refer you to excellent licensed Psychologists who are available to assess your child and provide a written report of their findings at reasonable rates. Formal Assessment usually takes between 3 and 4 hours.
"Informal Assessment": I can assess your child's literacy skills, including Decoding and Phonemic Awareness, to determine their current levels of reading, spelling, and writing performance. This process is often called "Informal Assessment." The tests done during Informal Assessment provide information as to which parts of reading and spelling your child is struggling with. Informal Assessment usually takes between 1 and 2 hours. My results, interpretation, and recommendations would be included in a written report.
The information learned from Formal and Informal Assessment can help us determine what types of interventions will best help your child. After testing is done we will meet to analyze and discuss the results. We will develop a plan of action.
As a Dyslexia Advocate and Attorney, I strive to promote dyslexia awareness and responsiveness in our public schools.