The Staff

Deborah Bloom, M.A.

Since 1994, Deborah has worked throughout Northern California and the Bay Area as an Educational Consultant and Special Needs Advocate, assisting families with school planning for students in public schools, private schools and schools and programs that address special needs.

She is a uniquely qualified consultant and advocate as a result of her many years of experience working with families with a wide range of issues, and understands the impact that an inappropriate school placement has on the family and student. She successfully advocates for students who's needs aren't being met by their current placement. When a student requires a non-public school or residential setting due to social and emotional difficulties; she sucessfully secures funding from school districts.

Before becoming an educational consultant, she received a Master's Degree in Speech Pathology, and worked in several multi-disciplinary settings and schools in both the private and the public sectors, with a wide age range of students -- from pre-school to young adults -- with emotional, learning, and language delays.

She was a Program Specialist in the Santa Clara County Office of Education, responsible for one of the first teams of speech and language therapists implementing the newly passed Federal Legislation for Special Education. She consulted with teachers, parents, and administrators, meeting the unique needs of students. She also team-taught with an Occupational Therapist in a public-school Kindergarten program, providing direct, intensive intervention, which prevented five and six year olds at risk from needing special education later in their school career.

Deborah has visited hundreds of private and public schools and classrooms while serving families from Santa Cruz to Sacramento. With extensive experience in child development, and school curriculum, including the issues surrounding the teaching methodologies for reading and math, Deborah understands the styles schools use to challenge their students, the social milieu on a campus and how that might affect student behavior. She continues to remain current in advancements in testing, language processing, special education law, and with the issues surrounding the needs of the gifted and talented student.

Deborah has been a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association since 1972, and served on several professional committees of the California Speech and Hearing Association, and is also a member of the Council of Parents, Advocates and Attorneys. (COPAA). She is involved in several non-profit organizations aimed at improving California education funding or policy.

Weaving together her training, interests, and observations, she draws upon this range of experience that benefits her clients. She is committed to offering families guidance to help them determine which school setting and/or educational plan might work most effectively for their youngster. She encourages families to take a close look at both the academic and social environment of a potential placement. She makes every effort to provide information and insights which her clients find helpful as together they go through the process of educational planning for their children.

Catherine Affolter, Office Manager

When you call our office, it is often at an emotional and confusing time in your child's education. You can be assured of a sympathetic, but professional and highly confidential ear. Catherine will take some background information from you and also schedule a convenient time for you to speak with Deborah.

Her goal is to make your first and continuing experience with us to be responsive and positive. Catherine lived in Solvang in Central California for 12 years, where she was the Executive director of an arts education non-profit. She relocated to Danville 3 years ago with her husband and 2 daughters. Catherine was raised in the United Kingdom and is excited to be part of the Deborah Bloom team.