Empowering Unique Minds
I provide specialized services to children of all ages, families and adults with a wide range of special needs.
My educational philosophy is based on holistic, relationship-based, and strength-based approaches to human development. I am sensitively attuned to the emotional, social, behavioral, physical, cognitive, spiritual, and cultural aspects of each client. I spend time getting to know my clients and their passions, talents, interests, strengths, and challenges. I embrace and honor them and their families.
My goal is to identify what is getting in the way of my client’s ability to participate in learning and enjoy life and tailor my services to the individual needs of each client. I provide my services in a safe, caring, and supportive environment and promote client's self-confidence and self-esteem. I meet my clients where they are and align the treatment goals with what they bring to each session.
Educational Therapy combines educational and therapeutic approaches to create and implement a wide range of intensive, individualized interventions designed to remediate learning problems.Treatment plans are designed through utilizing information from a variety of sources including the client’s social, emotional, psychoeducational, and neuropsychological context. Services are offered to children, teens, and adults experiencing a variety of learning differences related to: ADHD | Executive Function Challenges | Giftedness | Autism Spectrum Disorder | Learning Disabilities | Sensory/Auditory/Visual Processing Deficits | social, behavioral, physical, and mental health challenges.
ADHD & Executive Function Coaching
Executive Function Coaching for students and adults is designed to improve the skills required to achieve better outcomes at school and beyond. Executive Function Coaching improves clients’ organizational, planning, time-management, memory, attention, and self-regulation skills in order to foster independence, problem solving efficacy, and self-confidence.
ADHD Coaching is offered to clients with ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms. Coaching empowers clients to deepen their understanding of their unique gifts, realize their potential, and increase awareness of their daily challenges. Coaching helps clients improve the skills required to cope effectively with increasingly complex and highly demanding environments (i.e. school, workplace, parenting, social interactions, etc.) and live a more fulfilling life. Coaching is offered to college students and adults and can be modified for children and adolescents through working simultaneously or exclusively with their parents
Advocacy & Case Managment
Advocacy and case management services are offered to help parents navigate the educational systems and advocate on behalf of their children. The goal is to ensure successful outcomes of school accommodation plans and special education eligibility through SST meetings, IEPs, 504 plans, and school placements and transitions.
Case management services offer a comprehensive needs assessment followed by ongoing planning, prioritizing, and monitoring of services in educational and healthcare systems to ensure that the unique needs of the client/family are met.
Special Needs & Inclusion Consulting
Special Needs and inclusion consulting services are offered to preschools, schools, afterschool programs, organizations, workplaces, and communities. The process is designed to support programs in their efforts to create high quality, inclusive settings that are welcoming for all. Partnerships are built with teams and families through open communication, collaborative learning, and empowerment.
Relocation to the Bay Area
Services for families of children with special needs are designed to support them through the process of relocation to the Bay Area before, during, and after the transition to minimize stress and ensure a successful adjustment. Individually tailored services include: intake with parents, review of previous documents and diagnosis, communication with former service providers, school search, information and referrals, and all other coaching and consulting services.
Workshops and Trainings
Professional development trainings and parent workshops are offered on topics of: Inclusion, ADHD, Executive Functions, Special Education and IEP, Parent-Teacher Communication, and related topics. Trainings and workshops can be tailored to the specific needs of the audience.
I have over 25 years of experience educating, evaluating, consulting, and advocating for children and adults with a wide range of special needs. I hold a Master's degree and a teaching certificate in Special Education from Tel Aviv University. I am also a certified Educational Therapist and ADHD coach. After moving to the Bay Area, I spent 8 years working at Parents Place on the Peninsula as the Program Coordinator of the Center for Special Needs and as an Educational Therapist. I am currently in private practice and serve as the Inclusion Director at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills.
During my years of practice, I have developed and presented teacher trainings and parent workshops on inclusion, learning strategies, ADHD, and special education regulations. I provide consultation for different programs and organizations, including schools, preschools, and communities. I strongly believe that all children deserve high quality, empowering, and inclusive education and I am passionate about making communities and workplaces open and welcoming to all.
My services are provided in English and in Hebrew and are offered to children of all ages and adults.
What’s Being Said
Nirit has been a trusted and treasured resource over my twelve years navigating the (often challenging) world of learning differences on behalf of my child. I still remember my heart-felt relief after our first meeting, finding someone who offered support, attunement, as well as informed, thoughtful guidance. In the years since I've sought Nirit's help at every important juncture in our journey. She is impressively connected and up-to-date in the field, which gives clients access to the most useful information. With her sensitivity combined with knowledge, Nirit offers a welcome, strength-based approach. For concerned families, she's a genuine help and skillful ally.
AW, Parent of a 16 years old
"I like this type of therapy. It isn’t like other types of therapy when you just tell the therapists about what’s going on in your life. This therapy is about training your brain to be stronger and learning things and having a little fun."
“You should put it on your business card”
SN, 9 years old client
Nirit worked hard to help me determine my child’s needs and most importantly how to work with our school to get those needs met. It was a complicated situation and Nirit took the time to walk me through step by step. Her expertise and care were invaluable. I finally felt that someone understood my child and gave me a roadmap to help her succeed!
Parent of an 11 year old (LMFT Specializing in Teens & Families)
I had a great experience working with Nirit! Nirit has a great heart and she really cares about my daughter. She helped me with a multi-sensory approach reading with my daughter. She is extremely patient. She also helped us in meeting with teachers in the school setting. She is a great communicator with teachers and school as well.
Karen, parent of a 13 years old
We have been using great services provided by Ms. Nirit Zandman during our family relocation from Israel to the Bay Area, in order to help our three children adjust to their new schools and education requirements.
Our 10 years old daughter has special needs and required finding a proper school /Special Day Class tailored to her individual learning needs.
We started our consultations with Ms. Zandman prior to our relocation trip. It included a few video call sessions, review of our all school/medical documents, emails and phone conversations. During this important stage, Ms. Zandman consulted us about preparations for the trip, documents we should bring/translate and gave us a good overview of our school/education options in the new place. She explained the structure of Special Education in the USA to us and the anticipated processes for school assignment, IEP, etc. This helped us to be focused, and be well prepared for our trip.
After we arrived to the Bay Area, Ms. Zandman helped us to better understand local special education services. She performed observation in our daughter's classroom and provided very valuable information and recommendations on how to support her in the classroom. She helped us to get prepared for our first IEP meeting and participated in the meeting itself. Ms. Zandman collaborated professionally with our school team and helped them to better understand and take into account our daughter's individual special needs. As a result, our daughter feels more comfortable in the school and has good progress in her studies.
We highly recommend great personal service provided by Ms. Zandman! It was very helpful and made a real difference for our family.
Parent of a 10 years old
We came to Nirit for help with our at the time 5-year-old boy. Reaching out to her was one of the best decisions we have ever made towards benefiting us and our son. The struggle we were having with our son’s behavior was beginning to take a toll on us. Nirit helped give us the tools to help our son navigate through his complicated world. She opened our eyes as to how his brain truly works and for that, I am also grateful. We still use the tools given to us on a daily basis. Thank you.
Parent of a 7 years old
Nirit is our absolute caring, skillful, trusted and supportive professional. Nirit is escorting us from the early days of ADHD diagnosis. Since we were new to the school and district systems, we did not know what to expect, what should we ask for, and how to navigate through the somehow complex policies. Nirit worked with us gradually, explaining to us what to expect in each step, and learned in depth about our son and about us. We truly felt we work as a team and we can count on Nirit's experience and support. Nirit spent the time meeting the school staff, make the required reports and observations, and even guide the teacher with the tools that can best support our son's needs.
On top of the top professional experience, Nirit is a warm, friendly and caring person and we enjoy meeting her. We would love to recommend Nirit to others also offline.
Gershon, father of a 10 years old son
We had an embracing and inspiring experience with Nirit. Nirit helped us with lots of confidence, experience, and support to organize our thoughts, understand our daughter’s needs and guide us through the available and acceptable routes.
This is an evolving journey and we are positive Nirit will be there through many steps to guide, direct, advise and support us.
Thank you, Nirit!
Parent of a 7 years old
Nirit was a fabulous and reassuring resource. She was equally calming, thoughtful and aggressive (in the best possible way for your child). I loved her "bedside manner" and her transparent and thoughtful methodologies. I loved working with Nirit. Working with her, I know that not a single ball would drop!
MP mother of a 10 year- old
Nirit provided valuable advice that helped us navigate my daughter's transition to high school. This included educating all of us about ADHD and helping us secure accommodations at school and develop routines at home that made school and life less overwhelming. My daughter especially appreciated Nirit's kindness and sincere interest in her well-being and future success. I particularly appreciate that she helped me to become a more knowledgeable and skillful advocate for my daughter.
Pamela E. Parent of a 16-year-old
When I felt that additional time in the mainstream environment was appropriate, Nirit helped me build a presentation for my son's IEP team. Getting her input upfront and her feedback as I created the materials was time well spent. She had amazing ideas that made the presentation more persuasive and complete.
Nirit built a support plan that enabled my son to succeed in a 3rd grade Hebrew school class with the help of a classroom aide. She updated that plan for his fourth-grade year and by fifth grade, he was participating in the classroom with no aide and no problems. I credit this success to Nirit's keen sense of what support is needed to ensure success as well as what independence a child is capable of.
PR Parent of a 10-year-old
Association of Educational Therapists
The Association of Educational Therapists is the national professional association for educational therapists. AET defines and sets standards for the professional practice of educational therapy. Educational therapists provide a broad range of individualized educational interventions for children and adults with learning disabilities and other learning challenges
ADD Coach Academy
The ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA) is an internationally recognized coach training program with students participating from North & South America, Europe, Australia, Asia & Africa .
ncld.org: National Center for Learning Disabilities
www.chadd.org : The National Resource on ADHD
Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) is the world’s leading adult ADHD organization.
Understood.org is a new, free online resource (in English and Spanish) that is aimed at providing families with the practical tools and advice for their child's academic, social, and emotional journey.
www.additudemag.com: An ADHD magazine, community & website dedicated to strategies and support for ADD and LD adults and families.
Parents Helping Parents
Parents Helping Parents, Inc. (PHP) supports, educates and trains parents of children of any age who have any disability.
Learning Ally is a national non-profit dedicated to helping students with print disabilities, including blindness, visual impairment and dyslexia. Learning Ally improves the way students learn at home and in the classroom.