- Debbie Service -


Observing my younger brother’s inability to spell his name as a fourth grader, initiated my journey to discover a remedy for his struggle!  

Witnessing a frustrated sibling with superior intelligence unable to read, write or spell inspired me to help him and others. One vivid memory is of my father laboring to teach my brother how to spell his name, as he repeated L-a-w-r-e-n-c-e, over and over again. Misunderstanding, followed by exasperation, often ended with tears, sometimes for both Lawrence and for my father!  Forty-five years ago programs to assist students with learning challenges were nonexistent in the public school system.  For Lawrence, the solution was to attend a“special school”. However, even with a “special curriculum”, the program failed to teach him to read.  Watching my brother battle one taxing situation after another strengthened my determination to not only help him, but also to help others. After I completed my undergraduate degree at Drexel University, I earned a Master's Degree in Special Education from Penn State University. For several years I worked as a teacher in the special education department within the public school system.

Misunderstanding, followed by exasperation always ended with tears, sometimes for both Lawrence and for my father!

Now, unlike forty years ago, effective curriculums and programs are available for struggling readers. However, the unique and demanding challenges related to dyslexia have not been, nor are they presently, used to identify the struggling reader.  I mention this because twenty years ago I gave birth to my son, Ben who, during his early elementary school years, could not read. At the time, I was unaware that dyslexia is hereditary.  After receiving a battery of educational tests, Ben was identified with a “reading disability.” Dyslexia was not a factor explored during his evaluation. As a homeschooling mom and a professional educator, I searched for a program that met his needs and helped him to read.  Ben progressed in small increments, but I knew he was falling behind. Fortunately, while homeschooling, I was introduced to a reading program, that through research, proved to effectively teach struggling students how to read. Barton Reading and Spelling Program provided hope for non-readers.  People afflicted with dyslexia often have above average intelligence and learn to cope with their "disability". My brother Lawrence is a successful businessman who, with much hard work, figured out how to overcome his dyslexia. My son Ben learned how to read. Currently, I am effectively tutoring multiple students using the research based and scientifically proven reading program, Barton Reading and Spelling Program. Enabling and empowering my students by teaching them to read is an exciting and satisfying experience!

- Credentials -


M.Ed in Special Education - Penn State University
B.S. - Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA


Advanced Certification in the Barton Reading and Spelling System
PA State Certified Special Education Teacher, K-12
Dyslexia Consultant and Screener


Private Tutoring Business - Owner
Garnet Valley School District - Special Education Teacher
Classical Conversation - Teacher for the Foundations Curriculum
                              Twenty Years of Tutoring - Reading, Math, and Writing