Recommendations by previous clients
Here are some letters of recommendation provided by previous clients and their parents, teachers, etc. We have copied the letters in their entirety, but have removed their last names for client confidentiality. Please choose from the following to read these letters and comments:
Justin (One year after the program)
Rocky Point Academy and their Davis Dyslexia Correction Program has changed my son’s academic life. Justin was introduced to the program at Rocky Point Academy when he was 7 years old. Before Rocky Point Academy my son struggled with simple printing and could not read a passage without becoming frustrated, losing his place and being unable to make any sense out of the words in a sentence – all of the hallmarks of a severe learning disability. Rocky Point Academy changed everything! In showing us that dyslexia is “a gift of disorientation” and giving Justin the tools to correct the disorientation, Justin is meeting with literacy success every day! And this success is spilling over into math as well.
This program, including: the amazing instructors, the tools and the learn at home component, corrects the disorientation caused by dyslexia – something which effects every aspect of the student’s life. After working with the tools provided by Rocky Point Academy the improvement in Justin’s literacy has amazed both his teachers and the rest of his family. Justin’s reading ability has increased by two grade levels in just six months! The dramatic improvement in his writing and spelling is also immeasurable.
I would not hesitate to recommend this learning program to any student (or parent of a student) struggling with dyslexia. I also wish to reassure any parent who is questioning the value of the program compared to the cost – this is an exceptional program with measurable, immediate results. This program is worth the time, money and effort required because it results in academic success.
Matt (four years after the program)
I am writing this letter of recommendation for Rocky Point Academy because of the huge differences we have seen in our son since taking a program.
Before Matt took the course at Rocky Point Academy he was always getting in trouble at school. He couldn’t seem to stay in his seat, he blurted out his thoughts in the middle of class, he didn’t follow classroom rules and every day we picked him up we were told “another problem” that he had caused. Because of his behaviour he was rejected by his peers. We gave him consequences, as did the school, but to no avail. As a last resort we tried Ritalin on the recommendation of my son’s school and our physician.
The medication made him calmer, but he seemed tired, lost his appetite and was overall subdued. It looked like he was “paying attention” in class, but he was just daydreaming and his school work didn’t improve. The school was pleased because the behaviors seemed to be a bit less, but we were determined to find another solution.
We went to a psychologist for an assessment and were referred to Rocky Point Academy, where we met Larry and Stacey Smith. What they had to tell us at the first presentation made so much sense to us- it was as if they knew our son!
We attended Rocky Point Academy when Matt was eight. The first thing we noticed was his confidence boost. They really spent a lot of time showing him what he was capable of and how far he could reach. The first day he got into the car at lunch and said, “If I’m too energized, just tell me and I can control it now.” … and he did!
By the end of the week we noticed improved confidence, the ability to look ahead before acting, less anger, more appropriate energy level, much less fighting at homework time, he fell asleep easier, and reading went up 3 grade levels. All without medication!
After the program, we seemed to be on a pendulum for the next few months. Some days were good and some were bad. But the “bad days” were nothing like the “bad days” before, and they were getting fewer and farther between. Whenever Matt had a concern about slipping he could revisit his tools or call Larry and then he would be back on track again.
We went in for a review about six months after the program, because Larry recommended that we take another look at sequence and order. After the review, we saw Matt start to get organized. He rarely forgot his homework anymore, he knew when most assignments were due and his grades continued to rise.
I want to let other parents know that this is not a quick fix for ADHD, but a process (like Larry said from the beginning), it is seeing the little changes along the way and watching your child begin to grow.
Now, it has been four years since the program and Matt is completely “with it.” He is on student council, has good friends, gets good grades and is a happy young man. I just want to thank Rocky Point Academy for everything that they have done for Matt and our family and encourage them to keep up the important work they do.
To Whom it May Concern,
I had the unusual opportunity this summer to be a ‘fly on the wall’ while my daughter Molly went through the Rocky Point Academy program with Larry. It was a revelation to my daughter, and a huge educational experience for me!
Like many other parents with dyslexic children, I knew my daughter to be an intelligent, articulate child, with an inexplicable inability to read. This in a family that is addicted to reading! She’s always been surrounded by books, yet she couldn’t read. When I expressed my concerns to her teachers at school, they never seemed to think there was a problem, and when I insisted on testing, her performance was low, but not low enough to qualify for any special help.
I was frustrated, and Molly was frustrated. Sadder, though, was I think she had already given up and decided that she really was stupid, that she couldn’t do better. All this at the age of 8.
Which was the situation when we started at Rocky Point. Initially Molly didn’t want to go. She knew she would never learn to read. She didn’t want to spend a whole week of her summer vacation in summer school. She hated school!
But that one week has changed our lives!
By the second day of sessions with Larry she was looking forward to going. This wasn’t like school at all. The difference was easy for her to express. In school it didn’t matter how hard she worked, she would just do worse and worse; but with Larry, if she followed his direction, it got easier and easier, and she could do it! And just like that, within a day or two, my little girl had a confidence and self esteem that she had lost years before. By the end of the week, it was tears when she had to say good-bye to Larry. She wanted to stay and work with him forever, she felt so smart when she was there.
It’s not as easy at home as it was at Rocky Point. Its hard to find the time to do clay, and she still doesn’t like to do spell-reading. But there’s a difference in Molly now. She knows she’s smart. And now she’s still an intelligent and articulate child; but she’s also a self-confident one who enjoys going to school, who loves all the Ivy and Bean books, and who has an ‘A’ in spelling!
Our lives were changed by our week at Rocky Point Academy. From my experience listening in, I understand much more clearly how Molly’s brain works. And Molly, well Molly has decided she can do anything. Last week she wanted to be an astronaut, this week its a geologist. I don’t know what she’ll end up doing, but my sincere thanks go out to Larry at Rocky Point for making it possible for my child to excel.
Eric (four years after the program)
My son Eric took the week long Dyslexia program at Rocky Point Academy in the fall of 2008, at age 8, when he was in grade three. He had always been a shy, relatively quiet boy who really wanted to please. Imagine our surprise when halfway through grade one, and throughout grade two his teacher told us that he was “just being bad” and could not pay attention. He quickly became the class clown and was repeatedly sent out of the classroom. At home, he said he was stupid because he could not learn to read.
In grade three, when he was still struggling, even with a very understanding teacher, we took him to the introductory evening at Rocky Point. He had had extra reading help at school with the reading teacher, but he had not progressed past reading at a beginning grade one level. The strange thing was that he could read some large words, but could never remember the small simple words like “to” or “a”. We had a lot of reservations that this “quick” program could help, but my nephew had taken it, and had had great results, so we felt it was worth a try. Imagine our surprise when Eric exclaimed after the preliminary pie test: :doesn’t everyone see like that?”
Eric loved working with Stacey, and wanted to go to “school” at Rocky Point forever. He went from reading at a beginning grade one level to a grade three level in one week! His confidence soared, and now he understood that he was not stupid. He just needed some new tools to work with. Another bonus was that Eric’s coordination improved tremendously. He used to run tilted backwards, but now by being “on point” he could run normally, catch balls, and was much more successful in the games at home and school. His behaviour at school improved and he could focus much more easily. His successes snowballed and soon he was back to the hard working person we had seen before grade one. Finding out so many famous people had/have dyslexia has been very encouraging when he gets frustrated with learning something.
Eric went back to Stacey for “tune-ups” in grade four and now in grade six. His reading and comprehension are at a grade six/seven level, and his marks are consistently in the 80’s. He still loves to work with Stacey and wishes he could have tutoring with her every week! Stacey and Larry have been extremely welcoming in giving ud help whenever it is needed. They are very professional, patient, and encouraging in their approach. The Davis Dyslexia techniques address the real issues behind Dyslexia and, consequently, results are apparent very quickly. They are unlike other tools that traditional reading or tutoring programs use which must be practiced for months before seeing significant results.
Thank you, Stacey and Larry, for helping Eric reach his potential. We highly recommend Rocky Point Academy.
Linda and Ken
Update 6 months after this letter:
I am just writing to update you on Eric’s grade 6 PAT results from last year, spring 2012. He was so excited to have achieved Excellence in Writing! Only 5 out of his class of 17 achieved this. His score was 82%. In Reading his score was 74% which was in the High Acceptable range. Not bad for a child who could not really read until the middle of grade 3 when he took the Davis program with you. I must also tell you that his teacher was encouraging us to request a reader and scribe for Eric, but he was adamant that he did not need one. He was right!
By the way, all of his other scores were in the middle to high acceptable range.
We have three letters for Alison:
Alison after two months
I thought I would let you know things are going.
Everyday when I pick up Alison from daycare, she is happily playing with somebody. I use to dread going in there, to hear yet another ‘bad Alison” story. Now it’s a pleasure. When I met Sharon, the director of the center, she always tells me how well Alison is doing. Even when Alison messes up, these days, she takes correction so much better than she use to.
Sometimes with Alison I felt like I may have well been talking to a tree. Now, there is evidence that Alison listens!
Her soccer game is improving, because she can use her dial to switch between listening to her coach, and getting revved up to play. She continues to display her understanding of consequence, in many ways, daily.
While I was more concerned with her social problems than academic, the improvements in her reading are remarkable. She used to insist she could only read Archie comics. The other day she picked up the Harry Potter book I am reading to her, and read all the reviews on the back cover- nearly flawlessly. She made a cake and read the directions on the box- used to insist she could not read such small letters.
I am convinced that we have gotten our monies worth already, and this is just the beginning.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart. The Davis program is wonderful and you are eminently qualified to facilitate it.
Alison after one year
To whom it may concern; March 2003
My daughter Alison, then 9, attended a week of Davis Dyslexia Method
training with Larry Smith at Rocky Point Academy, in May, 2002 to correct
her ADHD. Both she and I were enormously impressed with Larry’s delivery of
the training – his knowledge and experience were augmented by his warmth,
humour and professionalism. Alison was delighted to be going back there
We continue to be impressed with the results, and the follow-up. Alison
continues to use her tools, and the results are greater confidence and
ability, socially and academically. Larry and Stacey are always available,
to answer any questions and do any follow-up training. We are treated with
compassion and caring, and given answers and tools that work.
I consider Larry and Stacey and Rocky Point Academy a compliment and an
asset to the Davis Dyslexia Association. I am eternally grateful that I
have seen such results without medication.
Alison after five years
When she was 4, she tested as gifted and enrolled in a school for gifted children. When she was 6 she was asked to leave the gifted school because she was falling behind in her reading, her self esteem was suffering and she was ‘acting out’, and being disruptive. Things got worse, in public school, and then she was diagnosed with ADHD, and I asked her psychologist for an alternative to medication. That is how I found you. At age 9 she went through your program.
Now she is 14 and has started high school. She has informed me that I must not setup dentist or doctor appointments during school time- she does not want to miss any school. She does all her homework with minimal prompting from me, and recognizes that it is for her benefit- not for her teachers or me. Her average on her first report card is 84.8. Alison is planning on becoming a doctor.
Alison made the transition between a school of 250 kids to a school of 1800 gracefully and easily. None of her friends went to this new school with her, but she made new friends and adjusted easily.
Alison is a beautiful, confident and capable young lady. Thank you again.
Caity (After 5 years)
This email was received five years after Caity took a program at Rocky Point Academy:
I just wanted to let you know that Caity is thriving in her first year of junior high school. Her reading is very strong and her intellect is being well challenged. Her average on her first report card was 82.9% and she received honours with distinction.
Primarily, I wanted to share her success with you and thank you. You really gave Caity an understanding that she could achieve and that she was truly smart. As time goes on she has proven it to herself as well. Again, thank you for all your support you have given us in the past and I know that you will always be there for Caity should any “insurmountable” challenges arise in the future.
With sincere gratitude,
We have four letters for Tony:
Cheri (Tony’s mother)
To Whom it may concern,
Though I have had the privilege of knowing the Smiths for only a short while, my family has benefited greatly from their help in teaching my son, Tony, how to read.
We first heard about the Smiths from a friend who also has a child who suffers from dyslexia. And suffering is what it was, until the Smiths worked through the Ron Davis method of Mastery with him and taught him how to be able to focus, handle “trigger” words that would confuse him, and set his inner clock. These are just a few of the things that basically turned him around in a week.
Tony was 10 years old and in fourth grade when the Smiths trained him. He tested at early second grade reading level on Monday, December 6th, 1999. By Friday the 10th, he was reading at fourth grade half year (4.5). We couldn’t believe it. 2½ grade levels in 5 days.
As I write this on March 23, 2000 he has only gotten better. He loves to read now that he is no longer afraid of failure. This was a great improvement in his self confidence.
We have found the Smiths to be knowledgeable of the material, very efficient, and patient, as well as caring. Their follow up has been more than anticipated. In short, we couldn’t be more pleased. If you are considering using their services, I can personally guarantee you will be making an excellent choice.
Linda (Tony’s teacher)
View Ridge Elementary School
April 13, 2000
With this letter I recommend Rocky Point Academy as a help for dyslexic students. Their work with Tony, a student of mine, has made a dramatic difference in his reading ability.
The improvement in Tony’s reading level has been substantial. In September when Tony entered my classroom as a fourth grader, he was reading on a second grade level. After a week of tutoring in December, Tony’s reading level rose to fourth grade level. Tony has sustained this gain throughout the year. On the Achievement Level Test given this March, Tony gained three grade levels.
The Smiths have been a pleasure to work with and generous with their special knowledge. At the conclusion of their week tutoring Tony, they met with a team of teachers to discuss their program. They also met with specific teachers and assistants to design follow-up practice for Tony. They are knowledgeable, positive, and born teachers.
Linda (Tony’s Instructional Assistant)
April 14, 2000
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter of recommendation is for Rocky Point Academy. I am an Instructional Assistant at View Ridge Elementary.
Rocky Point Academy taught one of my learning assisted students at View Ridge. This student was in a one week program at Rocky Point Academy. His reading skills improved greatly as well as gaining needed confidence. He was able to use many of the strategies taught to him to make continued marked progress.
View Ridge Elementary
Barbara (Tony’s reading specialist)
April 13, 2000
To whom it may concern:
Re: Rocky Point Academy
I do not know the Smiths personally. I have only seen the results of their work with one student, Tony.
Tony left school in December for one week of intensive, one on one instruction at Rocky Point Academy. He came back to us an excited, eager reader with a confidence boost. He is willing to tackle any book, but knows when to ask for help with a word. He is still practicing the skills that he was taught and is reading more fluently than he did before. He can tell me in sequence what he read while I was not with him. He also reads with expression. He rereads if he feels he did not understand what he read. He has made progress in the classroom also. He works more independently now in all areas because everything does not have to be read to him. The level of independent reading has definitely gone up because of his time at Rocky Point Academy, in my opinion.
Thank you for changing Ryan’s outlook on school and life in general. He is a different boy since taking your course one year ago. His marks in school have improved drastically. He even has more friends!
Before taking the course, Ryan was on a modified grading system getting N’s for not achieving at grade level and P’s for progressing towards grade level. This year Ryan is on the regular school curriculum and is getting B’s – achieving at level and C’s. He even got 3 A’s on his last term report. I have attached a copy of his report card. [We have not included this report card as it is personal in nature.] Just reviewing the marks within the last year shows the progress Ryan has made.
In the last parent teacher interview, the teacher was amazed with Ryan’s improvements. We are no longer frustrated with the barriers Ryan was struggling with previously. We are able to understand and help with the tools you have provided him with.
Thank you for giving Ryan the confidence and determination to do better in school. He now looks forward to writing tests!
Stacey, your understanding, caring, and patience have been very much appreciated. Please carry on helping others, like you have Ryan. I would highly recommend you and your program to other families with dyslexia.
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter of recommendation is for Rocky Point Academy, where our son Robb attended for one week in January, 2001. Our son, who is 10 years old, was diagnosed as PDD-NOS under the Autism spectrum. This presented special challenges for the Smiths. Larry worked through the Ron Davis method of Mastery with Robb and was able to teach him the necessary strategies to help him learn to read. With this program, Larry taught him how to focus, handle “trigger” words that would confuse him, and set his inner clock.
Both Stacey and Larry Smith’s continuing follow up with the school and ourselves
is greatly appreciated.
If you are considering using their services, we feel that Rocky Point Academy
is an excellent choice.
Karen and Dave
Our 10 year old daughter had struggled for about 2 years until we were able to get some testing done which show she was dyslexic. She used to come home from school since Grade 2 complaining of headaches and being exhausted so much that she would nap every day after school. She was also quite cranky on most school days before and after. She struggled with reading, hated reading actually. The psychologist we went to recommended Rocky Point Academy to us, as a way to help our daughter.
She had just started Grade 5 and we went for the week long intensive program. We were well informed right from the first phone call we had with Larry. He helped us to make a choice to attend their information meeting. After that first meeting we left there feeling so happy to have found them and this program, our daughter was the picture of the child they spoke about!
While Kylie took the program with Stacey, she never once complained about getting up early, she was excited to go and learn about how she could deal, handle what she was feeling and “seeing”. She has now had her first report card after attending and her teachers were so impressed and surprised with the progress she has made. Her reading level has jumped 2 or 3 levels she is more confident, happy and outgoing at school. She has never once come home from school complaining of a headache since attending. She has not napped after school, like she used to. She is happy in the morning going to school. She told us she is glad she went because it made reading and writing easier. She also is happy to find out she is not the only one…. The best thing about it all is to see her sitting up in her room reading a book because she enjoys it now.
We are so relieved to have been able to get this help for her. It has been a lot of work, but so rewarding at the end. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who has a child with dyslexia as it has made a huge difference in our lives.
Thank you very much, Larry and Stacey
L. P. (mother)
Karen and Leonard
TY – One Year After His Program
Ty brought home his report card and he wanted me to send you a copy. I really truly think Ty was quite proud of him-self and I was VERY PROUD of him too…
Ty had a small melt down thinking he should have had better marks in the following subjects: Math, Language and French. Ty thought he was going to be on the Honor Roll. I thought to myself, “~WOW~ now that would be Kool!” but he didn’t make it this time, he was pretty disappointed… but I told him to set a goal and we will bring up his marks a bit, and I’m sure he will not have problems getting on the Honor Rolls next semester.
I do not think I have ever seen Ty’s marks as good as they are… I just want to say thank you so much. Words cannot express how we feel you helped us in many ways and many more to come….
~~Ty & Laurel~~
Demaris – Two Years After Her program
We would like to advise you of Demaris’s progress, and the benefit she received from taking your course at Rocky Point Academy.
We had realized very early that Demaris has a different learning and thought process. After a long struggle, Demaris had been diagnosed through the school system as dyslexic and disgraphic. Prior to taking your course, we would work with Demaris daily, re-teaching whatever had been taught at school each day. This was often a couple of hours each night, to put things into terms that made sense to Demaris. This involved many different approaches, with a trial and error process. Through this process, and a great deal of hard work and long hours, Demaris was able to maintain an average in her school marks of about seventy-five per cent.
Demaris was also somewhat shy and withdrawn at school, often afraid to speak to the teacher. She did not participate in class very much, and was often frustrated and depressed.
After taking the Rocky Point Academy course, we began to notice a growing sense of self-assurance in Demaris. When she returned to school that September, we discovered that Demaris no longer needed daily help from us in order to assimilate the teaching she received at school. She began to participate, not only in class, but also in school leadership programs such Peer Helpers. She has good relationships with all of her teachers, as well as the school Principal and Vice-Principal. Her marks in school rose to and remain in the eighties and nineties.
The difference in Demaris was drastic. She went from being an emotional child with little self-confidence, to an independent, self-assured, outgoing individual, able to maintain Honour Roll marks.
We would recommend the Rocky Point Academy for anyone experiencing the type of difficulties Demaris had. Please feel free to use us as a reference for your school. What was given to Demaris by your course is beyond price, and we will always be grateful for it.
Barbara & Chester
My daughter Hannah, 11, started to have learning difficulties as soon as grade 1. After several years of extra support, even though it looked like she could read, she still couldn’t understand the meaning of the texts. She had a lot of trouble to express herself orally, continuously changing ideas. For the same reason, her writing was really poor, words were missing and there was no punctuation. She had no short-term memory and learning the multiplication tables was a nightmare.
She was lacking coordination and physically, it looked like she was preventing herself from growing. Very skinny, she was always complaining that her belly ached and she was a very anxious little girl who did not have any self confidence.
Several “specialists” assured me that she was not dyslexic. However, when I read “The Gift of Dyslexia,” by Ron Davis, I knew right away that was the cause of her problems.
In September, she spent a week at Rocky Point Academy. The following Monday, as soon as she went back to school, her teachers started to notice a difference in her. By November, when the time of the report cards came, they wanted to know what could have lead to such a dramatic change in her way of learning. Her grades were amazing.
She still has to work hard but she is able to understand, learn and memorize.
Thanks to your tools and ‘tips’, there is no more ‘panic’. She knows how to manage her time and behaviour.
Her coordination has improved tremendously (she can play basketball, ping-pong…) and she even has started to gain some weight.
I am grateful to the facilitators at Rocky Point Academy for their kindness, patience, great support and professionalism. And for the fact that they are always ready to answer our questions, whenever we need help.
(Although Hannah’s first language is French and she goes to a French school the training in English did not confuse her. We only do the French exercises at home but both languages are improving at the same time).
Jared and Brennan
The day I called Rocky Point Academy about their program, our lives changed. I was desperate to find help for my sons Brennan and Jared who struggled in school. After attending their open house and finding out about the Davis Dyslexia program, I quickly booked them in for a week with Larry and Stacey.
The boys enjoyed their week at Rocky Point and were happy to go back each day. Larry worked with Brennan and was able to understand why he struggled and what to do to help him. Brennan appreciated Larry’s sense of humour, as Larry was able to deliver the program in a fun and interesting way.
Stacey worked with Jared and had a great deal of patience and understanding into his struggles. Jared developed a great relationship with her. She really cares about children and wants to help make school easier for them.
The program works. Building and developing learning strategies is a progressive experience, not something which happens instantly. We noticed some changes right away and we continue to see improvements two years later. Larry and Stacey taught them strategies that improved their reading, writing and attention. They developed organization skills and gained self-confidence.
We will be forever grateful to Larry and Stacey for providing Brennan and Jared with the tools to be successful in school and beyond. They are professionals who strongly believe in the program and their ability to help those who struggle. I highly recommend their program for anyone looking for help with learning disabilities/ADHD.
Stacey was very helpful and an exceptional teacher for the week Curtis was there, She has a good insight into the child and their needs. Curtis thinks of her as a friend and was willing to work for her more so than others. She is very kind and seems to love children and cares very much.
Her ideas for him have helped very much and we where very glad to find him some real help, It is not a quick fix but a process and just the fact that he is more confident is real progress. I would recommend Stacey to work with any child. She is awesome.
We thank God for sending her into our path to help our bright Dyslexic child.
We all had our eyes opened to many tools that will help us with all of our children and help ourselves too.
Darrell and Kathy
To Whom It May Concern,
Our eleven year old son has dyslexia and possibly ADD. He struggled with reading, writing, math, focusing and staying on task at school. Because he could not keep up in school, his self esteem was greatly reduced. We tried extra classes, tutoring during the summer and constant practice with reading at home, only to despair and frustration.
Then we heard about Rocky Point Academy. He attended for only five days. These five days are changing his life and ours. He has improved in all his subjects in school. His reading level alone improved by three grade levels within that week. Imagine the excitement he could share with us when for the first time ever, he achieved 100% on his math test last week. Thank you Rocky Point Academy.
In December, 2000 our son Levi attended the Rocky Point Academy under the tutelage of dyslexic corrective specialist Larry Smith.
The program ran for 4.5 days. Each day Levi was greeted by Larry and Stacey with a warm smile. On the fifth day parents were invited to join the group to view what progress had been made. Forming words with clay was one of the new tools he learned. This has helped him to memorize words. He is also finding it easier to focus. Larry made Levi feel very comfortable and so he really enjoyed working with him. Larry helped to build Levi’s confidence.
Levi can now work with his newly learned tools at school. They help him to concentrate on his school work and not get so easily distracted.
As much as the session at Rocky Point Academy helped, Levi knows that he must do it on his own. Only he can apply himself to improve in his school work and so earn better grades. He is the one who has to want to make these changes.
Levi has a schedule that he has made up for himself, from the Academy. He follows this schedule because it’s making everything easier for him, whether it’s reading for 15 minutes, building words with clay (Symbol Mastery) or using the Koosh balls.
The Academy calls us at home to see how things are going. We appreciate the concern about Levi’s progress that this shows. We feel that Larry works very hard and is very understanding. He has taught Levi a very special tool to get him through life.
We would recommend this program to people who are wanting to improve. This program shows you a way to improve, if you are willing to work.
Gay and Brad
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Rocky Point Academy for the week’s workshop, which my son, Timothy was able to experience with Larry. As parents as well as international literacy workers we were impressed with the manner in which our twelve-year old was able to connect with and learn practical skills, which has daily been able to apply, both in the classroom and to his daily life.
We were able to ask questions to Larry during the week, quickly witnessed both an attitude/self-image change in Tim, as well as a focused ability to be on-task in his homework assignments. Our exercises with Tim three times a week with modeling clay, “cush-balls” and with challenging words and writing skills, displayed a continual growth in Tim’s ability to improve in overall balance, fine motor skills, and in durative memory and recall.
I have and would highly recommend this program to any parent struggling with children with similar learning challenges. It has worked for Tim!
July 19, 2010
To Whom It May Concern
It is our pleasure to write a letter of recommendation for Rocky Point Academy. Our son has struggled with reading and writing since kindergarten. Over the years, as teachers, we tried many learning strategies, drills and tutoring with him. He made some improvement but was always below his grade level. Homework and reading were difficult tasks for him to complete. With assistance, he only scored about 50% on his Provincial Achievement Tests for Grade 6. At that time he was still getting words like “and” & “the” mixed up.
Last summer, we had the opportunity to hear Ron Davis speak and then made an appointment with Larry Smith to spend a week with our son to have him work through the Davis Method. This was the first program to significantly help our son with his reading. It has helped him with the root causes of his reading and not just with the symptoms.
He has always been a creative and artistic child and has enjoyed working using clay to work through the ‘trigger words.’ Rocky Point gave us several resources to share with his teachers at school and they have been receptive and encouraging. The “koosh balls” have helped him learn to be ‘on point’ and focussed and the writing plans have helped him in his writing. We felt that the one-on-one tutoring that Larry provided was exactly what our son needed and that his individual learning problems were addressed in a very positive manner. Everyone at Rocky Point Academy was very kind and understanding and our son really enjoyed his time there.
We have continued the exercises that Larry provided and we have seen our son continue to improve in his reading and writing, both at home and at school. We also appreciate the extra help they have provided since his initial assessment and that we are able to contact them for further assistance whenever needed. For us, the cost of the program and the services that they provide are well worth it and have given us a sense of hope and direction for our child’s education and future.
What Rocky Point Academy did for our dyslexic son is amazing and we have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone who is struggling with reading and writing.
Collin and Tusha
To Whom It May Concern:
It is my pleasure to write this letter of recommendation in behalf of Larry and Stacey Smith of Rocky Point Academy in Calgary, Alberta.
My name is Kristy and I would like to tell you about my 13-year-old daughter. Kirsha has dyslexia. Like many parents with a child that is not learning at school the “normal way” I have gone from worry and despair to she’ll get it eventually. In the end the reality was that I had a child who was 12 and could not use a public restroom if there was not a symbol on the door to indicate “Ladies or Men’s”. I have tried everything, from bribing her, taking away privileges, reading tutors, videos, cassette tapes, and expensive phonics programs. We even moved from England to the United States where I thought just maybe the educational system would be a bit broader in it’s approach to reading.
After 18 months in the USA still nothing was working. I was about at the end, wondering and hoping that somehow I could find an answer to help my daughter learn to read.
My answer came when I met Larry and Stacey Smith of Rocky Point Academy. They told me of a program developed by Ron Davis who is the author of The Gift of Dyslexia. I was thrilled and hopeful that this could be the answer that we had been searching for.
In November I took Kirsha out of school to go through the one-week program offered by the Smiths. Kirsha’s life was changed forever on that day! Using the methods developed by Ron Davis, Rocky Point Academy taught Kirsha how to use her gift of dyslexia.
Kirsha started the week with a reading level of a kindergartener. She did not even know her alphabet. Kirsha learned more that first day in Rocky Point Academy than she had in 7 years of school. For the first time in her life, Kirsha came to realize that she was not stupid like the education system and others had tried to tell her. She was not subnormal or mentally lacking. The reality was that she was gifted, but no one could help her access her gift. As the week progressed not only did Kirsha learn her alphabet but she also learned to read. In one week her reading level jumped several grades. (And continues to do so)
Stacey Smith has taught and equipped Kirsha with the skills and tools to learn successfully. She has helped her to realize her learning potential. I cannot begin to thank and praise Larry and Stacey Smith enough for their hard work and encouragement. With their outstanding approach to learning (not just reading) they have impacted Kirsha’s life and forever changed it for the better.
I have not only found them to be outstanding educators and people of integrity, but also a couple who are deeply concerned about those they come in contact with. I would trust them with my children and have found them to be of the highest moral character. Larry and Stacey have not just been teachers to us, but they have become people that I respect and admire for their commitment and convictions in the education field.
I highly recommend the program that the Smiths have to offer. I would be more than happy to give a verbal reference for them at any time. In closing I would like to say, that like you, I thought this was too good to be true. For Kirsha it has been her miracle. As for me, I will never be able to repay the Smiths for the outstanding and life-changing impact they have had on my daughter’s life. At one point I truly thought that she would never learn to read.
On Kirsha’s first trip to Barnes and Noble she walked into the store and started to cry. I asked her why she was crying. She said, “I never wanted to come in here before, because I knew that everyone would know I couldn’t read. Now I can read any book I want. I’m not stupid and I have a good brain.” We spent 3 hours in Barnes and Noble that day. She pulled book after book off the shelf and read many of them.
Larry and Stacey, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!
I cannot express my thanks, for it is a very, very large boulder you helped me push out of the way. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
You, Rocky Point Academy and Ron Davis have helped me 100% Thanks to Ron Davis for writing “The Gift of Dyslexia” and many thanks to Rocky Point Academy.
But most of the thanks goes to you, Stacey. You helped me free myself from my tangled web. I have to thank God for bringing Ron Davis into this world so that he could change many lives, and I am one of those lives.
I’ve had a wonderful week, and do wish it could continue forever. Thanks for giving me the tools so that I can use them for the rest of my life. I have a few careers I might like to do; a paramedic, engineer, join the military and become a paramedic there, or a geography and history teacher. Whatever it is that I choose I know that I can do it now.
I can read with more understanding, control my temper better, get to sleep easier, write easier and I can get rid of stress quickly. I know how to take responsibility and understand consequence, time, sequence and order. Math makes sense now.
Thanks Stacey because you have given me tools that no man can take away from me. You have made me a lot happier and have helped me to build my dreams. You’ve given me a firm foundation on which to build as I continue to use my tools.
We have two letters for Adyson
Through the two weeks I have had you, you have made or helped me to make a better worker and student. In language arts you have helped me to better understand the stories, which also have raised up my mark.
But in Math you have helped me the most. In the beginning of the year I failed math, and the second time I got my report card I failed it. But in the third part, when I went to see you I passed my math, and I would just like to say Thank-you!
Letter from Adyson’s parents
We are just writing this letter to thank Larry for all the help he has been for our daughter, Adyson.
Before Adyson came to see Larry she had no self-esteem, felt that she was dumb and hated school.
I have seen a change in her attitude since going through the program. She likes going to school and I see that she is actually getting things and doesn’t feel hopeless anymore. Her marks have gone up in almost everything. The best change is in her math. She failed both times her report card came out. But the third one after going through the math program she passed. She is so excited.
Larry has given Adyson a new hope and I think she can accomplish anything now.
I would recommend this program to anyone who is struggling. Thank you Larry!
Larry makes it fun and Adyson really liked him.
Thank you again.
Marge and Ross
My name is Darren and I am fourteen years old. I spent one week with Larry at Rocky Point Academy in March 2001. It was the best week of my life. When I went I was reading at a grade 3 level and by Friday I was reading at a grade 7 level. I am currently in grade 8.
Thank you Larry for giving me the tools to get rid of my confusions.
It was almost a year ago that I came across the website for Rocky Point Academy on the internet and I would just like to take this opportunity to tell you how glad we are that we found this. Our son Martin was 14 ( grade 9) at the time and was struggling greatly in school, as he had for years. He was at the point where he didn’t want to even go to school any more.
We were naturally very concerned and went hunting for yet another solution to try out on him that would help him to succeed at school. My son and I went to the information session last spring for Rocky Point Academy and I found that he identified very strongly with a lot of things that Larry was saying. Although Martin had been identified at school as having problems with writing and spelling, it had never been labelled as a form of dyslexia. At the end of August, before grade 10 started we were able to get Martin in with Larry for the course and it just gave him such a boost. From the first morning, he was in awe himself at what a difference it made in his perception of his surroundings when he was “on point”.
At the end of the day when we were driving home he recited the alphabet backwards! This from a boy who that morning couldn’t even say the alphabet forwards, never mind know where any particular letter fell in the alphabet! Over the week it was amazing to see what he was learning about himself . He came home the second day and said “Now I know that I really am smart.” Martin loved working with Larry – they got along very well and Martin was glad that there was someone else who has experienced the difficulties he has. Over the week we saw some amazing improvements in many ways. He seemed calmer than we have probably ever seen him. He knows now how to control his wandering mind, and fidgety body. He is making better decisions than before, advocating for himself at school and just generally has much better self esteem. We have been working faithfully with him on the homework and are glad that he made the commitment to this.
The follow up work is a very important part of the program. We are also thankful that Larry is available to review some things with Martin at times and that Stacey is available for phone consultations at times. We know that there are still many things that need to improve but we see that there is movement in the right direction, sometimes quite astounding movement in fact. One evening I remember Martin was trying to look up a scientific word in the dictionary and he couldn’t find it. The reason was that it wasn’t there. He could point out to me though where it should have been! Just a couple of months before that he would not even have attempted to look the word up at all. His report cards from school this year have been a huge improvement over last year and the teachers say they are seeing steady improvement. This has really worked for him and if he’s happier then so are we, believe me!
Thanks for your support, both of you!
We have two letters for Brenda:
Brenda after two months
Hello Larry and Stacey,
I have to share with you that Brenda has really good comments on her report card. Some of the teachers stopped me in the hall and told me that she is much more focused in class and she is getting work done in class. She is happier and more confident by far. She will be the first to greet someone, and that would have never been the case before!
Thank you, it is so exciting to see Brenda come so far, so quickly.
After One year
Hello Larry and Stacey,
I just wanted to tell you that Brenda did really well on her grade 11 chemistry and law. For chemistry she got 85% and law was 89%. The word in the staff room is that Brenda is not only doing well…she is “Smokin!’”
Rocky Point Academy has helped me tremendously! I used to take forever to do my homework; it took me awhile to understand the lessons that had been taught that day. It took me the whole night just to do homework, and on weekends I spent the majority of time doing homework. I use to dread going to school. I hated it there! I always felt lost and I was feeling like I was not even there. I was always confused and frustrated with the lessons. I have a strong sense of pride so I don’t give up easy. I would always try as hard as I could and barely got my homework done for the next day. To be honest I was concerned about what Rocky Point Academy could offer me, but I was willing to try and see. We went to the information session and I was told I had ADD. It was suggested that I go and see the people at Rocky Point Academy. When I went to Rocky Point Academy in November I relearned about my abilities and my previous schooling. I learn how I learned and how to help my self to do better. The week at Rocky Point was amazing! I learned so much from Larry! I learned how to orientate my self and how to learn so things make sense.
Later when I went back to school every thing seemed different and I did better. I went from just barely passing to honourable mention. I understood what was being said and what was being taught and I still don’t like the homework, but it takes me less time to do it and I have time for other things. I also enjoy the clay nights. A group of us get together and do words in clay. I enjoy meeting people who are like me and learn the same way. Sure I still have a way to go to improve my skills but now I know that I am not alone and that I can do even better!
To all who are wondering if this is the program for you, I am writing to let others know that Rocky Point Academy has changed my life. Before I attended the academy a year ago, I was on and off of medications for ADD. I tried phonics programs, behavior programs, self-improvement courses, bio-feedback, oils, herbs, vitamins and minerals, and special diets for allergies… none of which made a difference for an extended period of time. I had no real friends, I had problems getting along with my parents, siblings and teachers. I was constantly late, disorganized and had no self confidence.
Throughout school I was constantly being told that I was not performing to my full potential, no matter how hard I tried. I hated going to school because it was both hard and boring at the same time. I would go into test knowing the material and come out with a C or D. Homework took me a longer time to complete, so I didn’t have time to join any sports or clubs I would have enjoyed. In other words, life was hard and I didn’t know why.
A year after taking the program the story is almost the opposite. After working through the concepts of change, consequence, time, sequence and order I have no problems with organization. I balance university courses, part time work and sports with ease (most of the time). I feel comfortable in social settings and very rarely offend anyone (I used to do it constantly without thinking.). So now, I have many good friends and get along with my family. I have been off of Ritalin® since the program and my friends and family can’t believe the changes they’ve seen.
School is easier. I spend less time on homework because I can understand what I’m reading the first time through. I get a lot more out of class because I’m oriented and tests don’t worry me as much anymore. I used to be disorganized, so my homework usually wasn’t turned in on time— now I get things handed in early! For the first time I am learning instead of memorizing. I get along with my teachers and even find myself helping others understand the material.
Not all of this changed over night. It took time, but before the program it wasn’t even possible to make the changes. Without the program I never would have attempted university or felt confident enough to pursue the dreams I have always wanted.
Thank you Rocky Point Academy for making my dreams attainable!
My name is Bonnie, and I am 19 years old. I took the Davis Dyslexia Correction Program with Larry Smith for a week. And here are the results… Ever since I was in school I have had a hard time understanding what was being taught to me. I would work hard by completing my assignments and trying my best to keep up with the rest of the class, but that didn’t cut it. I failed some of my courses in grade seven and as a result my teachers said it would be a miracle if I graduated from high school.
I did graduate from high school only by pure determination and a lot of frustrating nights studying. I was very frustrated with myself because
nothing would click and I often felt dumb. To the average person I looked brilliant, but my marks would show otherwise.
One thing that I did know about myself was that I am very creative and I love to invent or think up knew ideas. I never paid much attention to my creative side because I was too busy trying to pass school.
I never thought of University as a consideration because I thought, why go through all of the money and hard work when I won’t understand anything. And really it is hard getting failing marks all of the time. I wondered if I could torture myself any more??
When I started the Dyslexia program I was afraid. I thought, man I may even fail this and then what would I do? I couldn’t face another failing grade so part of me just wanted to drop out. The reason why I continued was the way Larry could relate to how I think. No one ever saw or understood how I learned and Larry knew exactly what went on in my head. So, I thought I would give this a try. Besides the $2,800 what did I have to loose.
Now I can say that I am so glad I took the program. It has changed me and my family’s life. I understand myself in a different way. I know how I
learn and that is the greatest gift ever. No one ever spent time on me to try and figure out who I am and how I learn.
I know what my weaknesses are… I have always known what they were. The difference is now I am not afraid to work on them. I want to read books for the first time ever, I try to write up my letters instead of conning my mom into doing them. I have learned how to function with my disorientation and it is like I am seeing a new Bonnie that I have never known. The Bonnie before was trying to adapt to a world that did not fit. It was like putting the wrong puzzle piece in the wrong space. Now I know how I learn and I know that I can do anything that I want to do.
This program has resolved some family tension. My mom understands how I think and why I do the things I do. And I now understand her better. Now my mom is an important part of my new learning habits ( which Larry will explain to you ). I could not do it without her.
University is now an option, I am now over seas to teaching English as a second language ( which would never have happened in a million years), and I no longer think that I am dumb.
I think that you should give this program some thought. The things that pulled me through were determination and family support.
For most of my school years, I struggled with learning, especially in high school. I worked really hard and studied hard but could never remember what I was studying or comprehend what I was reading. In ninth grade I was diagnosed with having ADD.
I started taking Ritalin and stayed on that until after I got married. It helped me a lot and my grades did improve, but I always lived with a gut feeling that there was something else missing because I was still having trouble comprehending what I read. In 1995 I quit taking Ritalin. I could not function adequately without medication and in 1999 started taking Wellbutrin. It helped me as well.
Before I went through my program with Larry Smith, I was a little sceptical. I thought maybe nothing could do any better that my being on Wellbutrin. I decided to take the Davis learning course with Larry for my reading, and even though I would be off my medication during the course, I was sceptical about staying off of it. In any case, I clearly decided I was going to take the course.
During the course, I first realized just how poor my reading comprehension was. In fact, I had difficulty accepting the fact that I had to start working at a grade 3 level reading. As Larry proceeded to help me with the reading, I felt better about it. Most importantly I felt like I was learning and I was able to easily comprehend what I read. By the end of the course, I jumped 10 grade levels and I was feeling very happy about myself and feeling as though I could understand so much more.
Working with the clay was the most fun. I am still working with my words and I really enjoy doing them. It just goes to show that we as dyslexics do think in pictures and we do quite well at it. When Larry and I worked with the clay, I was able to get a clearer picture of what the words truly meant.
When we worked with the Koosh balls, it helped me to stay focused and oriented. I was able to reorient quicker. The unique thing about Larry, that not many teachers that I have had could do, was he could connect with me, and learning was not only fun, but also simple and relaxing. He did not push at all, and he could always tell when I was having difficulties. Larry was very patient and let me take breaks whenever I felt I needed them as well as when he could tell I needed one. There were many times that I was enjoying myself so much that time was flying by, and when it came time for a break, I wanted to keep going.
Now that I am done with the course, I have gone completely off my medication, and I intend to stay off of it. I am awake and alert without it. I feel better about myself and other people have told me time and time again that I look better and more relaxed. I would definitely recommend Rocky Point Academy to anyone who is ADD and dyslexic. Larry has a gift with working with people and he is very good at what he does. He helped me out a lot and I did better than I than I would have thought during my course with him.
To Whom it May Concern;
Since my experience at Rocky Point Academy I can comprehend what I am reading the first time through, rather than rereading over and over.
I used to have difficulty with stairs, throwing, and have been considered “accident prone” my whole life. The Davis Program helped me IMMENSELY with my coordination!
Rocky Point Academy cares about each client & tailors each program to meet individual needs. I gladly give my recommendation to their program & am sure you’ll be as pleased as I was.
Dear Larry and Stacey Smith,
I found Rocky Point Academy after several disappointments in my results at writing exams. I would try so hard, spend so much time studying and not get the results I desired. My fiancé pushed me to seek help thinking that I had a form of “test anxiety,” and somehow I landed upon Rocky Point Academy.
At first, I was skeptical. I thought to myself, “what if this is just some excuse to hide that I am just not smart”. My biggest fear was to invest in this program and to have nothing change. My biggest fear was to fail.
After several back and forth emails with Larry, who answered all my questions and dealt with my pushback, I read the book the Gift of Dyslexia. Again, at the start of the book I couldn’t relate, but as the book went on, there were undeniable similarities. I highly recommend that you read this book.
I read the book twice and again, Larry answered all of my questions. Then, I took the leap of faith and signed up for the course. The timing of this course that crucial for me as I was about to write my licensing Primary Care Paramedic exam (last attempt) and the Calgary Fire Department aptitude exam, which is something I had been working towards for a while. I wanted to finally see the result of my efforts and as everybody says “the definition of insanity is doing the something over and over again and expecting a different result.” So, I decided to take this course in the hope that my studying would finally pay-off. It was now or never and I had so much on the line.
Larry and Stacey were great. The course ran for a week long and near the end, my fiancé even got to be a part of it.
Days after the course finished, I wrote both exams and applied everything I learned. I worried tremendously as I awaited the results and to my surprise, when the results finally came back, I had passed both! I was so happy.
I now apply all the skills I learned and continue to work through the long list of trigger words. Sometimes, it feels stupid that I have to work through these exercises but I’ve seen the difference and other people have seen it too. If only I had discovered this in myself a long time ago, I would have saved myself so much heartache.
I was trying so hard and applying all the wrong strategies for the way I learn. Through meeting Larry, I finally felt like I had met someone who fully understood me, and I agree with the saying that the gift of dyslexia is the art of mastery. I am no longer skeptical and I believe it now.
I wanted to thank Larry and Stacey for all their help and I would highly recommend them to anyone.