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Ilaria Smith: Making Us All Proud

We love hearing from our past and present families. It’s always tough for us when we graduate a child, seeing them move on, full of expectation and hope, and hopefully armed with a solid foundation. We always appreciate hearing from the families and learning how they fared.

We just received this note from Charles Smith and Marilyng Perez Montero regarding their daughter Ilaria. I recall meeting Ilaria and her family for the first time. Ilaria was a very sweet, quiet, well-mannered 10-year-old who lacked confidence and who came to us with a combination of processing issues, academic problems, and physical strength and coordination challenges. She was very anxious to do what she needed to do to better herself, and her parents were obviously dedicated to doing all they could do to make it happen.

Ilaria’s family was very organized and hit her program running and started seeing changes almost immediately. The family kept in close contact with me through their coach, Marta Palmes, and worked not only hard, but smart. The plan from the beginning was to keep Ilaria home and do NACD homeschool, get her “pieces” put together, and then to have her go back to school. Ilaria was with us for less than 18 months, but we were delighted to see her transform into a confident and capable young lady in that relatively short period.

When Charles, Ilaria’s dad, asked me if I thought Ilaria was able to handle going back to school, I told him that I felt she was; but when he told me where he wanted her to go, I was a bit concerned. He wasn’t going to just send her to school, he wanted her to go to a very challenging, tough academic school. I should not have worried. I will let Dad’s words speak for how she has done.

Congratulations, Team Smith!

—Bob Doman


Dear Marta [at NACD],

I am writing to inform you of our daughter Ilaria’s achievement of a 4.0 GPS her first year in middle school and being recognized as a recipient of the President’s Education Awards Program—all this less than six months after graduating from the NACD program. It is a momentous achievement and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you and Bob Doman for all the efforts you have contributed on behalf of Marilyng, myself and Ilaria.

Your support during the design and implementation of Ilaria’s NACD program has been nothing short of overwhelming. Needless to say, without your and Bob’s expertise, input and encouragement, Marilyn and I would never have been able to achieve success in carrying out the program with Ilaria.

As you may recall, we were introduced to Bob Doman and NACD in the Summer of 2016. I was doing some research online for organizations that could assist our 10-year-old daughter, Ilaria, whom had been officially diagnosed as having a “learning disorder”. Ilaria was falling behind in mathematics as well as English and was lacking in physical strength and coordination.

We had tried a number of different private companies and public resources but did not feel any were right for Ilaria’s circumstances. Some were very expensive, and others did not provide the personalized attention we felt was necessary. Fortunately, I came across Bob’s name along with NACD when I was reading reviews by a client of one of the private companies we were meeting with. That day changed our lives!

After watching the online videos of Bob explaining how a child’s brain develops and why it is important to use teaching methods that take into account, we made contact with NACD. My wife and I were very excited to work with Bob and create a personalized development program for Ilaria.

We started implementation of the program in July 2016 and found that your input and weekly support was invaluable. In addition to your encouragement and support you greatly assisted us with the practical implementation of the program. I can distinctly remember your suggestion of creating an excel spreadsheet to keep track of and monitor the daily activities and progress of the program. This helped us tremendously.

Ilaria made steady progress throughout the remainder of 2016 and through the first half of 2017. In august of 2017, she started 6th grade at a new middle school considered to be one of the most academically challenging schools in Florida. By the end of the first semester in December, she had achieved the honor roll during both quarters and finished with a 3.6 GPA. It was at that time, during her December evaluation with Bob, that he informed her she had successfully graduated from the NACD program.

The NACD program along with the support from yourself and Bob changed our lives and gave Ilaria the confidence to believe in herself and achieve her goals of making the honor roll in her first year of middle school. Thank you very much!


NACD Newsletter, October 2018 ©NACD



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