​            Testimonials 



I just want to tell you how impressed we are with Gateway. Aria has been so relaxed every day when she comes home compared to the anxiety and tears that I used to see. This school is  a true blessing and we appreciate all you do for these very special kids. Thank you for everything!!!!





Hello Gateway,


Mike and I saw the story on the news this morning. We want to send our congratulations to Ms. Lisa. She had such an impact on Brian’s life. Many teachers are good teachers, but Lisa is truly a special teacher. Her ability to relate to students and families and to build confidence is amazing. When Brian watched the story and I said Lisa is a great teacher, Brian corrected me. He said, “Mom, she is not just a great teacher, she is a great person”.


Please pass our congratulations on to Lisa and let her know that all the work she did with Brian, all the caring, all the support and kindness have made a difference in our son. He wouldn’t be doing as well as he is now without Lisa and her commitment to Brian. We also enjoyed seeing his pictures!!!


Thanks again and take care everyone!!


Ann Lynn DiDomenico





Hi there,

I just wanted to say thank you so much for loving on my child the way my husband and I do. When I walked in today to pick Skylar up from school and all of you were talking and laughing with Skylar and encouraging her efforts with writing poetry about lightning dragons - to see her smiling and laughing with all of you, I could tell you genuinely care about her and the other children too. This comes after a warm experience during curriculum night last night where I could tell each and every teacher truly cares about the kids. I am so excited to be part of this school! And Skylar is too! Thank you so much for caring ️








I want to give kudos to all of you at Gateway. My son for the first time in 5 years is telling people that he likes school again and is no longer asking me if he "has" to go. When asked about school by several people including one of his doctors just this past Wednesday, he said he really liked this school. When asked to elaborate Ashton said the new  school was fun and gave full credit to his teachers for making it that way in every subject! He is super excited about the Nerf Club and the opportunity to take Japanese, neither of which were available at his previous schools. 


Being freed from stressful hours of homework each evening has had a huge impact on our entire family. We are able to spend more quality time with him during the week and he now has had time to have sleep overs on the weekends instead of constantly trying to play catch up from the classwork he was unable to complete throughout the week.


You all are making an amazing impact on our lives and I can't thank you guys enough. I hope that you will share this email with your coworkers. Please keep up the good work and don't hesitate to let me know if you need us to assist you in any way. 








Robin and Gateway Staff,

I can’t find the words to express how grateful that I am for all that you guys have done for Annabelle this semester. The wonderful Rock Concert/Graduation this morning was delightful frosting on an amazing cake. In my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would see Annabelle perform on a stage in front of a large audience as she did today. I know it took all the courage that she could muster and she is so pleased with herself and we are proud of her. For that, I have each of you to thank!A short 5 months ago, I brought to you a broken child that I was not able to help alone. She had withdrawn into herself, found it difficult to socialize with nearly everyone, sad, lonely and truly hated going to school. Although, I know the road this semester has not been smooth and there is still a long way to go for this child to reach her full potential, the improvements that I see are monumental. I now see an albeit stubborn, but a happy child that once again looks for opportunities to socialize, join willingly in family dinners, game nights, willingly attend events(such as prom) and even proclaims that she likes her school.I know that none of these things would be reality if not for the wonderful, skilled, caring staff at Gateway Academy.  As I sit here listening to the laughter and excitement wafting down the stairs as she shares her exciting day with her mother, I am moved to tears and feel such a debt of gratitude to all of you.As we move into this next school year, understanding that there are still many social and academic hurdles to jump, I pledge to you to support you in anyway that I can. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing this life changing opportunity for Annabelle.


Warmest Regards,


Wonderful school and wonderful community!

Thank you - T


Ms. Sweet and Mr. Perea,


I want to let you know how wonderful it was to have your students visit the Museum over the last month. Sometimes we find when school groups visit the Museum and do not schedule Docent-led tours they have a diminished experience and too much unstructured time which can lead to behavior issues. It was clear from Jessica Ahl’s first visit that would not be a problem with your students. The students were extremely polite and well-behaved. Jessica did an outstanding job of managing the students, explaining the Museum rules, and keeping the students engaged during the length of their visit. I was impressed with the work Jessica had done before her first visit with students, so when they arrived she had a plan and clear directions. Our Gallery Attendants and security staff knew that when Jessica was arriving with students, they would have nothing to worry about.


Congratulations on having such wonderful students and staff. We look forward to welcoming your students back for future visits.


Kind regards,

Heather Covitz

Education Tour and Outreach Associate

Phoenix Art Museum  

Direct: 602.257.2122


Pronouns: she/her/hers



Dear Miss Robin and Gateway Staff,

My thoughts this morning turned to the past and how much Colette has progressed since being at Gateway Academy.

Four years ago, I was pleading with Coco to write a paper for English so that she might pass the class.   Then I was pleading with the teacher to accept the little bit that Coco had dictated to me and I had written out for her.  Coco had struggled at the new middle school; often refusing to get on the bus in the dark to go to the school where she was in special education.  I remember one afternoon, the school called me to say that she was crying in the bathroom and another day that she was sitting outside the school’s front gate ready to run away from that school which did not understand or accept her.  Loren and I were bereft. 

Months later, I saw a photo and story in the newspaper about the valedictorian of Gateway’s senior class.  This would be a turning point for Coco and for our entire family.  Now Coco is excelling academically, she is a member of National Honor Society and she is volunteering outside of school at a bunny rescue.  She is cooperative and even happy to go to school—a school where she is accepted and celebrated for who she is.  There are no words to express how this transformation has helped our family be more peaceful, more joyful and more confident in our daughter.  We are grateful.

Miss Robin, thank you for your vision and dream which created this wonderful school.  To all the faculty and staff thank you for caring about and encouraging Coco. And to all the teachers who work daily with Coco-- Ms. Jessica, Mr. Michael, Mrs, Emily, Mrs. Kacey, Mr. Mike, Mr. Creason and Coach Marissa-- we are forever grateful for your compassion, your patience, your acceptance of and your belief in our daughter.  She is truly a different person and we are a different family because of all of you.

With sincere gratitude and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season,


Brigit Lawson


Hi Robin!

Sammy starts school August 20th. Thank you for everything that you have done for us. Thank you again for such a wonderful recommendation. 

Our lives have been so blessed because you were a part of it. I will keep in touch and let you know what's going on with us. I hope you have an amazing school year. You are so important to so many families!



Sloan and Sammy

September 2017

Dear Robin and really everyone at Gateway,

This weekend for the first time Colette had a real birthday party with friends from school.  It was a delight to watch her greet the guests, interact with them and their parents, and smile when they sang happy birthday to her.  I know this could not have happened without the great work and support from Gateway and all of the staff.  It was a thrill for me and nothing short of miraculous.

Just wanted to say thank you.



August 2017

I just want you to know that Gateway Academy has my heart. Watching how much Amber has grown makes my heart sing. With the love and support of her wonderful parents and Gateway, I believe we have so much hope for her to be independent someday. I love Amber with all my heart and will do anything I can to help her. Thank you again for all you at Gateway do. 
Grandma Linda

August, 2017

Hello Robin, 


I wanted to write you a note and tell you how incredibly impressed we were with Gateway Academy. The tour gave us such a great feel for the quality of your curriculum, students, instruction and the entire campus. You have done a terrific job giving uniquely gifted kids the opportunity to reach their full potential.  Your understanding of special kids was so evident and it permeates every inch of Gateway. Cameron loved it. 

Thanks again Robin. We look forward to getting the enrollment and admissions process going. 



July 2017


Thank you all for being a part of the best first week of school that Camden has ever had. This was the first year, in his entire life, that I did not worry about the school, his teacher, the kids, the campus, etc...It was the first year that Camden did not worry about all of those things; but also, this was his first year of looking forward to seeing friends, and his first year entering a grade with confidence. He was proud to be a "5th Grader" now, and excited to not be a "rookie" so he can help the new students. It has been a long-awaited dream for me to finally be at peace knowing Camden is in his perfect place. And now to work on my other two kids....LOL.


I am so grateful for you all and am super excited about this school year. Thank you so much.


July 2017

Matt, I am so happy for my Dani! She finally feels she fits in. I have no doubt in my mind she will go places because now she has the Gateway family on her side providing her with the right tools to succeed. Many times I hated myself for not being able to fight harder. But she is there now and a lot has to do with all the help, and support we received from you. 

I will be forever thankful!

Thank you for keeping me informed about Dani's progress, it means a lot to me.



August 2016



As a follow up to a conversation a few weeks ago...  I just got off the phone with Tim Kuhn and the future looks promising.  When asked about Gateway I gave it a five Diamond, four thumbs up rating. Macallister has interacted with me on levels never seen that I was hesitant to even hope for. 


That is the real backbone of my email. Thank you for giving me back my son!!!  I'm in tears while I type this. Mary and I could not be happier and we look forward to many years of joy. 

The Yahner's

July 2016


I am very appreciative of Matt taking time out of his weekend to meet me.  In my line of work I consult with some of the largest finance companies in the world.  Regardless of the size of the company, the biggest challenge business leaders face are finding individuals whom they can entrust to lead the business.  I struggle with this myself, which is why I have chosen to keep my company at a small scale.   In the end, it really comes down to trust.  We need to trust that we hire the people that share our vision, who are made of the same moral fiber, and who will best represent our organization.


Gateway is very fortunate to have Mr. Matt.  Treat him well!  It must be comforting for you to have someone that can take care of the “house” so you can focus promoting the program and raising funds to help support that HUGE campus.    I had not seen the school until the other day.  Movin’ on up!


Ironically, I just completed a Case Study for one of my global clients, and there was an article that I think resonates with organizations of all sizes.  Inevitably, moving into this new building will help facilitate the growth of your mission.  As a consequence, you need “a” Matt because it becomes physically impossible to manage everything alone.  I am sure you have heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  Well, we are lucky to part of your village! 

September 27, 2016

Dear Robin:

Thank you so much for inviting Aiden to join Gateway Academy, and we would be delighted to accept you offer on his behalf. He is very excited about becoming a student at the school and while he has some trepidation about missing his wonderful teachers, he said he has a really good feeling about the school. And so do we. From everything we have seen, from meeting you and your impressive staff, and taking in all of our conversations, we know this is going to be a success for Aiden. And we know he in turn will make a wonderful contribution to the school. Thank you again, and we look forward to joining and participating in the Gateway family.


Nathan Leblang

Hello Robin,

I just wanted to let you guys know how much we enjoyed Graduation/Promotion yesterday. Gateway has been an answered prayer for our family. We have seen such amazing growth in Diego and we know that it is due to the hard work and dedication of all of the staff at Gateway. As a parent you know that our children's happiness is the most important thing in the world and Diego always has a smile on his face when I pick him up from school. He is always anxious to share his day with the family over dinner and his siblings are just as eager to hear his stories and experiences. The whole family was blown away at yesterdays performance. Most of us were brought to tears.We shared the video with family that lives out of town also, and they could not believe it!  When I was trying to explain to my husband why I got so emotional seeing Diego up there singing, I told him I felt Diego had given us a gift. He let us see a side of him that we had never seen, and it was all of YOU at Gateway that helped him find that part of him!Thank you for ALL that you do!! We can not wait to see what else Diego has in store for us in high school and beyond. Have a wonderful summer.



Brenda Martinez

Hi Robin,
Graduation was simply AMAZING!  The kids performances were outstanding!  Jesse was sensational.  WOW!  I was reflecting about the entire ceremony today and I had to laugh at how we, as a group could totally relate to Jesse and his experiences that he shared with us.  I thought, what if a "typical" audience was in attendance. I picture an interpreter having to stop and explain it all. The humor that was so relatable to us, so foreign to others.  What a nice change to feel like it was all geared towards our kids and their support network! I love seeing a successful adult on the spectrum relating to our children.  Sammy and I were so shocked at his award!  I had to explain to him what it meant.  He looked at me and said, "this means I'm smart?"  Yes and you are a hard worker and you have a great attitude and enthusium towards school! The first thing he said was that he wanted to show his father his award so that he would know that his son is smart. WE talked about Jesse's speech where some people just aren't going to "get You" and that doesn't matter. Let it go... YOU need to get YOU and you are kind, funny, unique and wonderful and VERY SMART! I  don't know what Sammy's life would be like today if it wasn't for you and your wonderful school. I'm scared to imagine.  We are so thankful.  I am reminded every day when he wants to be there and comes home so happy.  It's an amazing gift that you have given us.  You have given us both such a quality of life that I couldn't have ever imagined. We are happy. Thank you! -Love Sloan


Hi Robin just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful graduation ceremony! Loved the speaker! Also wanted to let you you know that D'mitri will be touring this summer on a National tour called The Civil Unrest Tour with all adult bands! He's very excited. I'm going to film it and will send you some clips. Could be a great promotional tool for your school to show the "awesomeness" of austic talent! They might also have the opportunity to appear on the Fox 10 morning show before they depart. I'll let you know if that happens! 

Have a great summer!



Hi Robin,


I'm sorry we had to duck out during the yearbook presentation, we had to get back to the office. You said some really nice things about Alicia and that's really wonderful. She works so hard to make sure everyone in the community has at least heard about Teen Lifeline. The ceremony was awesome. I loved the rock band portion of the ceremony, that really touched me! The whole thing was wonderful.

We will talk soon and I can't wait to see you again for a tour!





I hope you are having a good year so far. I have been doing very well in school and I am also enjoying most of my classes. And in this school, we have SRC which stands for Student Representative Council. I won the position as Social Director and my role in the school is to arrange school parties, Events and social gatherings. I am very exited for this role and I start this upcoming term. I have learned so much from Gateway and Spectrum and I thank you both very much for teaching and taking care of me. Everything I have learned I have applied to my everyday living and look at me now. In my opinion, I am an example of the success you can achieve by applying the tools and strategies you have taught us.


Warmest Regards-


Andrew Durgan 


SRC Social Director

Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School

Bachelor of Business (International Hotel and Resort Management)

Level 1, Theory Student



Dearest Robin,


Thank you very much for welcoming us in to your amazing event.  My team and I believe that it is events like yours that make us "Scottsdale COMMUNITY College"  You are an incredible educator and your teachers are amazing, BRAVO!  Your guests, the Police, Fire Dept., the Mayor, even Home Depot and PetSmart all praised your oasis of learning. It was one of those events, that people will remember for the rest of their lives.  I know I will.


I am reading Jesse's book now in hopes that I can better understand and assist our diverse college students here at SCC.  I am looking forward to seeing at least one of your graduates here at SCC next semester!


On a side note,  I wanted you to know your event reached even further than your students.  An employee on campus came over to peek in on your event and shared with me that as a child she didn't speak for many years, then shared with me her diagnosis of AS.  So many things made sense to me after her disclosure.  She has kept this to herself and has been afraid to tell anyone.  I find is so amazing that we never know how events help people - those involved directly and indirectly.  It is obviously her choice if she wants to tell others, but I can't tell you how thankful I was that your event helped her come out to me, so I can support her in those very hard times and offer her a safe haven when people around her don't understand.


We adored your very talented son and I hope our paths cross again.  Perhaps we will see you for #11!


Kind regards,



When we came to Gateway over 3 years ago, we were drowning in the public school system.  Finding your school was like being pulled from a terrible shipwreck at sea.  You gave us rest, compassion, healing, understanding, empathy, opportunity, and sanity.  My hope renewed in the educational processes, I couldn't imagine ever being anywhere else.  I dreamed of Miranda walking across the stage graduating from High School with Robin handing her the coveted diploma of success.  This place and these people were everything I dreamed of for my daughter.  


Gateway Academy and ALL of the staff over the years were absolutely our saving grace, over and over again.  I can confidently say, that not only did you feed our family during difficult times, encourage us to believe in the spirit of humanity, and feed our academic desires, but you fed our souls- with beautiful kindness, respect, dignity and grace.  We were not a line item in your budget.  We were your family.  


While I trusted in your mission and vision for education of Asperger's Children, you trusted in mine as a parent of an Asperger's child.  I cannot and will not be able to thank you enough for all that you have done for us over the years.  Real, caring, teachers do exist! They are at Gateway everyday, ready to provide the best opportunity possible to each and every child that walks through that door.  Your life matters.  You all make a difference.  Don't ever lose sight of the beautiful inspiration your school brings to so many.  They need you.  Just as I did.


Please open a spot to some other broken, struggling, hopeless family who desperately needs your help in healing their middle school child's academic experience.  I am honored to give Miranda's 8th grade seat to someone else.  Because I know Gateway Academy is more than just another private school for kids on the Spectrum.  It is a way of life and a relief to those of us who stood alone for far too long, in the darkness of Autism and academic ignorance.


Thank you again and I wish you ALL the very best in everything you do.



& Miranda and Haley



Hi Robin,


I hope you are having a relaxing summer break!  You and your staff definitely deserve it :-)


Yesterday I was forwarded the article that appeared in the newspaper regarding the 10th anniversary of Gateway Academy and it included the picture of Tera, Jesse and I.  It brought back the wonderful memory of that day!  I was definitely on cloud nine as her dad and I, at times, weren’t sure we would reach that pinnacle of success.  To think back on the long and arduous journey that brought us to that day, is hard at times, but I wouldn’t change a thing because it brought us to you and your amazing school.  To watch Tera do things that a year ago, even 6 months ago, probably would not have been possible had me walking on air.  Her dad and I are so incredibly proud of the young adult that Tera has become.


Thank you to you and your staff for the constant support of Tera as well as the support you always provided to me.  You gave me breathing space to become the parent that I needed to be in order to guide Tera to be the person she is today.  It was nice to finally be somewhere that “gets it” and I will always be in your debt and will always sing the praises that I have for Gateway Academy!


As of today, Tera has enrolled in GCC and has decided to study early childhood development in the Fall.  She has also applied for a number of positions in our area and is actively trying to find a job (and, yes, unprompted by me—she has done it all by herself :-)).  Recently, she began dating a nice young man who also attends GCC.  He does not have Aspergers, however now knows that Tera does and he treats her no differently than before.  Such a sweet thing to watch.  Since graduation, we have continued to see Tera grow by leaps and bounds in her confidence level and her ability to advocate and speak for herself.  She knows that we are here to guide and support, not drive her life, and she has risen to the challenge.  


Thank you again for all that you and your staff do!  We will miss being a part of the Gateway Academy community on a daily basis :-)


Deborah Lee


Dear Robin and Amazing Staff at Gateway Academy,

We just wanted to thank you for all you have done for our two boys who attended Gateway. They have made so many leaps and strides because of your love, support, and challenge. You have opened up their worlds to things that they never thought possible. They are already talking about which colleges they want to go to. Through Gateway, my son was able to experience his first birthday party where he was able to invite his friends and have a wonderful time. Everyone is so kind, patient, and really cares about all the student's well being. This is something I am truly grateful for. As a parent of two boys with autism, it is very hard to let your guard down and relax for a single second. We are always waiting for the phone call that something happened, but at Gateway, you all took that worry away and we felt so safe and relaxed for our boys because we knew that everyone there loved and cared for our boys like they were their own. You pushed and challenged them to be upstanding young gentlemen, which I am happy to say, they are. You have an amazing program there and we were so fortunate to have been able to attend while we live in Arizona. Thank you again for everything. My family and I wish you all the best on the new location and the service you are providing to so many families. 


The Rushlow's

Gateway Academy was there when my son needed him most. After being in the public school system through 7th grade, it became apparent that public schools are not educated on helping children with Autism and Spectrum diagnoses. After years of being bullied, and getting detention for perceived “issues” in the public school, and being told that bullying was not tolerated, or that my son was not to blame, he continued to be punished by the school and fall through the cracks. His self-esteem was poor, his grades were falling and he became depressed.


My son made friends at Gateway and looked forward to going to school. The teachers and the staff care and they put the kids first. They emphasize structure and routine so the children know what to expect, and are held to high expectations when it comes to behavior and socialization. They are aiding children with Autism in learning how to be appropriate in social setting and teaching the difficult concepts of idioms, metaphors and inferences.


Gateway identifies and accommodates each child’s uniqueness, and accepts the “different learner” as just that: learning differently. There is no bullying, there are small classrooms, and the children are taught to advocate for themselves, while the teachers work with the kids on executive functioning and daily living skills.

My son felt comfortable, wanted, and cared for by the staff and teachers. The teachers will go the extra mile if the parent will, and parent participation is crucial if your child is to succeed. I have never been to a school who cares more about the kids and their success. As a parent with a special needs child who is smart, funny, and tenacious. This was the place for him to be.


I recommend Gateway Academy to all parents who feel lost in their decision on where their child “fits in” and where they will be cared for the way that you would if you could be home schooling your child. Gateway is involved, and the kids are happy. The staff and teachers are involved, and you will not find a better administration where the parents are partnered alongside the school to help your child succeed.

Lori C

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3939 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85028; Call : 480-998-1071; spectrumtransition@gmail.com     © 2019 by Gateway Academy