(From a 74 year old woman, after she was in a medically induced coma, whose doctor wanted to know if she could still drive.)
Thank you so much for your positive evaluation. I faxed papers to my Doctor (who will take his sweet time in releasing me to drive)
I loved your method of teaching and I did learn a lot.
I wish you continued success with your goals.
The experience was pleasurable for me. Thank you.
(From a parent)
My son learned parallel parking in one lesson, perfectly. He says not only are your lessons going to keep him safe on the road, they are going to keep everyone else safe. We also very much appreciate that you went the extra mile coming up with suggestions, and without us asking, doing significant research with the state police and DMV regarding my son's colorblindness and coming up with safe methods to cope when he can not distinguish a yellow blinking light from a red blinking light. Your demeanor was fun and at the same time very professional, and took the pressure off me as a parent. That enabled my son to learn more and in only two lessons become an excellent driver that passed the test with only 5 points off. Thanks again!
Richard Guy Miller
(From a parent in one of my three generation families)
Hey there Matt,
I just want to thank you so very much for helping to make my grandson Brett Jr.'s birthday so very special. You sure did go above and beyond. Well, as you remember all my six children had you for driver training as well as myself, and thanks be to God and your excellent training none of us has ever had an accident. Well Brett and TJ's son turned sixteen on this past Friday and as a Birthday gift he was allowed to go for his drivers permit followed by a surprise first drivers lesson by no one else but Matt Meltzer. So Matt how does it feel to be the teacher of three generations? Sorry, devil made me add that.
Again, Thank you!!! with much appreciation for all your driving instruction. You are the greatest.
Eileen Hochsprung Tracy
(From a past student, now a lawyer, I found on Facebook.)
Thanks for the driving lessons! 15 years later, driving is one of my favorite activities- I've gone on numerous cross-country road trips and meanderings; had many wonderful adventures; and now own two vehicles - a daily driver and a '78 pickup I am restoring and upgrading.
FWIW(ed note: For What It's Worth), I definitely still think "gear, steer, clear" every time I pull out of a parking spot.
(From a pediatric neurosurgeon, known worldwide for his innovative and aggressive treatment of tumors in the brain and on the spinal cord in children, after he suffered a head injury and needed to be re-taught how to drive)
With much appreciation for all your driving instruction. You are the greatest.
From Matt: I am humbled.
(I found a past student on Facebook. This one was from 30 years ago. I related to him:)
When I was teaching you how to drive, I said, "Relax." You said, "I am relaxed." You were correct. You were relaxed. I thought you were all tensed up because your elbows were higher than the usual driver. I realized at the end of our conversation, it was because you were truly, very, super, duper muscular that your arms were raised. I don't suppose you remember that conversation.
Matt, you are way too funny. Yes I do remember that. I'm still the best driver in the world due to your fantastic driver training. Throughout the years I've been able to drive under ANY conditions delivered by mother nature. Thank You and God Bless. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!
(From a parent of a teenager (Matt found this while looking online))
My daughter is taking lessons from Matt and I think he is great and she is doing well and she likes him.
P.S. He is so much better then her panicked mom taken her out - poor kid. He seems to be so good with the teens. I have heard only good things about him from others, too. You only want the best for your kids.... so if you're looking, call Matt for your new driver.
March 19, 2009 by Liz Brennan in Wappingers Falls, NY
(A past student posted on her blog -- I censored where I deemed necessary.)
Jul 26 How Not to Drive Like an A-hole
Posted on July 26, 2013 by Cat
Once upon a time in a land far, far away (by that I mean about 10 years ago in the town of Wappingers Falls, NY), there was a young girl who desperately wanted to learn how to drive. Her father practically had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the DMV just to get her permit, so she had to wait until she was 18 years old to sign herself up for the test to receive her license. While her father was (is) a stubborn man, he was very sweet to his daughter and offered to her the opportunity to take a few driving lessons with Matt Meltzer, Driver Trainer Extraordinaire, at his expense. The eccentric but amiable instructor was the father of two of her best high school friends, so the young girl was elated. She had only a few sessions with him but learned a lifetime of good driving habits. As for everyone else on the road, they could use a lesson or six. ThereforeÖ
Six Lessons I Have Learned from Meltzerís Driver Training Center (Disclaimer: Matt Meltzer is an extraordinarily professional, thorough instructor. While based on actual lessons, this post is meant to be a humorous, adult interpretation and is intended for entertainment purposes only.)
Lesson 1 : Use Your Blinkers In case youíre unaware, blinkers are those little lights that indicate which direction you intend on turning. You are supposed to use them at stop lights, at stop signs, on highways, in parking lots, in neighborhoods, and anywhere else where you are going any direction but straight ahead or backwards (there are reverse lights for that). Some people, however, do not use them at all, leaving the other drivers on the road guessing which direction they plan on going. These people are called A-holes. There are also those who turn their blinker on and drive down the road blissfully unaware that everyone behind them believes they are going to turn at every single street or parking lot or driveway they pass. These people are called whatever you yell at them when you are driving behind them.
Lesson 2 : Red Means Stop, Yellow Means Slow Down, Green Means Wait Traffic lights come in three colors and three colors only. Red means that you are to stop the car before the white line so that others who are driving other directions on other roads may proceed. When the light is yellow, this indicates that it will very soon turn red. Believe it or not, yellow does not mean speed up so that you can make it through the intersection. It actually means slow your shit down so you can stop your car without slamming on your brakes when the light surprises you and suddenly turns red. Now, some people believe there is a color in between red and yellow. While the color wheel indicates that orange is, indeed, between the two, it is not a real traffic light color. Neither is goitsnotredyet or hurrythef__kupitsstillyellow. Sorry to disappoint. Lastly, while most people believe green means go, there is an extra step that most do not know about Ė WAIT A DAMNED SECOND. You read that right. If youíre sitting at a red light and it turns green, donít gun it. Why? Because orange, thatís why.
Lesson 3 : You Can Kill Pedestrians Whether you drive a tiny two-seater or one of those monster-type pickup trucks, you have an unfair advantage against pedestrians. You have an engine, four wheels, and a metal frame. Pedestrians have bones and skin and feet. You have the ability to kill someone with your vehicle. While it may be aggravating that they always seem to walk at a snailís pace while crossing the street (or parking lot or where ever), it is important to stop at crosswalks and allow them to do their thing. That is, of course, unless you feel like prison is a viable option for the next chapter of your life. Just saying.
Lesson 4 : Motorcycles are Cars No no, Iím not on something. And no, even if I was, I wouldnít share because Iím a selfish b_tch. What I mean by motorcycles are cars is that you should treat them as if they are. Remember the last lesson about pedestrians being flesh and bone? Well, bikers are essentially just really fast pedestrians. They may have a vehicle under their bum, but itís not going to do them any good if someone decides to tailgate them and they slam on their brakes at the last minute because the orange light turned red. Speaking of whichÖ
Lesson 5 : Tailgating is for Football Games and NASCAR Races I cannot stress to you enough the importance of maintaining a safe distance. If youíre a measly five feet away from the car in front of you and a deer or a snail or a pedestrian steps out into the road, youíre going to be in a shit-ton of trouble. Those amazingly expensive brakes you ordered online and installed yourself wonít help you if youíre riding their ass. This also applies to stopping for a light or stop sign or whatever else while on the road. Did you know that you should be stopped far enough away to be able to see the bottom of the tires of the car in front of you? Well, you do now. This is because if some a-hole rear-ends you, you will then have enough distance between you and the car ahead of you to hopefully not ram into the back of their car as well, thus avoiding a chain reaction.
Lesson 6 : Everyone but You is an A-hole Actually, thatís debatable, but go with me on this. Youíre now semi-well-educated on the rules of the road. You follow the speed limit. You use your blinkers, you slow down at yellow lights, you stop for pedestrians, you treat motorcycles with respect, and you do not tailgate. What about everybody else? They are obviously the problem. You need to expect the other guy to cut you off on a busy road. You need to prepare for the car with no blinker on to make a sudden right turn. You need to already know that the driver on the other road at the intersection clearly subscribes to the orange light concept. You already expect every single other driver on the road to do everything that they are not supposed to do. This way, when bad things do happen, youíre already prepared. Go you!
If you or someone you know needs a lesson or six and you live in New York State, I give Meltzerís Driver Training Center my highest recommendation. He is even certified to teach people with disabilities because he is that fantastic. Also, heís a funny dude. Visit his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MeltzersDTC and see for yourself.
New York State born and raised, Cat currently resides in Richmond, VA. A wife, mother, and full time employee, she aspires to be a writer and published author when she grows up, whenever that may be.
Her friend Camey added her post...
Camey Medina on July 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm said:
I had about 10 (or more, but whoís counting?) lessons and I highly recommend Meltzerís Driver Training Center. I even feel confident driving in Mexico, with its lack of white lines and complete disregard of traffic lights.
(From a parent who was told by the medical world, when her son was young, "He will never drive.")
We would like to thank you again for teaching Harly how to drive. You have been great and more than patient.
We know that because of your instruction, Harly will be a good and careful driver throughout the years.
We are indebted to you for successfully teaching Harly to drive and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving him this life gift.
Marla & Alan
(From a Maplebrook School Parent about her son during winter break - he passed his Road Test just prior to the break.)
This vacation Charlie drove a lot and was very good...careful, very attentive...must be his driving lessons...Alan and I are very impressed with his finesse behind the wheel....we want to thank you.
Then, after several more practice sessions, at the end of the school year...
Charlie's instruction has been excellent...thank you for your diligence and patience...
(After four Road Tests with three other Driving Schools...)
I wanted to tell you how much I really appreciated the opportunity to be your student. Because I have been to so many schools which I did not pass any of them. But with you and the help of God, at long last I passed my road test. I am now beginning to tell my husband how to drive because some of the things you told me. I don't see it in him whenever he is driving. So what I will like to say is thank you for the opportunity. May the Lord God Bless you and your family.
From your student Vida Ruth Nartey-Mezo.
(From those who have gone to the three poles of the world.)
Three weeks and we both got licenses! Wouldn't have worked without your dedication and professionalism. Got our Ford Expedition yesterday :)
Tnx Tom and Tina
(From Brian Daley through Facebook)
It was about this time in 1982 that I started taking driving lessons from Meltzer's. At first I felt a bit embarrassed, but then again, why should I? There should be no shame in wanting to drive the right way by a competent, experienced, professional instructor. Matt was all that and more.
(From the folks of a local college student.)
Dear Mr. Meltzer,
We just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping Salley pass her driving test.
You gave Salley the confidence and focus that she needed. She said that your method for parking was far superior to the technique she had previously learned. We also appreciated your willingness to pick her up at home.
Once again, thank you for your patience, skill, and ability to help someone relax and succeed.
We are so grateful!
Sincerely, Donna & Neil
(From a local college student.)
I hope you are well!!! I know I have not been in contact with you since I passed my road test!, but I hope you still remember me!! After passing my road test, things did not work out the way I planned and to make the story short --- From Matt-She had to get a car and get Hand Controls installed in her car since she was unable to use her legs for driving. --- I did not start driving until December'07. I've have been driving a lot, but do not have much experience on the highways yet. However, I go to work, school and my social work internship at Jewish Family Service (I plan to graduate in May'09) as well as many places in Rockland County.
As you can see, life is good and I'm finally free and happier thanks in big part to you!!!
Please write to me when you have a chance to let me know how things are going.
(From a parent who tried another driving school first.)
Best of...the best!!!!!!!!!!!!! My child passed! Way to go Matt!. This should be the only driving school you choose for your child!
by JJ from Stanfordville, NY
As entered on (Superpages.com on Apr 28, 2007)
(From a retired benefactor about her retired friend who benefited)
Many thanks for your patience.† In my humble opinion, I think she is doing quite well.† It is clear that your patience and skill have made this a life altering experience†for her.† Thank you. †
(From a client who found it difficult to drive anymore using her legs)
Greetings - Thank goodness; I can drive! All my respect to you for giving me back my freedom and mental health!!!! I feel like my old self - open to explore life instead of sitting home and being depressed - because you really cannot depend on others all of the time!!! You have helped to restore the old me - Matt - and I am so grateful! Thanks a zillion!
I wanted to tell you how much I really appreciated the opportunity to observe your most recent driving lesson for my daughter, Jodie, who is also a Maplebrook student.
Because of Jodie's learning disability, she can easily become distracted, and I have always been concerned about her ability to stay focused enough on the road to be safe at all times. You have a very patient and engaging style, and I was very pleased with your ability to keep her concentrating and aware of her surroundings at all times. In fact, while I have known her to be able to concentrate for smaller blocks of time, I was very impressed that you were able to do so for the full two hours.
She obviously enjoys the driving experience, but she is also beginning to appreciate the significant seriousness of the responsibility of driving as well. -- I think your message sank in a bit about the importance of the seriousness of the task at hand. She mentioned it a few times, so it was very helpful. It also pertains to her learning and social interactions more broadly...a very profound observation on your part.
It is obvious that you put as much emphasis on the mental preparation aspects as well as the physical techniques to develop her driving skills and abilities. This is just so important to make her a capable and responsible driver for herself and for everyone else on the road.
I would be pleased to speak to any other parent about the experience if they are wondering if their son or daughter could benefit from training with you. Thanks
Thanks for working with Erin. She has shown significant improvement in her driving skills. I noticed that she is especially more confident driving which I am sure is due to having the new skills you have taught her.
My name is Rita, and I too am in the field of education - however, probably my real "claim to fame" is my 18 year old son. He is diagnosed with learning disabilities that range from severe motor planning disorder and sensory integration disorder to obsessive compulsive disorder and yet as your web site indicates for you in the past, is also a member of MENSA (actually the youngest local member admitted at 3 1/2 years old) - so he's a real mixed bag, has taken driving lessons over the last year and a half from three different local instructors, has taken the test 3 times and is definitely having a self-concept struggle right now when it comes to driving - it's time for some success. He has been classified all through school with testing modifications, etc.- and right now your website seems to offer a plan with some light at the end of the tunnel. Please call me at your earliest convenience. Thanks!!
He started his lessons toward the end of the school year. Then, after lesson four or five...
Thank-you so very much for the info on Nathan's lesson. Yes, he did tell us where he drove - but I didn't realize how "into it" he was. My best indicator, however, is that he absolutely never complains about having a lesson - historically he ALWAYS complains and suffers if there's anything that takes up 2 hours of his time after school - he's already so much more relaxed and confident - I am constantly amazed how much driving you get in during a 2 hour period - and "oh the places you go!!" - so many thanks...Rita
End of the summer... He passed his NYS Road Test.
The Thank-you note
Dear Matt: When you started working with Nathan last spring, we were discouraged and unable to even visualize him ever passing his road test, much less driving independently. He had already worked with three different instructors, all affiliated with different schools. He was not having success in passing the road test and his confidence was certainly being chipped away.
I found your website through a recommendation from VESID. Nathan, as you now know, struggles with a variety of motor planning difficulties. He processes information differently and although he is exceptionally bright, has been continually challenged in physical situations.
Your approach is almost magical! Working with him in two-hour intervals, at first once a week and eventually, three times a week did the trick. You were extremely patient, consistent and knowledgeable. Your honest and non-threatening approach was just what he needed. I appreciated your constant up dates and suggestions. You gave him immediate feedback and always set him up for success. Before he even realized it, the skills were coming and he was eventually ready for the road test. The fact that you did not even put him in the testing situation until you were certain he had a good chance of passing was wonderful. I also appreciated that fact that even with all your training, both in the field of Driversí Education and special needs students, you did your homework. You researched sensory integration disorder and knew exactly how to handle my son.
I have been in the field of education for over thirty-five years. You are a true teacher in the fullest sense of the word. Nathan is not only a better driver because of having worked with you; he is a better person. Your influence in his life has been immeasurable and you will always hold a very special place in our hearts.
Of course, we were thrilled when Nathan passed his road test, and Iím glad he continued his lessons with you for a while after that success. However, there is now a loss in our life. We miss your ďwords of wisdom.Ē We miss your expertise. We miss you.
Please be assured that a day doesnít go by, when you are not quoted or referred to. We will stay in touch and of course the Meltzerís Driver Training Center will always be a part of our lives.
My best to you and a big hug and thank-you. You have no idea how important you have been in our lives.
Rita Epstein, Director
Windsor Academy Educational Campus
271 Quassaick Avenue
New Windsor, New York 12553
a long overdue update....
Over the summer, Nathan told me that he wanted to practice driving to the Mount [Mount Saint Maryís College] on his own - so we did the run a few times in his car; he was better than I had anticipated. Ö Then on the first day of school at the end of August - "did it" himself; he ran into traffic and construction and detours. Of course we also practiced parking and where he would park. Also, the traffic on campus and students walking was different than in the summer. He aced it and continues to do so everyday - sometimes opting to come home between classes if he has a long break. In addition he seems to be relaxing - because he tells me he's "practicing his singing" while driving :)
Yesterday he chose to drive to school knowing that it would be snowing and ended up driving home during the heavy downpour mid p.m. He told me he was a little nervous but did it - and boy is he proud!
This success and confidence has transferred to all areas of his life and I really believe that this is a "banner" year for Nathan because of this experience. It may have taken him 2 years after finishing your program to "get up the nerve" to use his car and drive, but you were right (as always) - slow and steady - he knew when he was ready and he's doing it!!
One day he called me from his car to tell me he was having trouble backing out of a space at college. I asked him if he needed me to come over. His response was, "no, let me try it again and see if I can figure it out and I'll call you to let you know what happens". Needless to say, he handled it on his own and I've never received a similar call, although I'm sure the situation has arisen again.
There are no words (or, very honestly, any amount of money spent) that could tell you how grateful I am. You have truly made a difference in Nathan's life - and it will be long reaching and forever! Have a wonderful and happy holiday season - and please keep in touch.
Hugs - Rita
This thank-you is quite overdue, but I had major back surgery right after Joe got his license and, needless to say, that put me behind on everything. I really wanted to thank you for all that you did for Joe - he is a very confident and safe driver (still a bit slow, but that is better than too fast!) and really likes driving. He was a godsend during this surgery recovery since I was not allowed to drive plus it gave him real purposes for driving. Anyway, thank you again for just everything. And happy teaching!
As a busy family with many responsibilities and little time for extras, such as driving lessons, I was most concerned that Arielle would have an experienced, attentive and caring driving instructor. Matt Meltzer proved to be a friendly, helpful and expert instructor for our 16 1/2 year old daughter, who was excited about learning how to drive. It was also a relief to know that Matt would come to our home in his dual break vehicle for the two hour driving lesson and when they returned from the lesson, we had an opportunity to hear about her session, and received a graded progress report with follow-up advice.
Arielle had 3 two-hour sessions with Matt, in between regular practice driving with her parents. Arielle passed her road test the first time and I have to say that while all the practice helped, it was Matt's specific, correct, and safe driving instructions that provided the foundation for her positive driving experiences. She now has a junior license and loves driving!
I recommend the Meltzer's Driver Training Center for anyone learning to drive.
Hilary Kramer; Co-Publisher & Director of Advertising Sales; INSIDEOUT; 69 Main Street; PO Box 908; New Paltz, NY 12561; T.845 255 6500; F.845 255 5533; www.insideouthv.com
Hard to believe it has been almost 26 years that I've been a licensed driver. I can say I learned from the best there is in the business of driving instruction. You were tough. I do recall my first few lessons with one instructor, then several with another. I don't know if I was a problem student or considered as "high maintenance." I transferred to you. I was with you the longest. You did your job, and did it well. Or should I be saying, I absorbed and retained what was taught to me. Then I just applied what I learned to the actual behind the wheel experience.
I'm not a perfect driver. Close, but not close enough. When I drove while living in Nashville, it was almost like I was doing so for NASCAR. Here in Florida, the old folks drive their bicycles faster than their motor vehicles. Go figure! I just thought I'd say hello. Was reminiscing about my experience with your driving school. As it is 26 years ago today I passed my road test in Newburgh!
My daughter said it was a great lesson and she really likes you. Thank you SO MUCH, I didn't know what else to do until your website popped up on the internet search!!
Thank you so much for helping Marissa over the past year; she is driving and her anxiety about this has almost disappeared due to your compassion, skills as an instructor and sense of humor! As you know, we tried five schools and were unsuccessful; she actually got worse after working with so many poor instructors. Her anxiety was getting in the way but luckily your web site popped up on my Google search. She is finally driving with confidence and we both are very grateful. Feel free to use me as a reference.
Matt Meltzer understands kids with learning
disabilities and is very skilled in how to teach them
to drive safely. He works thoroughly, taking time to
build on each driving skill before going on to the
next one. As a result, if he feels your child can
learn to drive, then they will learn to drive. Be
prepared to give the time and financial support it
takes to accomplish this. The result is that you will
have a safe young driver who is proud to drive the
roads! Matt Meltzer uses humor and knowledge of
special needs and techniques to teach drivers. Matt Meltzer is a gifted driving teacher for
the special needs community!
Amy - a Maplebrook parent
Matthew Meltzer helped our daughter achieve a goal that I don't think we could have reached on our own. With his patience and expertise she will now have a much more independent life.
Jane - a Maplebrook parent
We can't thank you enough for having instructed Kristin and in getting her drivers license. It takes a special touch to teach this, let alone anyone with learning differences. Her confidence is greatly increased as well as her driving abilities. She really liked your technique, and although at times stern with her, that was a huge factor in her learning the proper and safe way to drive. We will continue to work with her, although she basically drives everywhere in Northern Virginia which is no small task. Again, our thanks for your continued support of the Maplebrook School student in extending their reach!
Regards, Ken & Jan Kellstrom (Maplebrook parents)
Thanks for all you did for our daughter. Learning to drive has been one of her most positive experiences.
Mary (a Maplebrook parent)
THANK YOU FOR PASSING ME FOR USE OF THE HAND CONTROLS IN MY VAN. I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR HELP AND PROFESSIONALISM TO OBTAIN MY LICENSE TO DRIVE WITH THE ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT.
ANNE MARIE CONFORTI
(From an ex-motorcycle rider - now a C6 quadriplegic - and an installer of Adaptive Driving Aids)
If you need driver training and/or a professional evaluation to get a drivers license and/or be approved for adaptive driving equipment, I highly recommend you give Matt Meltzer a call. He was my choice back in 1996 when I needed to prove to New York State DMV that I was capable of driving after my disabling injury. Matt was great to work with and I was back behind the wheel in no time! Since then I have referred everyone I know to him for driving evaluations and they have only nice things to say about his professionalism and him as a person in general. Don't forget to let him know Dean referred you!