“He’s the worst child I’ve seen in 20 years of teaching.”
Can a child’s fate be sealed by the age of seven?
Every parent has high hopes for their children. When Lois Letchford learns her son has been diagnosed with a low IQ at the end of grade one, she refuses to give up on his future.
After thorough testing, Nicholas proves to have no spatial awareness, limited concentration, and can only read ten words. Although discouraged, Lois knows things have to improve. After all, her son is young, and every child learns at their own pace.
But once Nicholas is labeled “learning disabled,” a designation considered more derogatory than “dyslexia,” the world of education is quick to cast him aside.
Determined to prove them all wrong, Lois temporarily removes her son from the school system and begins working with him one-on-one. She has no formal reading education herself, and no one to guide her. But she has hope and the strength of will to persevere. And sometimes that’s all you need.
What happens next is a journey–spanning three continents, unique teaching experiments, never-ending battles with the school system, a mother’s discovery of her own learning blocks, and a bond fueled by the desire to rid Nicholas of the “disabled” label.
Reversed is a memoir of profound determination that follows the highs and lows of overcoming impossible odds, turning one woman into a passionate teacher for children who have been left behind. Nothing is impossible when one digs deep, and looks at students through a new lens.
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Lois Letchford specializes in teaching children who have struggled to learn to read through numerous commercial programs. She has worked with students of all ages in Australia, England, and Texas. Her creative teaching methods vary depending on the reading ability of the student, employing age-appropriate, rather than reading-age-appropriate, material. Lois writes poetry, empowering her students to see themselves as authors. When her students have been exposed to a wider range of texts, she returns to existing conventional material to re-engage students, who become active, involved learners ready to re-enter the traditional classroom confidently. Several of her most challenging students have eventually gone on to graduate from college.
Her non-traditional background, multi-continental exposure, and passion for helping failing students have equipped her with a unique skill set and perspective. Originally a physical education teacher, she later completed a Master’s in Literacy and Reading from the State University of New York at Albany. Lois has presented her work at The California Reading Association, Michigan Summer Institute, and New York State Reading Association conferences. She is co-president of the Albany City Reading Association and a member of the Australian College of Education.
Lois continues to work with students to provide education and support to their teachers. While she continues educating teachers and parents on how to teach struggling readers, she has also recently finished Reversed: A Memoir, the story of her son’s—and her own—learning disability.