Lois Letchford REVERSED

Audio Episode

Lois Letchford shares her experience with the No Child Left Behind program and the importance of engagement in education. She discusses her son's journey with dyslexia and how she helped him overcome his struggles with reading through creative learning methods. The interview also addresses the need for individualized teaching approaches and the lack of awareness and understanding of dyslexia among teachers. We emphasize the importance of engaging students in early literacy and learning and the negative impact of quick judgments about students' abilities. The interview concludes with a call to action to buy and review Lois's book, which provides teaching ideas and shares stories of struggling students.


Action items

  1. Buy and review Lois's book on teaching ideas and stories of struggling students.
  2. Increase awareness and understanding of dyslexia among teachers.
  3. Implement individualized teaching approaches to cater to students' needs.
  4. Emphasize the importance of engaging students in early literacy and learning.
  5. Avoid making quick judgments about students' abilities.

About The Book
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. Testing shows Nicholas is labeled “learning
disabled.” The world of education is quick to cast him aside, so Lois begins working with
him one-on-one. 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.

About The Author
Lois Letchford specializes in teaching children who have struggled to learn to read. Her
creative teaching methods vary depending on the reading ability of the student, employing
age-appropriate, rather than reading-age-appropriate, material. She holds a Master’s in Literacy
and Reading from the State University of New York at Albany and has presented her work at
several literacy conferences. Reversed: A Memoir is her first book.



My book, "Reversed: A Memoir," chronicles an extraordinary journey of overcoming daunting odds, offering inspiration and hope to parents and educators navigating desperate situations. At the age of 39, while teaching my second son how to read, I stumbled upon my own "learning difference," an unexpected revelation that ignited an unwavering pursuit for answers. With sheer determination and unyielding resilience, I confronted challenges and battled self-doubt head-on, proving that no obstacle is insurmountable. Through relentless effort, I witnessed the transformative power of perseverance, achieving significant milestones and experiencing profound personal growth.
I discovered the immense value of trusting my instincts. This experience lead to my appreciating literacy learning as being more than a “set of skills to acquire.”  Embracing foundational knowledge of “how children and adults learn,”  and adopting a growth mindset, I unlocked true potential, shattering self-limiting beliefs.
Guided by the philosophy of living in the present moment, I learned to appreciate the inherent beauty of the journey itself. As the founder of Lois Letchford, Language, Literacy, and Learning tutoring, I am dedicated to assisting others facing similar challenges. My memoir serves as a beacon of hope, sharing the mission and vision of empowering individuals with dyslexia.
"Reversed: A Memoir" stands as a testament to triumph over adversity, offering not only inspiration and motivation but also a profound sense of hope for all who read it.





Lois Letchford

[00:00:00] Lois Letchford: I was teaching in Lubbock, Texas when No Child Left Behind came along. It was a scripted program. The teacher's going to read these things and the children are going to respond in this particular way. I don't know what the results of that particular brand of teaching was, that they had to be disastrous cause there was no engagement, there was no control by the teachers. And it's an expectation that every child is going to learn this way. We can control what we say. We've got no idea whether the child has learned it or picked it up or anything else. Everything I do is actually not about literacy, it's about how we learn. If we don't have engagement, we've lost our students. If we don't have their attention, we've lost our students. And if we don't make the early literacy and learning child-centered, about the child, we are going to miss children. We're going to leave them behind because you're saying we have to learn like this.

[00:01:22] Ed Watters: To overcome, you must educate. Educate not only yourself, but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn, we must challenge what we already understand, the way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourselves. Reach out and challenge yourself; let's dive in and learn something right now.

[00:02:13] Today we're joined with Lois Letchford. She is an author, an educator, and so much more. She wrote a book titled Reversed, a Memoir. Lois, could you please introduce yourself and let people know just a little more about you, please?

[00:02:32] Lois Letchford: Hello, Ed. I'm delighted to be here. Yes, the book says it all. I think you know that I'm an author and I'm an educator, and this was an unexpected journey that happened to me and my family. So that's, that's what makes me passionate, educational journey should never be so unexpected and so extreme.

[00:03:01] Ed Watters: So you've got quite a fascinating story here, Lois. Your son, uh, dyslexic, and I, I'm one of those so I relate. And, uh, for all of those, I have an interview with Karl De Leeuw about dyslexia and the dyslexia code, which actually tells us dyslexia is a gift. And this story that we're going to talk about today, brings a son that was basically tossed to the wind and said, Well, we've got issues here, to being a PhD in Oxford. Lois, tell us about that fascinating journey of transition and how you started that transition with your son at an early age.

[00:04:01] Lois Letchford: You are right. In 1994, my son failed first grade. He, I sent him to school he wet his pants, he bit his fingernails and he stared into space, he's got nothing going for him. On day six of school, I spoke to the teacher and asked, Well, how's he going? And she threw up her hands and she said, Well, I dunno how I'm going to deal with him. He's so far behind, I can't do anything. Uh, in hindsight, I wish I had removed him from school there and then. I didn't because I had a two year old at home and I knew Nicholas needed one on one attention and I couldn't do it.

[00:04:51] That year was a disaster for him, disaster for everyone. But it takes me a long time to work out how disastrous it was. So at the end of the year you do the normal thing, you get tested. The testing shows he can read 10 words, he's got no strengths, and he has a low IQ. When you have a diagnosis like that at the age of six and a half, the chances of getting out of that, pretty close to non-existent.

[00:05:28] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:05:28] Lois Letchford: You know, we did something unusual, we sent him onto second grade. Because at the end of second grade, our family were going to move to Oxford, England for six months. My husband's a professor and he had study leave. So in June we, we moved to Oxford, but this just six months and I take Nicholas on. But soon we, as soon as we arrive in Oxford, the schools are on holidays, vacation.

[00:06:03] So there's another six weeks where I, I've got three boys at home. Nicholas is not going to work with me when there's other children around. So our time is now down to four months. And I start with a series of books called Success for All Decoding Base. That's all that, that you've got to do. Isolated words on the page, decode them,

[00:06:32] say them again. I did that. You get to the end of the page, ask Nicholas the first word, no clue. Disaster, disaster again. And I, my mother-in-law was with me and I said, What do I do? What do I do? You know, I'm crying over this. And she said, Lois, put away what's not working and make learning fun. And at that time, I needed some additional input.

[00:07:02] Her words worked. In fact, I had a lot of fun writing about that chapter in, in my book. But then you've got, okay, I'm gonna put that away, what am I going to do now? I've got a blank slate. I've got, I dunno what to do. I'm a mother, I was trained as a physical education teacher, I'm not a literacy specialist.

[00:07:24] Well, I know Nicholas can do two things, he can rhyme words and he can see patterns. And I thought, I'll write a little poem, that's got rhyming words and patterns in it. So that's what I did, I wrote the poem overnight. The next day I read it to Nicholas and instead of us having stress in the classroom, he's relaxed. He's laughing and enjoying it, and then he illustrates the poem and it's a 3D illustration.

[00:07:54] You've got paper cuttings and this and that and the other. Phenomenal, let's do another and another and another. I ended up, you know, with the double Os come up like in cook, look, and book, and the other rhyming words. So I wrote a poem about Captain James Cook, the Last of the Great Explorers. And I wrote, Captain Cook had a notion, there's a gap in the map, in the great big ocean. He took a look, without the help of any book, hoping to find a quiet little nook. So you've got this incredibly simple poem with phenomenal ideas. And we're in Oxford. We start looking at maps, we start looking at the changing map of the world. Nicholas says to me, Can I see Captain Cook's original maps? He had to ask me twice before I even thought about it.

[00:08:58] And he said to me, You know, who came before Captain Cook? And I said, Well, that's easy. And then he asked, And who came before Columbus? Now I'm floored. What I have learned is that my son can think and he doesn't have a low IQ. I needed to see that change in him. This, you know, four months of teaching changed his life and my life because we were not only doing poetry, so which is the decoding component, we're getting him to think, we are experiencing all these things.

[00:09:37] Cause when Nicholas asked, Can I see Captain Cook's original maps? I call up the British Museum and they say, Yes, they're here, you've gotta make an appointment. He's under 10, he can't see the original, but we can see copies. Great, we needed to see copies. And you've got this kid who was once so written off, engaged in [00:10:00] learning, loving thinking, thinking, thinking.

[00:10:04] And what I know about Nicholas is there's massive numbers of thoughts up here. They have a huge, it's like a funnel, a huge effort to get from there to the mouth. So when he's asking these, what, small questions, I know the thinking going on is phenomenal. Transformative learning for him and for me. We returned to Australia and I relay this scenario to the diagnostician who'd done the testing and I said, He's asked these amazing questions. She stood in front of me, put her hands on her hips, and said, Well, He's the worst child I've seen in 20 years of teaching.

[00:10:47] I was floored. I go home, I think about it, I cry over it. I go back to school and I say to her, You can call him whatever you like, but if he is the worst child you've seen in 20 years of teaching, don't expect him to learn like everybody else. Best words ever said to me, said to me. And again, her words were transformative, I continue to change the teaching. There's another scenario if you want me to go on,

[00:11:17] Ed Watters: Sure. Please.

[00:11:18] Lois Letchford: that really, really cemented all of this. The reading teacher Nicholas is working one-on-one, 30 minutes a day, four days a week with, with the teacher, she sends him home sentences to learn. You know, the sight words, these common words that we have to learn.

[00:11:37] The word saw came up and she sent him home with a sentence, I saw a cat climb up a tree. And then she wrote the second sentence, I saw a man rob a bank. Nicholas pulls out this little piece of paper and he reads, saw. I saw a cat, and he stopped. He went back and he said, I was a cat, and he shook his head. And then he went back again and he read I at a cat. And I asked, I at a cat? And he just handed, Just forget it, he said. Took me a while to work out what was going on. Have you got any ideas?

[00:12:12] Ed Watters: Yeah. He was thinking about, uh, sawing a cat.

[00:12:18] Lois Letchford: Like cutting a cat in half.

[00:12:20] Ed Watters: Yeah, I, I, I deal with that myself a lot of the times, and I still to this day have to really focus when I'm reading that content. But am I right?

[00:12:34] Lois Letchford: You are. Absolutely.

[00:12:36] Ed Watters: Yeah, exactly.

[00:12:37] Lois Letchford: And

[00:12:37] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:12:37] Lois Letchford: you've got the combination. Our family had just been in another country, we had visited major cities, major attractions. And what's the teacher talking about? Something the child has never seen. Now I'm angry

[00:13:01] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:13:02] Lois Letchford: because when I, I, and then I read this academic paper, which I live by, that was published in 1990. And the, the professor Brian Campbell said, The first thing we do is say, Well, look at their IQ, look at their background, look at this, this is why they can't learn, instead of looking at the teaching. The teacher had failed to give this boy the true meaning of the word, that it's got three meanings. How do I teach it?

[00:13:38] I get my kids the word saw, I get them to put it into the internet. Pictures come up of the saw. Choose one, which one are we gonna download? That's meaning number one, I say to them. And we write a sentence, this is a saw. Second meaning, verb, to cut, I saw a log. Or the saw, he, the man used a saw to saw the log. Now you've got two words, two different meanings.

[00:14:06] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:14:06] Lois Letchford: Same sentence. And the third thing I do is I take my students and I walk with them. I take a book and a pen with me and I visit the library to start with. And I talk, we talk to the librarian and we watch. And then we walk away and I shut the door. And I say to my students, what did we do?

[00:14:30] We saw the librarian reading to the children. We saw the librarian stamping books. When is it happening, now or in the past? And they'll say, Now, no, no, it's not happening now. You and I are talking now outside of the library, it's happening. Ahh, they go, ahh. Now my students have left with three independent meanings of the word saw. They know what they have to do, meaningful to the child, reading makes sense, one word down, let's move on.

[00:15:06] Ed Watters: That, that makes total sense, yeah. Uh, active learning, you know, put participatory learning, uh, and it's so, so simple. But, you know, I, I was one of those child, children that got tossed to the curb. I, I was on my own, I had to be learning myself. So, uh, autodidact, it's one of those things you have to take control of. And when, when you're dealing with a disability that you don't even realize you have, that, that is, uh, it, it just puts more frustration on the mind. You, you just laid out a scenario that I've suffered with so many times, misunderstanding the meaning of the word. Because there's so many meanings of that simple word, you know, and the placement of the word. Where does it go? How does it fit in? These are things that, it's not easy to learn by a book and a paper. And I learned pictures help, association with pictures. So, uh, I learned that through Karl De Leeuw and his research.

[00:16:33] Lois Letchford: Yeah.

[00:16:34] Ed Watters: When, when they did the study about identifying and placing pictures in there. It, it's, it's a different way of learning and that's really, you highlighted it so well there, that we have to change and transform the way we teach in our schools. What's your thought about that?

[00:16:59] Lois Letchford: We teach to the average child, the average child makes big jumps. The child, like my son Nicholas, who has a speech language impairment, we have to, there's stones underneath that, that, those big jumps, we have to turn over every single one. A number of those sight words are abstract. The very first thing I ask students to do who come to me, is give me a sentence with the word t o. And I'll get the parent to write the word t o on, or someone, write it down.

[00:17:34] Give me a sentence with that word t o. My 16 year old student said to me, I've got two lessons, the same. Ask for the word f o r, I have four gray sharks teeth. He's done exactly the same thing as Nicholas. Why isn't this child reading? Because the foundations of his learning are flawed. He spent 10 years in school.

[00:18:03] How many times has he read these words and nothing has made sense? And you want pictures. You want pictures not only for the word, but for the sentence. And active pictures, because it's going from one thing to the other. I totally agree with you.

[00:18:22] Ed Watters: So, so it's, it's a different side of the brain that's learning.

[00:18:26] Lois Letchford: Yeah.

[00:18:27] Ed Watters: And, and when we understand that, uh, the logical and it, it just makes perfect sense. But I, I don't understand why our teachers are not more informed about what we have encountered as a society with this simple thing, dyslexic. Because I'm noticing there's quite a few successful people that are dyslexic. And so many times I've been told, You're no good because you're dyslexic. And that is harming our society.

[00:19:07] Lois Letchford: Yes.

[00:19:07] Ed Watters: So we, we have to really develop the thought about, Hey, dyslexia is a gift. You've just gotta know how to use it. And that's where that active learning comes in.

[00:19:21] Lois Letchford: And we have to get our children early, you know?

[00:19:25] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:19:25] Lois Letchford: When you, when you've failed and you've failed and you've failed, it's very hard to come out of that.

[00:19:32] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:19:33] Lois Letchford: And now,

[00:19:34] Ed Watters: You know,

[00:19:35] Lois Letchford: the few do. Yeah.

[00:19:37] Ed Watters: I, I was, I was interviewing Danny Brassell. He's, uh,

[00:19:41] Lois Letchford: Yes, I know him.

[00:19:42] Ed Watters: hooked on, do you know him?

[00:19:44] Lois Letchford: Yeah.

[00:19:44] Ed Watters: A fabulous man. And, you know, what he does for just literacy

[00:19:49] Lois Letchford: Yes.

[00:19:50] Ed Watters: is fantastic.

[00:19:51] Lois Letchford: Yes.

[00:19:51] Ed Watters: So he, he talked about that on stage a few times where, you know, making [00:20:00] a sentence, but making the learning fun. I, I hear you say that all the time, you've gotta make the learning fun. So why aren't we educating our teachers and school boards and all of this to make learning fun instead of so linear?

[00:20:28] Lois Letchford: I was teaching in Lubbock, Texas when No Child Left Behind came along. It was a scripted program. The teacher's going to read these things and the children are going to respond in this particular way. I don't know what the results of that particular brand of teaching was, but they had to be disastrous. Cause there was no engagement,

[00:20:58] there was no control by the teachers. And it's an expectation that every child is going to learn this way. We can control what we say. We've got no idea whether the child has learned it or picked it up or anything else. Everything I do is actually not about literacy, it's about how we learn. If we don't have engagement, we've lost our students.

[00:21:23] If we don't have their attention, we've lost our students. And if we don't make the early literacy and learning child-centered, more about the child, we're going to miss children. We're going to leave them behind because you're saying we have to learn like this.

[00:21:46] Ed Watters: Yeah. So let, let me get this quote right, because I think it's very important, It's not a learning problem, but a language problem that we're dealing with. In so many ways you've outlined that.

[00:22:03] Lois Letchford: Yes.

[00:22:03] Ed Watters: And I think that is so, you know, core, at the root of the cause of this. We have to be able to make it fun to learn that way we don't have a learning problem with it. Could you talk to us about the language and, uh, learning problem?

[00:22:27] Lois Letchford: Yes.

[00:22:27] Ed Watters: Association?

[00:22:28] Lois Letchford: Yes. There's a guy called Professor Charles Hulme, H, U, L, M, E. He talks about the foundation for literacy is oral language. When we come to teach, there's a disconnect between how we speak and how we write. In fact, oral language is very casual and I can say anything to you and get away with it. It's not a problem, you are not going to correct me. When it comes to written language, we care. We changed the sentence structure, the language is formal, the words are spelled, around the world, relatively similarly.

[00:23:14] We don't speak like that, so there's the disconnect. And when we teach these words, we teach them like they come from a pile we've never seen before, as opposed to, you speak these words, you use these words every single day. And it even goes back to when we talk, we don't distinguish that we are talking in words.

[00:23:39] It comes out as one complete flow. When we write, we break that sentence up into individual words. That's a challenge for beginning readers. So we have to build all of these components, and often we do, we build them into the early literacy forgetting that children who struggle need these ideas coming around for a longer period of time. It takes longer, it takes smaller groups, it takes more intensity, it takes more teacher knowledge.

[00:24:14] Ed Watters: So smaller groups, I think this is very important because we tend to get lost in the ocean, if you will.

[00:24:25] Lois Letchford: Yep.

[00:24:25] Ed Watters: And, and there's not enough time for the individual learning for each student. Because my, my own experience is, each person, they learn a little bit different.

[00:24:39] And if they're not able to communicate with the one teaching, well, you're, you're kind of just left to guess on your own. And a lot of the time, that's how it was for me in the classroom. I would just get shifted to the back and sometimes I was even afraid to ask the question because I didn't wanna feel stupid about the simple one, like you brought up to, this still haunts me

[00:25:13] today. To, well, T O, T W O, T O O, and they all are different and are used differently. It's the saw thing, but a simple word. And then the way you are teaching, you give examples, taking them along with you, give examples of it. But in the classroom, you get a book with a little dog and a cartoon picture and maybe some words that you can read time and time again. But if you're reading them and you don't get it, it doesn't matter how many times you read it, you're still not gonna get it. You need that special interaction that you take them and you walk them and give them the opportunity for experience. I think it's fascinating how you're outlining this. How can we get it put into our school system and make it policy that they teach in this fashion?

[00:26:21] Lois Letchford: Yeah. As you were talking, I had to laugh. I grew up reading words I could not comprehend. No one picked it up. I remember doing, you know, we had this SRA reading books. And I read the, you had to read the question, I mean, read the passage and answer the questions. I read the passage, I got every question wrong. And it was the first time I realized I've got no idea how to do this. And I, and I, I couldn't, I couldn't do it.

[00:27:06] No one helped me and there we had the judgment again. Um, she's not very smart, she can't do it because she's not very smart. And that's a problem about how we make these judgments so quickly on students.

[00:27:26] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:27:29] Lois Letchford: Instead of what else do I have to do to teach this child to read? Uh, well, a lot of my work, I said, you know, is about learning, but it's also about mindset. What's our mindset? What do we think about this child sitting in front of us? And that's what happened to my son. Well, the kid's just dumb, isn't he? They didn't say it, but boy, their actions said it. And the moment

[00:27:55] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:27:56] Lois Letchford: we make that judgment about a child, we have failed them. We, teachers and parents, need to see that child who's struggling as a future rocket scientist. Tell the child that and then teach them accordingly.

[00:28:14] Ed Watters: Yes. That, that is so true. You know, uh, what is it? Pygmalion effect? Uh, oh. It's alluding me right now, but it's something really close to that. Uh, where the learner has to be really in tune to the students. So you take a set of students and a, they're, they're gonna teach rats how to go through a maze. And you tell one set of students, These are extraordinary rats and,

[00:28:59] you know, they can do exceptional things. But the other students just have ordinary rats. And through the scoring, because you told the teachers that, Hey, you're dealing with extraordinary rats here, their scores excelled in extreme ways compared to the group of students that were told that they had ordinary rats.

[00:29:31] Do you know of this experiment? Because I really think it's,

[00:29:35] Lois Letchford: Yes, and they did it with people,

[00:29:37] Ed Watters: it's very,

[00:29:38] Lois Letchford: they did it with people.

[00:29:39] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:29:39] Lois Letchford: Exactly the same thing happened.

[00:29:41] Ed Watters: Same effect, exactly.

[00:29:43] Lois Letchford: Same effect. Yeah. Yep.

[00:29:45] Ed Watters: So, so this is, this is where, when teachers are sitting around the lounge

[00:29:51] Lois Letchford: Yeah.

[00:29:52] Ed Watters: and you've got one teacher badmouthing a student.

[00:29:55] Lois Letchford: They shouldn't.

[00:29:55] Ed Watters: Them other teachers had better be on that person saying,

[00:29:58] Lois Letchford: Yeah.

[00:29:59] Ed Watters: That's an [00:30:00] extraordinary student.

[00:30:01] Lois Letchford: Yeah. I have

[00:30:02] Ed Watters: You know,

[00:30:02] Lois Letchford: the book, one of the books I love, there's two books I really love. One is called Why and the other is called Curious.

[00:30:09] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:30:09] Lois Letchford: One is by Ian Leslie and the other is by, I've Forgotten.

[00:30:15] Anyway, There's one phrase, and they're doing brain studies and MRIs on students, and he says that the, when curiosity is involved and you do a MRI, it's like taking a slice of the ocean. But curiosity propagates in the brain in untold ways. That's exactly what happened to my son, Nicholas. You know, the curiosity just lit up his brain.

[00:30:46] He was thinking about things in extraordinary ways as a seven year old. And it, that's where the, his life changed. It's not because I taught him phonics, or this or that or the other, but it's the tapping into his curiosity. Yes, I did teach him decoding in extraordinary, minimal steps, one after the other, but it was, it was a combination of both that really helped him,

[00:31:13] propelled him to say, I love learning. I spoke to him after he'd finished his PhD and I said to him, Nicholas, tell me about your learning in first grade. My son, articulate and confident, cried. We had not processed anything that had happened 20 years ago.

[00:31:38] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:31:38] Lois Letchford: And I thought, I can't deal with that now. And I said, Nicholas, tell me, tell me about the learning you and I did in 1995. And his face went from, the tears are dried up, he's excited, and he said, I'll never forget the poems you wrote for me. The mug of the bug, The windmill on the hill, he named the poems 20 years later. And he said, The mapping, uh, the mapping taught me to love learning and I never want to stop learning,

[00:32:12] this is a power. And then he started giggling and this blew me. He talked to, you said you wrote a poem about a witch's spell and he's giggling like a seven year old. He said, which is so funny, I don't remember. But it was just so funny, that's how powerful my teaching in 1995 was. Transformative.

[00:32:35] Ed Watters: Yeah. And, and that's what we need. You know, and, and really the only way to get there is through conversations like this and pushing it, really pushing it. Because I had a conversation in Walmart with my local librarian and it, it, it was just so disheartening, the words that fell from her mouth. The, the words was, We've been doing it this way for 40 years

[00:33:07] and we aren't gonna change it now. And this just crushed me. Like, are you serious? That's the attitude of the administration in the school systems? And, and maybe we need to change some people then. It's time to really start actively taking responsibility for the kids in that school. I know how it was like when they see you as a target and you have dyslexia or a speech impediment. Because I dealt with that also and all of the hostilities. You know, you talk about, uh, your son Nicholas, uh, urinating in school.

[00:33:59] Well, I, I asked to go to the restroom and they told me to hold it. I, I just urinated because, and then I was the laughing stock of the school because an adult didn't understand how important it is to let a child go to the bathroom if he says he needs to go to the bathroom. You know, it's just the headstrong nature of control in that. We, we really have to put some loving kindness and empathy into our teaching. I don't know.

[00:34:40] Lois Letchford: You said it. You said it. Yeah. Loving kindness.

[00:34:43] Ed Watters: So, so yeah. How many children get cast aside and how long are we going to allow them to be cast aside? Because it's still happening today.

[00:34:56] Lois Letchford: I read an article that's coming out in a book on advocacy about putting kids in prison. Now they've been in school, their behavior problems are this and that and the other, but they go to the prison. The first thing that happens in prison, they, they get tested for dyslexia and learning disabilities. It didn't happen in the schools, it happened in the prison.

[00:35:19] Ed Watters: Oh my, are you serious?

[00:35:21] Lois Letchford: Yeah. And this, we can't give you, we can't give you support in school, but we'll give it to you in prison.

[00:35:28] Ed Watters: Yeah. That, that is just something else. Uh, and that's the mentality we're dealing with, well, we're not gonna deal with the trouble until it is actually trouble. That's like a squeaky bearing on a wheel in your car and well, it's not a problem, you know, it's still working. It's the same mentality. You, you've got to take control and really stand up. So, Lois, do you have a call to action for our listeners today?

[00:36:06] Lois Letchford: Buy my book and write a review for it. It gives you teaching ideas and it gives the journey that we went through and it talks about the other students that I've taught. If you have a student or a child that is struggling, connect with me. Reach out to someone, know and believe that they are capable of learning to read and that they can be taught.

[00:36:30] Ed Watters: Yes. Uh, that's strong. Now, before we get into the socials and all that, I wanna talk about your book a little bit there. Could you explain the cover art

[00:36:45] Lois Letchford: Yeah.

[00:36:45] Ed Watters: on the book for us? And show, show the people on the YouTube. Uh, this is interesting. So our listeners on the podcast, if you go to YouTube, you can actually see Lois's book. Is, is that one of those

[00:37:04] Lois Letchford: Yes.

[00:37:04] Ed Watters: fold up cube things that you made? All right, that's kind of interesting.

[00:37:12] Lois Letchford: Now, the map won't mean anything to you, will it?

[00:37:17] Ed Watters: No. Okay.

[00:37:19] Lois Letchford: There's a map there. When Nicholas asked, you know, who came before Captain Cook, who came before Christopher Columbus, the, this is the world's first map drawn in 250 AD by a man called Ptolemy who never left the shores of Alexandria and drew the first map of the world. And because we were in Oxford, we were able to find this, a book of maps by Ptolemy at that year.

[00:37:52] Ed Watters: Very interesting,

[00:37:54] Lois Letchford: Nicholas

[00:37:55] Ed Watters: so that is a map?

[00:37:56] Lois Letchford: Yeah. Yeah, it's a map and, and it's available if you look at Ptolemy, it's P, T, O, L, E, M, Y, the Ptolemy map of the world. And Nicholas drooled over it. What I didn't know is Nicholas's spatial awareness places him on the 99th percentile.

[00:38:15] Ed Watters: Interesting, yeah. So how long did it take for you to write the book?

[00:38:26] Lois Letchford: Because I'm dyslexic, you know, people think it's just a book. Because I'm dyslexic, I actually had a coach write with me for a full 12 months. Then it took three editors to get it to the standard that we got it to now.

[00:38:45] Ed Watters: Awesome.

[00:38:45] Lois Letchford: It's cost me a lot of money. I need to say that because people think, I dunno what people think, that it's easy to write. But I've not been a writer.

[00:38:56] I, like you, struggle through school, you get condemned, you live with that forever. So to, for me to sit down and write a book, was huge. I've got a second one on the way, it's taking time and I need to come up with my own funds to do it. But I, because I know I need editors. Yes, so that's the book.

[00:39:19] Ed Watters: Right on.

[00:39:20] Lois Letchford: It's, you know, it, as one of the, um, reviewers said, I laughed and I cried often, and I vowed to fight for the, you know, the needs of every child.

[00:39:37] Ed Watters: Yes. That makes the book right there worth it, Lois. You, you just sold me one and I hope you sold my listeners one.

[00:39:47] Lois Letchford: Yes.

[00:39:47] Ed Watters: So

[00:39:48] Lois Letchford: Yes.

[00:39:48] Ed Watters: Great, great. I, I love that, you know, and I love the magic in the photo that is on the book. It is very [00:40:00] interesting. It makes you go, what is that? You know, so that's, that's the why factor everybody should be looking for. I, I love the why, to know the why.

[00:40:11] Lois Letchford: When I, when I saw this picture, I just went, That was it, that was it. I thought I can't go past it, it, it's the book

[00:40:20] Ed Watters: Good choice.

[00:40:20] Lois Letchford: in a nutshell. Yeah, phenomenal.

[00:40:23] Ed Watters: Yeah. So Lois, how can people get ahold of you and, uh, get connected with you,

[00:40:29] Lois Letchford: I am on,

[00:40:29] Ed Watters: and pick up one of your fascinating books?

[00:40:32] Lois Letchford: The book is available on Amazon. I have my own website, www.loisletchford.com. I'm on LinkedIn and on Twitter. And Facebook has changed and I dunno how to use it now, but connect with me through, at letchfordlois@gmail.com if you need to. And believe in your child, believe they can be taught to read.

[00:40:57] Ed Watters: You are doing fascinating things, Lois. And uh, the YouTube, it's packed with interesting, insightful knowledge. So I encourage people to go over there, look at Lois's YouTube.

[00:41:13] Lois Letchford: Yes.

[00:41:14] Ed Watters: The links are right below here and everything you can find there.

[00:41:19] Lois Letchford: Yeah.

[00:41:20] Ed Watters: Lois, thank you for sharing your story and being here with us. Time is precious and valuable and this is going to really add up in the long run.

[00:41:31] Lois Letchford: Thank you, Ed. Thank you for having me on your show, this is fantastic.

[00:41:36] Ed Watters: Pleased to have you, Lois. Thank you.

[00:41:42] Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America Podcast. I'm Ed Watters your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.