Most teachers make the mistake of asking “What is wrong with that child?” rather than “What do I have to do to teach this child?” Letchford said. “That’s where we lose our children with learning disabilities.”

Whether it’s called a learning disability, dyslexia or another label - “The name is irrelevant,” Letchford said. “The teaching is absolutely crucial.”

Dr. Jo Boaler is a professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University and faculty director of youcubed, a website dedicated to inspire and educate teachers of mathematics with accessible and practical forms and innovative teaching. She has been using Nicholas's story and Reversed: A Memoir in her scholarly presentations, and is adding his story to her upcoming book, Unlocked.

Check out her presentation at NCSM Ignite Talks in Canada. She mentions Nicholas at 47:21.

 Professor Jo Boaler

Professor Jo Boaler

      (John Carl D'Annibale/Times Union)

     (John Carl D'Annibale/Times Union)

Author shares story of helping son overcome
school hurdles

(Brianna Snyder, 
Albany Times Union)

Labels are one of Letchford's primary concerns. "The problem was not the system as much as the label," Letchford tells me over coffee at Spill'n the Beans in Troy. When children are labeled with a disability, the players in the system lower their expectations. They don't invest as much into the education of the child. And that can be catastrophic for the student, she says.

"That kid who can't do it? I don't see him as a kid who can't do it. I see those kids as raw talent."

Culture: REVERSED: A MEmoir
(Kurien parel, CHERWELL)


One of the striking points the memoir illustrates is the level of abuse children with learning disabilities face, from teachers and others. This was something Lois could relate to, having struggled to learn to read as a child. After recounting suspicions that Nicholas had been shouted at by his first-year teacher on a regular basis, she recalls an incident from her own schooldays in which she was berated by a teacher for an assignment she handed in. It becomes apparent quite soon that the memoir is as much about the author as it is about Nicholas. 

Other Features

My Favourite Quote: Lois Letchford, author  -Mr. Gift Blog (July 2, 2018)