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As you know I had a skiing accident and it stopped me in my tracks. I've struggled to put in work daily as I've been in significant levels of pain, however, I am working on my next book. I've titled the book 'Failed'.
It tells the story of a 16-year-old student whose mother came to me in desperation, in August 2020.
I would appreciate comments on the writing and structure.
- What you liked?
- What challenged you?
What confused you?
Future blog posts will be in this format until I can get myself a little further along the healing cycle!
Friday, July 31, 2020
Looking at the view from my designated office space at our dining table overlooking the Hudson River gave my eyes a rest from writing. It is a pretty view. Many reasons have me scanning the river, but mostly I seek to spot the occasional peregrine falcon or bald eagle as they venture out. I'm always on the lookout.
A message on my phone drew my attention back to work. A Facebook friend, Luna, had connected. Previous conversations suggested we had communicated, and I knew she had written a review of my first book.
"Can I chat with you if you are available? When would be a good time?" the message read.
"I have a podcast until 3:30, then I'm free," I typed back.
"Great! Catch you later," she responded.
I finished my day’s work. Our Friday night’s dinner had us visit our favorite local pizza restaurant and I continued with our family evening. My phone remained silent, and I thought she no longer needed to talk.
Around 7:00 pm, the phone vibrated again.
"Lois, my son, Matthew is sixteen, and he cannot read anything," words tumbled through the phone in a rush. "I know you went through this journey. I just wanted to talk to someone who understands what it is like to have a kid fail.” I heard a deep breath. “Matthew is in Middle School now, and teachers keep telling me he has an intellectual disability and that's why he cannot read."
Walking to my bedroom for a quiet place to chat allowed me to listen attentively.
Ptolemy, my wonderful rescue cat, lay sprawled across the bed. Moving him toward to center provide a spot for me to sit comfortably, resting my back against the headboard. Ptolemy stretched out a paw and rested it on my leg, then purred loudly.
Luna had my full attention.
"Lois, his inability to read consumes me," she continued. "I cannot stop thinking about it, and I don't know what to do. I thought you would understand. I need to talk to someone who has been through this. You know what it's like."
I heard another breath.
"I'm at my wit's end. I feel like I am locked in a cave and I cannot see or feel a way out. I see no light. We went from attending our local school to a private school. We have had tutor after tutor all to no avail. I’m spent. Our money is spent. Tutors have disappeared. All for what? For teachers and administrators to say “Well, Matthew is doing the best he can.” What can I do, Lois?" I hear Luna sob. "Why isn't he reading? I don't know how to handle this. I feel it is my fault!"
Another audible breath.
"Now we have the COVID-19. He hasn't been to school since March, and I feel Matthew received zero support this year. I was left with all the responsibility of helping him complete all his assignments on Canva. As much as I tried, I didn’t make any breakthroughs in his reading. The principal claimed all his accommodations were in place and the support he needs was available.”…….
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lois Letchford’s dyslexia came to light at the age of 39, when she faced teaching her seven-year-old non-reading son, Nicholas. Examining her reading failure caused her to adapt and change lessons for her son. The results were dramatic. Lois qualified as a reading specialist to use her non-traditional background, multi-continental experience, and passion to assist other failing students. Her teaching and learning have equipped her with a unique skillset and perspective. As a teacher, she considers herself a “literacy problem-solver.”
Reversed: A Memoir is her first book. In this story, she details her dyslexia and the journey of her son’s dramatic failure in first grade. She tells of the twist and turns that promoted her passion and her son’s dramatic academic turn-a-round - as in 2018, he received his Ph.D.