The Dyslexia Initiative
Review - Reversed: A Memoir
by Ashley Roberts
Over the Thanksgiving holiday I was blessed with a long drive to my parents house. 7 hours each way provided me with enough time to do exactly what I wanted to do, read uninterrupted without the normal distractions of every day life, including end of the day exhaustion which usually ends my reading after a page or two.
For Lois Letchford’s Reversed: A Memoir, I wanted dedicated time.
I had read the prologue on November 13th and knew I wanted to dive head first into this book. Let me share the words I have previously written about my impression after reading just 2 pages of her book.
“I am an avid reader, but it’s not often that a book grabs me right away and I willingly embrace it within the first few words. As an English major in college I read a great deal and as a rule I always give a book 100 pages to let me fall in love or I never finish it. There are a handful of books that have proved exceptional. Jose Saramago’s Blindness had me hooked in the first paragraph and I binge read until it was complete. Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus had me within the first page and I also binge read until it was complete. This morning I read the first 2 pages of Reversed and I forced myself to put the book down because I was seriously crying and knew if I read one more word I’d never make it to work today. I don’t have a lot of time to binge read, but my draw to this book is intense. Anything that can provoke such emotion in the introduction is something I plan to dive head first into and not draw breath until it’s finished. If you haven’t yet picked it up, please do. I suspect you’re going to love it as much as I do.”
The Thanksgiving break, which was quickly looming when I wrote the above, offered me exactly the time to engage in the binge reading that I so desperately wanted, and I was not disappointed.
From the prologue to the epilogue, you are transported into Lois Letchford’s world. If you are the parent of a learning disabled child, you experience her emotions every time Nicholas freezes to the spot and your heart shatters with hers, you applaud her fight for Nicholas and want to beat at least two teachers to a pulp, which they deserved after the horrible things they said, but you cheer as she deftly manages those roadblocks.
Nicholas’ story has a happy ending, but the journey wasn’t easy. Lois is a passionate parent advocate who constantly questioned the norm, refused to accept the initial evaluation that her son had a low IQ, and worked hard to find workable solutions. Without a reading specialist education she instinctively engaged in multi sensory learning and immediately found so much success that it drove her to continue her search for solutions.
Blessed with family and friends who supported and enabled her personal journey, Lois navigated the world of learning challenges and what emerged is a brilliant young man, no longer held back by his challenges, but who knows how he learns, has faith in himself and conquered the educational world at the greatest institution of learning, Oxford.
I laughed out loud, I choked through tears, I wanted to jump up and down and hug her neck for never giving up and finding their path through.
Lois’ book is inspirational, and better yet it’s true.
It’s an easy read with none of the drag of other non-fiction books. The chapters are broken up well and titled perfectly with amazing quotes that tempt you to keep going instead of putting the book down.
I cannot recommend this book enough to all parents with a child struggling with any learning challenge. I will read it again and again over the years with the same love I have for it today, which I only save for my favorite books.
This also inspires me to add to my bucket list a very particular wish: to meet Lois Letchford and give her a big hug!!
Ashley Roberts is one of the Admins for The Dyslexia Initiative, is the Admin for Dyslexic Houston, is a Director at Large (beginning 1/1/2019) for the Houston Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, and she writes about her own advocacy for her son on her blog A Mom’s Journey - My Dyslexic Life.