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199: How To Overcome A Learning Disability In Your Child And Help Them And Yourself Achieve Success With Lois Letchford
Episode 19920th May 2022 • The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller • Dr Brad Miller
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Lois Letchford is Dr. Brad Miller’s guest on Episode 199 of “The Beyond Adversity Podcast.”

She is the author of the book entitled ‘Reversed: A Memoir’. 

She is also a literacy problem solver or an educator who focuses on teaching children who are having problems when reading and speaking.

Lois encountered a lot of judgments and insults when her child was growing up. However, she didn’t listen to them and continued to find ways how to teach her child literacy.

Eventually, through observation and a variety of errors, she succeeded in finding a way to teach her child.

With her experience, she is now helping other children who are going through the same thing. She utilizes different learning methods, depending on the child itself. She is a literacy problem solver for the past 20 years.

Episode 199 of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is recommended for those parents who are trying to teach their children to improve their literacy.

In this episode, Lois shares her personal experience of how she overcame adversity in her life. Despite the negativities around her, she was able to get through it and is now helping others.

“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity, and purpose. 

https://www.loisletchford.com/

Book: https://www.amazon.com/Reversed-Memoir-Lois-Letchford-ebook/dp/B079Y599W5

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lois-letchford-13762917

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loisletchfordauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LetchfordLois

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW-eC1bd7uZBizY-rzWhrQQ

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loisletchford/

Transcripts

Dr. Brad Miller::

Lois Letchford, who is our great guest here today.

Dr. Brad Miller::

She's the book of reversed a memoir, and she is a

Dr. Brad Miller::

literacy problem solver which means that she is an

Dr. Brad Miller::

educator. I have a heart for that coming from a family

Dr. Brad Miller::

of educators. We certainly are looking forward to hearing

Dr. Brad Miller::

a great story today and learning a few things from this great educator.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Lois Letchford. Welcome to Beyond Adversity today.

Lois Letchford::

Thank you, Brad, I'm delighted to be here.

Dr. Brad Miller::

It is awesome that you're with us here today.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You are a literacy problem solver, which indicates to me

Dr. Brad Miller::

that there's been some problems in the area of dealing

Dr. Brad Miller::

with matters of literacy in your life. At least that's my

Dr. Brad Miller::

assumption here, and we're going to talk about that

Dr. Brad Miller::

a little bit. But tell us your story, a little bit of what

Dr. Brad Miller::

kind of led you to become a literacy problem solver.

Dr. Brad Miller::

What kind of adverse life event did you have to face

Dr. Brad Miller::

in order to get you in the track that you're on now.

Lois Letchford::

In 1994, my second son failed first grade. At the end

Lois Letchford::

of the year, he was tested. The testing showed that he

Lois Letchford::

could read 10 words, he had no strengths. He had

Lois Letchford::

a low IQ. What had happened through that year

Lois Letchford::

was that every day he beat his fingernails, he wet

Lois Letchford::

his pants, and he stared into space. And what we

Lois Letchford::

know is when children struggle early on in life with

Lois Letchford::

literacy, the chances of getting out of that hole or

Lois Letchford::

that bucket are very, very small. That's the start.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yes. And, yeah, I'll let you go on for a second there.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But that must just to get that news. As a mother,

Dr. Brad Miller::

as a person, as an educator yourself, that message

Dr. Brad Miller::

just rocked your world and has been devastating.

Lois Letchford::

My husband is an academic, he was the top of his school.

Lois Letchford::

And he did a PhD at Oxford University. And we had this son

Lois Letchford::

who I've been told has a low IQ.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So you have not only the situation dealing with your son, you got

Dr. Brad Miller::

some family dynamic stuff going on here. I would assume you're

Dr. Brad Miller::

kind of like, how did this happen? You know, we come from

Dr. Brad Miller::

academic background. You know, we're smart people, we got

Dr. Brad Miller::

intellectual acuity here. And but what happened here? So tell

Dr. Brad Miller::

me a lot about what happened in the family, then when this

Dr. Brad Miller::

news came down, and you had to deal with it within the family?

Lois Letchford::

That's a really good question. Because when I went home and told

Lois Letchford::

my husband, you know, this is the test that's been done. And this is

Lois Letchford::

the diagnosis, my husband said to me, that's a lower bound. Our son

Lois Letchford::

Nicholas could look like that on any given day. You know, he's an

Lois Letchford::

academic, it's one test done on one day, and he could see the

Lois Letchford::

strengths in our child. In my book I write about Yes, that was really

Lois Letchford::

positive of him to say that, and it gave me a mindset to say, Oh, okay.

Lois Letchford::

But also, I think in many ways, he underestimated the challenge

Lois Letchford::

of struggle that our son had with language. And that wasn't

Lois Letchford::

acknowledged anywhere.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So the challenges that your son had Nicholas was had to do with

Dr. Brad Miller::

was it the retention of information? Or was it also the language

Dr. Brad Miller::

of speaking at such first a speech impediment or stuttering

Dr. Brad Miller::

or anything along that line?

Lois Letchford::

All of it.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Okay.

Lois Letchford::

And okay, this is the role for parents.

Lois Letchford::

What I did not recognize at the time was that

Lois Letchford::

Nicholas when he was eight to 18 months, had constant

Lois Letchford::

ear infections. When you have constant ear infections, it

Lois Letchford::

actually impacts the brain and brain growth. They don't

Lois Letchford::

have the language input that they need. And that's a problem

Dr. Brad Miller::

I relate to this more than you might know, on a couple

Dr. Brad Miller::

different levels, because I am one of those people who

Dr. Brad Miller::

had a lot of ear infections when I was a kid and ended

Dr. Brad Miller::

up being in speech therapy in school for many, many

Dr. Brad Miller::

years for a bad stuttering problem. And even now, literally

Dr. Brad Miller::

today as we speak, I got a text from my daughter that my

Dr. Brad Miller::

granddaughter got her tubes on her ears just earlier today,

Dr. Brad Miller::

because of some factors going on with her. Her speech

Dr. Brad Miller::

patterns been impacted. She's only four years old.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Being impacted by what we're talking about here.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So it's pertinent to me.

Lois Letchford::

Speech, and the language that they miss. Because

Lois Letchford::

what happens in the brain now, I'm not a brain scientist,

Lois Letchford::

but what I've read is, you know, the brain comes complete.

Lois Letchford::

It's got neurons in there, and the neurons fire together with

Lois Letchford::

what they hear, what they see, and what they do. If you're

Lois Letchford::

not hearing something, or you're not seeing it, the connections

Lois Letchford::

in the brain for that area drop off. Yeah. And the book 30 million

Lois Letchford::

words, and I can't remember the author is about is written by a

Lois Letchford::

hearing lady who does implants for children who hearing loss.

Lois Letchford::

She's the one who talks about this because she said, It's not the

Lois Letchford::

implant, the implant makes a huge difference. But the growth

Lois Letchford::

is then how many words the child hears after that.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Three times a cochlear implants, those type of things, I guess,

Lois Letchford::

Yes. And the author is well known. She's the brain lady

Lois Letchford::

and all that happens there. That's what I didn't recognize

Lois Letchford::

with Nicholas, because what my son saw was out Nicholas

Lois Letchford::

was phenomenal with doing puzzles. His spatial awareness,

Lois Letchford::

even as a child was at the top of his range. But the language

Lois Letchford::

component was the absolute other extreme. And when you

Lois Letchford::

go to school, what do people want? They want the language,

Lois Letchford::

they don't care that you can do puzzles. It's not relevant. At

Lois Letchford::

that time. It's irrelevant, and he can't understand the teacher.

Lois Letchford::

He's ostracized, academically, he's ostracized socially. And

Lois Letchford::

he's devastated emotionally. Because what he has picked up

Lois Letchford::

in that first 12 months of school are not very smart.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Okay, so you have this situation, with his academic situation.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You've got family dynamics going on, and you are a caring,

Dr. Brad Miller::

loving mother trying to support your son to be be accepted,

Dr. Brad Miller::

loved, and connected, not only in the home life, but you know,

Dr. Brad Miller::

we're friends and social life and everything else. So you got a

Dr. Brad Miller::

dilemma here, you got a problem you got to deal with. I want to

Dr. Brad Miller::

know, Lois, what do you do? What was your movements? What was

Dr. Brad Miller::

your actions that you took to try to address this problem?

Lois Letchford::

Well, this is what happened. My husband, as I said, is an academic.

Lois Letchford::

And in 1995, when Nicholas is in the second grade, my husband

Lois Letchford::

has studied leave back in Oxford, and our family joined him.

Lois Letchford::

I decided I'm going to remove Nicolas from school for six

Lois Letchford::

months, I'm going to teach him at home. So we had this

Lois Letchford::

extraordinary set of circumstances in a historic city. And

Lois Letchford::

I bought a series of books with me called Success for All

Lois Letchford::

and I start working with them. I failed, and I failed again.

Lois Letchford::

I'm no better than his first grade teacher. My mother in law

Lois Letchford::

was with me and she heard my frustration. She said to me,

Lois Letchford::

Lois, put away what's not working, and make learning fun.

Lois Letchford::

I needed that input to get me out of the hole I was in to stop

Lois Letchford::

to put it away and rethink. Her words caused me to say, well,

Lois Letchford::

what can I do? I knew Nikolas could run words, and I knew

Lois Letchford::

he could see patterns. So with that limited information,

Lois Letchford::

I started to write little poems for him. The poetry

Lois Letchford::

transformed our classroom, and our learning, because

Lois Letchford::

instead of Nicolas being stressed and anxious, he laughed.

Lois Letchford::

I read the poem to him, he joined in, we found the rhyming

Lois Letchford::

words, we had fun. One poem led to the next and the next,

Lois Letchford::

and the next. And what poetry does in the brain is poetry

Lois Letchford::

lines, the brain with language. And then you're asking

Lois Letchford::

questions, what does the poem meet, then is illustrating

Lois Letchford::

them. And our poetry just grew and grew and grew and

Lois Letchford::

grew, until you come to double O double O words, and

Lois Letchford::

our cook notebook, write a poem about that. I thought

Lois Letchford::

of Captain James Cook, the last of the great experience.

Lois Letchford::

I wrote a poem about Captain Cook had a notion there's a

Lois Letchford::

gap in the map and the great big ocean, and the poem was,

Lois Letchford::

and the beauty of poetry is that you've got this really, you

Lois Letchford::

know, four lines with massive ideas. So we're starting to ask

Lois Letchford::

questions about Captain Cook. And while we're doing this, my

Lois Letchford::

Nicholas with this suppose at low IQ said to me, who came

Lois Letchford::

before Captain Cook, I said, that's easy, Nicholas. That was

Lois Letchford::

Christopher Columbus. And he said to me, And Who Came

Lois Letchford::

Before Columbus?

Dr. Brad Miller::

So he started to go deeper himself. That's great.

Lois Letchford::

The moment he said that question, I thought this

Lois Letchford::

child doesn't have a low IQ. And that was critical for

Lois Letchford::

me. And now we're also in the City of Oxford. Because

Lois Letchford::

every time you go somewhere, you've got history around

Lois Letchford::

us. We walk into the Bodley Library. And we go to the gift

Lois Letchford::

Because captain, Christopher Columbus, his latest map was

Lois Letchford::

drawn by a man called Ptolemy in 240. AD. So his map was

Lois Letchford::

over 1000 years old, we walk into the body, and I would say,

Lois Letchford::

Where would we see some some Ptolemy maps. And the lady

Lois Letchford::

turns around and says, Oh, these are just new in our gift shop,

Lois Letchford::

shop, and we say, Where would we see a Ptolemy map?

Lois Letchford::

here's a book of Ptolemy, that'll be five pounds. So we're not

Lois Letchford::

only talking about it, we're seeing it, we're exploring it, I've

Dr. Brad Miller::

I take it that he went from there and to be quite, you know, he

Lois Letchford::

tapped into his curiosity. And our world has explained.

Dr. Brad Miller::

built on this foundation that had to do with really applying kind

Dr. Brad Miller::

of artistic expression, poetry, visuals, and other aspects rather

Dr. Brad Miller::

than just being pigeonholed as being learning disabled, or

Dr. Brad Miller::

whatever terminology that we want to use.

Lois Letchford::

That's exactly. The interesting part was when we returned to

Lois Letchford::

Australia, to our home. And I met the lady who had done the

Lois Letchford::

testing. I was just so excited over all that Nicholas has done.

Lois Letchford::

I knew his reading was going in millimeters.

Lois Letchford::

But his thinking was in kilometers.

Lois Letchford::

And I said to Nicholas, as asked these amazing questions.

Lois Letchford::

She stood in front of me put her hands on his hips and said,

Lois Letchford::

Well, here's the worst child I've seen in 20 years of teaching.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Oh, man. That stings and it just hurts on so many levels, to

Dr. Brad Miller::

have to know that an educator said those words for one

Dr. Brad Miller::

thing to you, and then for you to receive them after and

Dr. Brad Miller::

but also, after you've had some success here, it kind of

Dr. Brad Miller::

your balloon, that kind of thing, right? So

Lois Letchford::

That was the idea, except she didn't. Her words made me

Lois Letchford::

think. And I went back to her and I said, you can call him

Lois Letchford::

whatever you like. But then don't expect him to learn like

Lois Letchford::

everybody else. And from that moment on, I went about

Lois Letchford::

sending him to school, and making sure everything I did

Lois Letchford::

at home was different. And with that, he comes to read

Lois Letchford::

and write effectively, at home in the classroom. And

Lois Letchford::

that's where he flew over time. Very slow, at the time, but

Dr. Brad Miller::

but here's the thing, as I'm understanding it, Lois, you don't

Dr. Brad Miller::

like change your pattern, change your actions, but

Dr. Brad Miller::

you kept at it, you were consistent. You didn't let it go.

Lois Letchford::

Exactly. And I didn't believe what that diagnostician told us.

Lois Letchford::

Her words laid the foundation for my future life, that we

Lois Letchford::

label children, we give them these terrible labels in order

Lois Letchford::

really to put the parent down and the child down and say,

Lois Letchford::

it's saying, well, that kid can't do it. And you've got too high

Lois Letchford::

expectations. And, and, and what it did for me, was made

Lois Letchford::

me say, not you're wrong, but we can change things, we

Lois Letchford::

can do things and we don't have to write children off at age six as

Dr. Brad Miller::

well. And so much and learning those patterns are set

Dr. Brad Miller::

in those early grade levels. And being a preschool as

Dr. Brad Miller::

well, in terms of the expectations regarding; am I a smart

Dr. Brad Miller::

kid or am I dumb kid? Or am I athletic or non athletic or

Dr. Brad Miller::

am I a social person or a non social person, so many

Dr. Brad Miller::

those patterns are set set at that time, and you didn't

Dr. Brad Miller::

let it you know, what a lot of folks do and I've seen it

Dr. Brad Miller::

myself and I know the people in my life who are

Dr. Brad Miller::

educators have seen it happen for some pipe people

Dr. Brad Miller::

get stuck. They get pigeonholed, and they stay there

Dr. Brad Miller::

you know, they stay there and suddenly they get stay

Dr. Brad Miller::

there the students but their parents and others get

Dr. Brad Miller::

stuck there as well into accepting it. You didn't and

Dr. Brad Miller::

that's awesome. Let's go for a minute, Lois, about how

Dr. Brad Miller::

this kind of became a little bit more than an academic

Dr. Brad Miller::

exercise. What I mean by that this had to be an emotional

Dr. Brad Miller::

even a spiritual adventure for you. Would you agree with

Dr. Brad Miller::

that statement. And if so, tell me how that became kind of

Dr. Brad Miller::

a part of a spiritual, emotional aspects to this whole journey

Dr. Brad Miller::

with your son as well.

Lois Letchford::

Emotionally. When my son wasn't learning, I was devastated.

Lois Letchford::

I was stressed, my world was consumed by Nicholas and

Lois Letchford::

writing poems. When we started the turn around, our

Lois Letchford::

world went from being horrific to this is so exciting. This is

Lois Letchford::

unbelievable. Now, I'm talking about this, you know, 20

Lois Letchford::

something years later, I was always worried about

Lois Letchford::

what he's going to do, because his learning was

Lois Letchford::

happening so slowly. And at one stage, my husband

Lois Letchford::

said to me, Lois, you do have three sons?

Dr. Brad Miller::

Oh, wow, that kind of stinks too wow, okay.

Lois Letchford::

But it's it. You know, when you've got these children,

Lois Letchford::

when something doesn't go to normal, as a mother,

Lois Letchford::

you do everything you can to help? Sure. And I had a

Lois Letchford::

friend whose six year old son had been diagnosed with

Lois Letchford::

leukemia. And we're in the same position, because you go,

Lois Letchford::

what else can I do to help this child? And the future looks

Lois Letchford::

very, very bleak. And very short. Because if I don't do

Lois Letchford::

something, there's no one else who's going to support me.

Lois Letchford::

I felt, you know, if I don't do it, what's going to happen?

Lois Letchford::

And that's what worry is. So yes, in dramatic emotional

Lois Letchford::

and spiritual journey. And in spiritually, I cannot explain the

Lois Letchford::

number of accidents that allowed my son to achieve and

Lois Letchford::

it just moves me so much. And no child's journey should

Lois Letchford::

happen by accident. But my son's death. And instead of

Lois Letchford::

having a child who's unemployed, or unemployable, my

Lois Letchford::

son has a PhD in applied mathematics from Oxford University.

Dr. Brad Miller::

That's not too bad. I wouldn't think that you're not a proud

Dr. Brad Miller::

mom at all. Are you? Yeah, well, that.

Lois Letchford::

It's the journey that happened. And there was another step,

Lois Letchford::

you know, that my husband had studied leave in Oxford?

Lois Letchford::

How many times does that happen?

Dr. Brad Miller::

Well, that's kind of, you know, the highest level I

Dr. Brad Miller::

would assume in the academic world. And so apparently,

Dr. Brad Miller::

there were some resources available for you to you

Dr. Brad Miller::

mentioned the library, for instance, to connect up and

Dr. Brad Miller::

to help kind of fire off some synapses there with your

Dr. Brad Miller::

son that might not have been made available in other

Dr. Brad Miller::

circumstances. What I'm hearing you say is there were

Dr. Brad Miller::

kind of some spiritual coincidences perhaps for maybe

Dr. Brad Miller::

I would might call them spiritual appointments, where

Dr. Brad Miller::

you've had made a connection to something that

Dr. Brad Miller::

went to a deeper level, you were you connected

Dr. Brad Miller::

basically, with something beyond yourself a higher

Dr. Brad Miller::

power spiritual level, something, you know that this

Dr. Brad Miller::

was something going on here? That was above just

Dr. Brad Miller::

kind of the pure academic exercise of trying to find

Dr. Brad Miller::

how to learn something. So that must have been,

Dr. Brad Miller::

it was just a minute, kind of a cool deal, not only

Dr. Brad Miller::

for yourself, but for your son and your family as well.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Do you see some growth happening here?

Lois Letchford::

Yeah, I mean, you talk about Oxford, it wasn't just the

Lois Letchford::

library. Every time you turn a corner in Oxford, there's

Lois Letchford::

something historical. And there are plaques to people

Lois Letchford::

like Edmund Halley. And I mean, the list goes on and boil,

Lois Letchford::

hook and boil. It just goes on and on and on and on. And

Lois Letchford::

my husband, you know, he was an expert in this field anyway.

Lois Letchford::

And he could tell you things. So you walk past this college,

Lois Letchford::

oh, Isaac Newton went there. Now, Isaac Newton didn't go here.

Lois Letchford::

He was at Cambridge, but solids and so on. So

Dr. Brad Miller::

it's kind of at his wild. You know, that's, of course, that's kind

Dr. Brad Miller::

of on my, you know, the places I'd like to visit in the world.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I've been lots of places in the world, but I've never been to England.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And I certainly want to go to Oxford, and Cambridge, for

Dr. Brad Miller::

that matter, and some other places as well. But yeah, that's awesome.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Let's talk a little bit about let's talk about the cognitive piece of

Dr. Brad Miller::

this for a minute, because you've already touched on it here.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And, what I'm interested in here, Lois is how we think mindset,

Dr. Brad Miller::

how we kind of shift our patterns. And you mentioned,

Dr. Brad Miller::

you know, some of the experiences that you some of the

Dr. Brad Miller::

evaluators had and so on, and they're taught to evaluate

Dr. Brad Miller::

in a certain way, of course, but what I'm getting at here is

Dr. Brad Miller::

with yourself and with your son and everyone else involved

Dr. Brad Miller::

with this situation. What were some of the mind shifts

Dr. Brad Miller::

that had to happen? That goes to things such as a

Dr. Brad Miller::

patterns or habits or rituals that you may have had

Dr. Brad Miller::

before that had to shift here, both personally and in

Dr. Brad Miller::

your relationship to your son. I'm talking about

Dr. Brad Miller::

patterns, rituals, disciplines?

Lois Letchford::

That's an interesting question. That's complicated.

Lois Letchford::

But I don't know if I can answer it because it's

Lois Letchford::

overwhelming. But to shift, my mindset from this child is dumb.

Lois Letchford::

And all I have to do to teach him to read is learn about decoding.

Lois Letchford::

That was a big shift. That was the first shift, that literacy is

Lois Letchford::

more than just decoding. And that how I see the child, if I

Lois Letchford::

just see that child is dumb, and all I'm going to do is teach

Lois Letchford::

them the letters in the sound, I failed that child.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You got to go to a different level.

Lois Letchford::

I had to. And you know, because of that, I became

Lois Letchford::

I went back to school, and I became a literacy specialist.

Lois Letchford::

And the first thing I deal with is, how do I see that child

Lois Letchford::

sitting in front of me? They have that age 12, or 13, they

Lois Letchford::

can't read? How do I see them? Do I just see them as dumb?

Lois Letchford::

Or do I see them as future rocket scientists?

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yeah. So the expectation we have of others makes

Dr. Brad Miller::

a big difference, isn't it? How we see them? If we see

Dr. Brad Miller::

I'm like a four or five. That's one thing, but we'll see.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I'm like a 10 on a scale. That's a whole different thing.

Lois Letchford::

And then with that attitude, if there are future rocket

Lois Letchford::

scientists, how am I going to teach them? Yes? What

Lois Letchford::

do I have to do to teach this child to read. And that's

Lois Letchford::

my driver. That's awesome. And from there, I, you know,

Lois Letchford::

we moved around the world, I was in Lubbock, Texas, and

Lois Letchford::

I met a mother whose 13 year old son was nonreading after

Lois Letchford::

four years in a phonics only reading program. And I taught

Lois Letchford::

him to read over the summer, at the end of the summer, the

Lois Letchford::

mother writes to the school district and said, You employ

Lois Letchford::

this woman or I sue you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Is that how it should check out that?

Dr. Brad Miller::

Oh, my God.

Lois Letchford::

and then with that, I am in touch with all these

Lois Letchford::

other children who have failed reading programs.

Lois Letchford::

And, and that's, you know, Nicholas, a story and my

Lois Letchford::

students who had failed and failed and failed, is

Lois Letchford::

what drives me. Because the moment children fail,

Lois Letchford::

we say they are not very smart.

Dr. Brad Miller::

That's a label, oh, my gosh, it is so powerful,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and so devastating, so

Lois Letchford::

and children pick it up for sick children, and

Dr. Brad Miller::

I say, do right away to right right away, and then

Dr. Brad Miller::

lingers on in all kinds of patterns here.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so let's shift for a second a bit of what

Dr. Brad Miller::

you're doing. Now, what I mean by that is,

Dr. Brad Miller::

obviously here, you've had your personal

Dr. Brad Miller::

experience with your son, when he was first grade,

Dr. Brad Miller::

or second grade, whatever it was, and, and you've

Dr. Brad Miller::

worked with it the whole time. And you've gone to

Dr. Brad Miller::

emotional levels, you've gone to some spiritual levels,

Dr. Brad Miller::

you took action. And now you're serving others. You

Dr. Brad Miller::

wrote a book about this. You've mentioned some of

Dr. Brad Miller::

the people you've worked with, tell us what you're

Dr. Brad Miller::

working with now. Tell us about your book, Reversed: A Memoir.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Tell us about what kind of things you offer to others

Dr. Brad Miller::

how you're serving others for what you've experienced.

Lois Letchford::

I wrote the book because I was astonished at the level

Lois Letchford::

of support and privilege we needed to have my son

Lois Letchford::

learn to read. So I wrote the book to say when your child's

Lois Letchford::

struggling, get hold of my book, and know that your child

Lois Letchford::

can be taught to read. That's the first. Now I teach other

Lois Letchford::

children, and parents can talk to me. I support parents.

Lois Letchford::

I believe that children can be taught to read and write

Lois Letchford::

effectively, and go to college and all the rest of it. So

Lois Letchford::

I have a reading writing program, and I have a podcast.

Lois Letchford::

My podcast is entitled When Learning is Trauma. Well, the

Lois Letchford::

podcast came about cause when my son graduated, I went

Lois Letchford::

back to him and I said, you know, I thought, now I can ask

Lois Letchford::

Nicholas about what happened in first grade because I

Lois Letchford::

didn't really know. My confident, articulate son cried, not

Lois Letchford::

a word emerged from his point. I was in shock. I hadn't

Lois Letchford::

recognized that level of trauma from one year in school.

Lois Letchford::

And then I thought I can't answer this. Now. I can't talk

Lois Letchford::

about it. But I said, Nicholas, tell me what happened when

Lois Letchford::

and I learned together. It was like a switch flipped in his

Lois Letchford::

brain. And he laughed. And he said, I remember the

Lois Letchford::

poems you wrote to me. And he named the poems.

Lois Letchford::

And then he said, the mapping, I'll never forget the mapping.

Lois Letchford::

The mapping taught me to love learning, and I never

Lois Letchford::

want to stop learning.

Dr. Brad Miller::

What a emotional moment for everybody involved.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And what are those transformative moments?

Dr. Brad Miller::

Right, a transformative moment?

Lois Letchford::

That's exactly what a transformative is.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Is education, an opportunity to have transformation

Dr. Brad Miller::

to the mind and of your life? What's there to do?

Lois Letchford::

And I often think, what could have happened

Lois Letchford::

and what happens to so many children, particularly

Lois Letchford::

children who are minorities, or for some reason, not

Lois Letchford::

in the mainstream? How, even with a husband who's an

Lois Letchford::

academic, that we were so quickly pushed aside, to be

Lois Letchford::

told your child is not very smart.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yes, it is. An incredible challenge for our world, right now.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I happen, I pastor in inner city church, and one of the

Dr. Brad Miller::

problems we have is we do some educational pieces

Dr. Brad Miller::

after school and so on tutoring for some of the

Dr. Brad Miller::

underserved children in our urban school district

Dr. Brad Miller::

where we are at in Indianapolis. Long story short, we

Dr. Brad Miller::

had to set up some special learning opportunities

Dr. Brad Miller::

for In Home learning, you know, during the COVID crisis,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and we were able to do that, but became very evident, that

Dr. Brad Miller::

need that the suffocating new need for educational services

Dr. Brad Miller::

for children. How it makes such a huge difference and sets the

Dr. Brad Miller::

pattern. So, I appreciate what you're doing, what you're saying

Dr. Brad Miller::

here. You've already mentioned one story about the woman in

Dr. Brad Miller::

Lubbock, Texas who came to you but I'm really interested in

Dr. Brad Miller::

maybe one more story Lois about a person or situation where

Dr. Brad Miller::

you just saw something cool happened, you mentioned about

Dr. Brad Miller::

in your own life this moment with your son. But now you're

Dr. Brad Miller::

working with others. Tell me a story about some person

Dr. Brad Miller::

you've worked with or situation that you had this

Dr. Brad Miller::

transformative heartwarming experience.

Lois Letchford::

Because I became a literacy reading specialist in Lubbock,

Lois Letchford::

I was in touch with a number of students who were 14 and

Lois Letchford::

16, who had failed to learn to read. One was 16 year old

Lois Letchford::

boy Twain, who came to me with no words, couldn't read

Lois Letchford::

anything. Turning a child around like that takes it

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yes.

Lois Letchford::

So I started working with him. And one of the things I always

Lois Letchford::

do with my students is give them I turn a short story into a

Lois Letchford::

play. That's great. There aren't that many short stories you

Lois Letchford::

can that are engaging and had the right length and this, that

Lois Letchford::

and the other that you can work with. And the first story I had

Lois Letchford::

was about a family, a father and a mother. The son teases the

Lois Letchford::

parents in their home. I read this to my students Twain, and he's

Lois Letchford::

a 16 year old African American boy. It didn't click, didn't get. I

Lois Letchford::

thought not working, put it away. The next story I had was about

Lois Letchford::

two girls and a father, single father, and his daughter and the

Lois Letchford::

daughter's friend. And I'm teaching two boys. I said to them, boys,

Lois Letchford::

this story is so funny. Read about girls which is what you'd expect.

Lois Letchford::

And the other boy said, Yeah, I'll listen, and they listened. And

Lois Letchford::

they roared with laughter. And I said to them, you know, boys,

Lois Letchford::

I can't ask you to be girls. But what if we take this story and

Lois Letchford::

turn it around? All? I'll be a mother, not a father. And you

Lois Letchford::

can be two boys? Oh, yes. They said, that was transformative.

Lois Letchford::

We read the play. We're doing really well with it. And then

Lois Letchford::

three quarters of the way through one day, my Twain says

Lois Letchford::

looks at me, and everything has been going so well. And he

Lois Letchford::

looks at me and he's angry with his favorite teacher. And he

Lois Letchford::

says, Well, you wouldn't say those words. Twain I said, Yes. You

Lois Letchford::

know, you wouldn't say that we're this story was written by an

Lois Letchford::

Australian, and he's using the Australian experience. But we wouldn't

Lois Letchford::

say those words, he said. Twain, we've turned the whole story around.

Lois Letchford::

What would you like to say? And my students said we'd be the

Lois Letchford::

captain of the football team. We'll be doing our assignments

Lois Letchford::

and we're doing something else and the words just flew out

Lois Letchford::

of his mouth. I was astonished at his ability to speak and

Lois Letchford::

think so quickly. But it taught me the power of cultural

Lois Letchford::

appropriate literacy and cultural appropriate language,

Lois Letchford::

when we're dealing with the most vulnerable students.

Dr. Brad Miller::

It taught you something well, and it is and a bit of a

Dr. Brad Miller::

learning experience and a bit of an indictment on a

Dr. Brad Miller::

lot of our educational systems as they are that we just

Dr. Brad Miller::

in order to give people the best opportunity to succeed.

Dr. Brad Miller::

We have to understand the framework or the cultural

Dr. Brad Miller::

circumstances that they are in I know that, see that in

Dr. Brad Miller::

the situation I am, which is a church, I serve which images

Dr. Brad Miller::

urban area, and we have to deal with lots of culturally

Dr. Brad Miller::

appropriate things. And so that's awesome, awesome story

Dr. Brad Miller::

there. Thank you for for sharing that. Lots of more stories out

Dr. Brad Miller::

there. There's a lots of opportunity in this world here and

Dr. Brad Miller::

you're a problem solver. So, if people want to learn more

Dr. Brad Miller::

about you, Lois, how they can be in contact with you, learn

Dr. Brad Miller::

about your book, or anything about you. Maybe there's

Dr. Brad Miller::

someone here in our words here today, they have their own

Dr. Brad Miller::

circumstances, they're dealing with a child or someone

Dr. Brad Miller::

their life who have literacy issues. How can people get in

Dr. Brad Miller::

contact with you and be more about what you are about here?

Lois Letchford::

I have a website, loisletchfordcom. I have resources on

Lois Letchford::

there, connect with me through the website, tell me your

Lois Letchford::

story, and see what we can do. Because the most important

Lois Letchford::

thing in my life to others is to say we must teach your child

Lois Letchford::

to read, and we can do that. I believe in you, the parent and

Lois Letchford::

I believe in the child. Read my book, write a review, share it.

Lois Letchford::

On Twitter this week, a person just put up one of the five best

Lois Letchford::

books she's read this year. One of them was mine.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Wow. That must have felt really good. That's great.

Lois Letchford::

Yes

Dr. Brad Miller::

Well, it is, as I mentioned before, such an important issue.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I've seen in myself my own life with some my own kids, and also

Dr. Brad Miller::

people in my life where you know, if you don't have some of the fun.

Dr. Brad Miller::

One of the foundations of life, is reading and speaking. If you have your

Dr. Brad Miller::

troubles in those areas, it's really going to impact everything else.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So, what you're doing is critically vital for a functioning in this world.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I want to say thank you for being a teacher and an educator and

Dr. Brad Miller::

caring enough about your son to go to do whatever it takes. I love that.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I love that because you're gonna get through adversity. You have to you

Dr. Brad Miller::

have to buck up a little bit you got to get after it and you got to work hard

Dr. Brad Miller::

and care enough about the circumstances to get through it or else you're

Dr. Brad Miller::

going to stay stuck and that's not where you want to be. So appreciate

Dr. Brad Miller::

you being with us and I heard her book is Reversed: A Memoir.

Dr. Brad Miller::

She blogs at loisletchford.com. I'll put connections to that.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Links to that on our website, drbradmiller.com. It's been our

Dr. Brad Miller::

pleasure to have on our podcast today the Beyond Adversity

Dr. Brad Miller::

podcast. Lois Letchford. Thank you, Lois.

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