The Boy Who Learned Upside Down is the story of a real boy who turned "I can't!" into "I can!" and Shadow, the dog who loved him. School was hard for Alex. He had learning challenges that turned reading into an endless chase after runaway words and made it difficult to pay attention, focus, and follow directions-as if he was learning upside down.
Christy Scattarella, the author, had no idea what her young son was going through. She knew Alex had learning disabilities, but she didn't realize how hard school was for him or how discouraged he had become. Then one day Alex (aided by his mischievous mutt, Shadow) confided in his mom, and together they set out to make school more rewarding for him and for other children who were struggling. Christy started a program that Alex named after his dog. The Shadow Project launched in Portland, Oregon as a tiny "mom 'n pup" operation in Alex's special education classroom. Today, The Shadow Project has teamed with teachers to help more than 6,500 boys and girls recognize themselves as capable, courageous and able to learn. Christy is the nonprofit's executive director. Alex is a college graduate.
The Boy Who Learned Upside Down is based on Alex's real-life journey. The book shows that what causes a child (or an adult) shame might be the source of his or her greatest gift. Because Alex learns "upside down," he sees things other people miss. Artists, athletes, and entrepreneurs who once wondered "What's wrong with me?" have gone on to change the world. The Shadow Project has been studied by The Harvard Business School Association of Oregon, which found the program instills critical attributes that lead to life success for children with learning challenges.