October 1

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Self-Fulfilling Disorders

There's something I've noticed that's different. Different between teaching now versus teaching 15 years ago.

No, it's not the number of students who make fun of me any given week.

It's the number of students diagnosed with attention, anxiety, social, or learning disorders.

I'm not suggesting these diagnoses are incorrect. But here's something for consideration.

When we're diagnosed with something...or our kids are diagnosed with something...is the behavior (or lack of behavior) inadvertently being reinforced?

For example. 

If you were told you have a disorder that causes you to eat chocolate uncontrollably, would that cause you to...eat chocolate uncontrollably more than you normally would? Because you've been told you can't help it?

Similarly, if we tell children they're attention deficit, are we accidentally sending the message that they're incapable of trying? That they have "permission" to not pay attention?

Maybe. Maybe not. But before we accept a disadvantage, it's worth at least asking the question.

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About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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