This one has ADHD.
That one has issues with anger.
Another is easily distracted.
He is depressed.
They can’t speak or listen.
They’re unable to read or write.
Every label you can imagine, and many I never heard of until somebody tried to stick that particular description on one of my students.
Don’t tell my administrators or judge me harshly, but I rarely look at the labels and I never attach them to any of my students.
Instead, I treat each student like they will live UP to my expectations rather than down to those suggested by the label.
And, you know what? Nearly every one of these [mis]labeled students performs just like any other kid in their age group.
They don’t require extra help or special accommodations. They just do what I expect them to do.
Sadly, in other settings, they live down to the expectations associated by the labels placed on them by adults with presumably good intentions.
The lesson is easy to understand and demonstrably true: Kids – indeed, people of all ages – will almost always live up to or down to your expectations.
What expectations are you setting for your kids…your students…your peers…your leaders or followers…your spouse…your parents?