how not to kill dementia dancers

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Sir Ken Robinson’s wonderful 2006 TED talk asks a simple question: “Do schools kill creativity?“

When I re-watched it for the umpteenth time, I was struck by one particular story he told about a little girl and how a parallel might be drawn between the way we label behaviours we find challenging in people who live with dementia, and the way we label behaviour we find challenging in others, particularly children.

Instead of physically and chemically restraining people like my mom, who wanted to keep going despite living with Alzheimer disease, we need to find ways to help them “dance,” whatever dancing means to them. If and when we don’t, we are killing them just as surely as we are killing the creativity of our children in educational systems that put them in boxes, make them sit all day, stifle their curiosity and force them to obey senseless rules.

Systems should be made to fit people. Not the other way around. Here’s the powerful and inspiring three-minute story of the little girl (the full talk is below the short clip):

 

 

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Image copyright: danr13 / 123RF Stock Photo

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JM