Over 5,000 people have been asked this question. The results of the poll are:
If you could pick ONLY one of these for your child/student, what would it be?
|1. A superior educational program with well trained staff – always||33%|
|2. A really good friend – always||37%|
|3. Excellent conversation skills throughout life||14%|
|4. Great behavior and enjoys staying focused – always||16 %|
The results do not surprise me. I participated in this survey, and I did not have to think twice about what I answered. As important as #1, “a superior educational program with well-trained staff,” is for any special-needs child, as a parent, I chose #2, “a really good friend – always,” as what I wish for my autistic son.
Numbers 1, 3, and 4 help our children to succeed, and to feel comfortable and capable. But #2, far more than the other three items, helps our children to feel valued. To feel like they matter. And, in a roundabout way, feeling that way will help them to succeed, and to feel comfortable and capable. Having real friends boosts self-esteem like nothing else. I have seen how happy my son feels when he is accepted and appreciated for who he is, and if I had to choose one thing out of that list for him to have all of his life, that is it. A really good friend – always. We should all be so fortunate.