Just One Wish

A few weeks ago I wrote a post regarding a survey (taken by Natural Learning Concepts) that I found to be discussion-worthy. They recently posted the results of another interesting survey:

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.

3 thoughts on “Just One Wish

  1. Fearless Females

    Oh gosh, I think the first thing that I said when Nick was diagnosed was “I dont want him to be alone!” while I was in tears. So it is so true, a good friend forever is really all that we ever need and should hope for. It equals happiness more than money.

    There was an interesting article in the Boston Globe about how women (especially) are seeking out that one good friend, everyday, but are afraid to ask for it. Interesting!

  2. Hugh Kilpatrick

    Hi Tanya,

    My son is 14 and has traits that cause him to be diagnosed Aspergers.

    I absolutely love him to pieces.

    I get what you say about your choice. I feel it when you talk about his acceptance.

    My son is starting to really feel it, when he is left out of things.

    Iwould still pick “3. Excellent conversation skills throughout life” – because with that he could get a sense of belonging and acceptance.

    Perhaps he could uncover at least one true friend – as you say “We should all be so fortunate.”

  3. M

    Friendship ends up being an education in itself…just learning to gain a sense of others, learning the parameters of the “give and take” of conversation; when that connection exists, you end up with a safe way to develop, learn, make mistakes, grow…so definitely, friendship is more important and, to some extent, even includes the first option. Anyway; you’re so good at breaking all of this down. I want to borrow your thinking skills.

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