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Attitudes for Success

What does it take to be successful* in life? Does that answer change if you have a significant learning disability? The Frostig School followed its graduates, all students with significant learning disabilities, and found six factors that were the best predictor of success ten and twenty years after graduation.

-       Self-awareness: Being open and specific about your challenges (learning disability) but not defined by it. Recognizing your talents and taking on jobs that match well with your abilities.

-       Pro-active: Belief that you are capable of making a difference in your own lifes. Taking action and then taking responsibility for the results

-       Perseverance: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

-       Presence and use of support systems: No one can do it alone. Find people to support your dreams and let them help you.

-       Goal setting: Translate dreams and desires into multiple, concrete goals, break the goals down into manageable steps and taking action.

-       Emotional stability: Develop tools to effectively deal with stress, frustrations and ambiguity.


While having these attributes is not a guarantee of success, together, they were more powerful predictors of success than IQ, academic achievement, age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity or life stressors. Furthermore, these attributes are skills and attitudes that can be practiced and learned by anyone at any age. For ideas on how to develop these attributes, especially in their children, check out the parent guide developed by the Frostig Center

*Success is broadly defined to include good friends, positive family relations, being loved, self-approval, job satisfaction, physical and mental health, financial comfort, spiritual contentment, and an overall sense of meaning in one’s life.