“When wellbeing comes from engaging our strengths and virtues,
our lives are imbued with authenticity.”

— Martin Seligman —

Focusing on what is uniquely right with you promotes engagement, strong relationships, increased wellbeing, and more. This is true of everyone, including students with autism. Employing Signature Character Strengths can help empower students in all aspects of their lives. Let’s shine a light on what is RIGHT with us and those around us so we might all flourish together.

Researchers Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson created the Values in Action Survey, or The VIA. This 96-item VIA survey identifies your capacity to exhibit each of 24 Character Strengths. These 24 strengths were identified as being valued by humans across many cultures and holding value throughout history. The VIA survey has been taken by millions of people and is a scientifically validated tool for identifying the rank order of one’s Character Strengths. A guide is available to make the survey accessible to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The VIA Survey Character Strengths

Character Strength icons

The evidence is clear — knowing and using your strengths positively impacts your life. If you keep your strengths top of mind and live them each day, you are significantly more likely to thrive. Research indicates a three-pronged approach to character strengths is best — become aware, begin to explore, and continually find new ways to apply your strengths in order to thrive!

The benefits of Character Strengths have been linked to all six elements critical to human flourishing or PERMA+ (Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Mattering, Accomplishment, and +Health).

  • Improve mental, physical, and social health
  • Boost greater happiness and overall wellbeing
  • Increase positive affect
  • Higher work satisfaction and positive association with work
  • Improve your relationships
  • Buffer against the onset of mental health challenges
  • Build psychological resilience