L.I.F.E. is the acronym for “Learning in Functional Environments”. The purpose of the L.I.F.E. Skills program is to prepare students with severe disabilities to participate/function as productively and independently as possible in critical natural environments. The goal for these students is to achieve maximum independence while participating in integrated community, domestic, recreational and vocational activities. Students with disabilities attend schools in their community in an integrated and age appropriate school. The school provides structured opportunities for social and academic interaction between students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers in order to promote socialization. Participation in school and community events is planned. Parents work with educators to evaluate, plan and set goals for their child.
Placement into the Life Skills Program is an IEP team decision and is based on specific student needs and discussion regarding the placement that can meet those needs most appropriately. The decision is made after a thorough review of the IEP components which may include present levels of performance, goals/objectives, accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, state and district assessments, behavior intervention plans, teacher and parental input, and results from any previous evaluations.
Instructional lessons in the classroom will reflect appropriate grade-level TEKS through the use of essence statements and prerequisite skills, as well as skills needed for life after public school. The students will be actively engaged in learning throughout the school day and the teacher will collect data on each student’s progress. The data will be used to plan lessons, to create the next IEP, and to determine the need for Extended Year Services. The classroom activities will be functional and age-appropriate, and will change to meet the needs of the student. Classroom instruction will include individual, small group and community-based experiences.