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Learning life skills

FPS staff report

In our Schools
Students in the Autism Unit at Bell Herron Middle School attend a Life Skills Program outside the school each Tuesday.
The students are shown above with BLT sandwiches they made.
Seated in front is Lexi Sweargine. Standing behind from left are: Joey Burrier, Alaina Ulman, Riley Sprague, Noah Hinkle, and Robert Barker.

Every Tuesday morning, students in the Autism Unit at Bell Herron Middle School take their studies outside the classroom.

The students walk to the home of Dianne White on N. Lisbon St. with their teacher and a classroom aide, Ms. Jamie Rawson and Gina Aston, to work on the Life Skills Program. “This group of students has a different focus than that of the traditional classroom. 

Their needs are different from other typical middle school students,” said Rawson.  “The students are working on a more functional curriculum and focusing on independent living in order to prepare them for a future that will embrace and promote independence.”

The students needed an environment in which they could learn and apply specific skills which are completed daily among a household setting.  Having the students attend the Life Skills Program once a week provides them the opportunity to address the specific skills.

Rawson noted the purpose of the Life Skills Program is to develop in students the attitudes, desires, interpersonal skills and knowledge necessary for entry into the occupational and general life of the community insofar as it is possible.  Students will work towards developing skills necessary to function as independently as possible in the community and to the best of their ability.

The objectives of the Life Skills Program are:

-Provide appropriate communication skills using a variety of techniques appropriate for the student and provide self-help and life skills and develop functional academic skills that will promote independence for each student.

-Develop attitudes and behaviors that are appropriate in today’s society and congruent with future needs and prevocational and vocational skills by providing work training and community work experience.

-Broaden the student’s knowledge and awareness of community resources.

-Develop leisure and recreational skills and problem solving skills to help students make appropriate choices for today and the future.

Students involved in the program have Individualized Education Plans (IEP) which are developmental and continuously progressive.


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