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LIFE SKILLS

Life Skills classes use a multifaceted approach to increase each individual’s ability to live with greater independence. Small-group, person-centered instruction focuses on the practical application of core topics, including nutrition & cooking, money management, social skills, and community safety & travel training. Our comprehensive curriculum utilizes individualized and group exercises to prepare students for life, work, and relationships.

Nutrition & Cooking

Nutrition and Cooking courses teach healthy eating and basic cooking techniques, while promoting safety. In a state-of-the-art kitchen, students use assistive technology and adaptive tools at their own stations, allowing them to manage more of the cooking process independently. Gradually, recipes may increase in difficulty and length as they work toward the goal of creating a variety of full, balanced meals.

Money Management

The Money Management Program is highly personalized and provides the opportunity to practice responsible spending and decision-making. Using assistive technology, this tiered learning system teaches students how to allocate money, build a weekly budget, and conduct transactions at the bank and store. Individuals open and maintain their own bank accounts with staff support, and may implement a variety of methods to manage spending in and out of the classroom.

Social Skills

Relationships, boundaries, and communication are the fundamental themes of our Social Skills classes. Teachers draw from a variety of curricula and incorporate interactive activities, including role play, games, discussion, and video modeling, to meet the needs of individuals with different learning styles. Lessons emphasize the importance of respect and the impact our actions can have on others—establishing an understanding of how to be part of a community.

Community Safety & Travel Training

The Community Safety Program combines classroom instruction and off-site outings as students learn to safely navigate the community. Training exercises demonstrate how to identify road signs, landmarks, and hazards, as well as how to interact with community members and respond to unexpected situations. Each individual’s level of community independence is determined by a series of assessments—some will continue to strengthen their skills with staff support, while others will explore different modes of public transportation through the Travel Training Program. 

Electives

•    Around the World

•    Creative Writing

•    Current Events

•    Experimental & Plant Science

•    Functional Math

•    Functional Reading

•    Independent Living Skills

•    Internet Use & Safety

•    Literature Exploration

•    Newspaper/Yearbook Group

•    Self-Advocacy

Assistive Technology

The integration of assistive technology into our program has changed the way students learn and practice a variety of skills. Devices and applications allow users to easily create visual and audible schedules, routines, and social stories that are broken down into individual steps. These tools provide consistency and continuity as students complete tasks and transition between activities with greater independence. From cooking and banking, to personal hygiene, our applications empower students to be more in control of their learning process.

48 Woodbridge Street

South Hadley, MA 01075

413-540-9720