Developmental Cognitive Delay (Life Skills)
Characteristics of Students
Students in the Life Skills program have met state criteria for one or more of the following disabilities: Developmental Cognitive Delay (DCD), Other Health Impairments (OHI), Severe Multiple Impairments (SMI), or a Physical Disability (PI) accompanied by a cognitive delay. These students require instruction in academic skills, functional/self-help skills, communication, social interactions and emotional/behavioral skills.
The focus of the Life Skills program is on increasing academic skills, functional skills, daily living skills, appropriate peer interactions and social communication, and independence. Mainstreaming is promoted and the skills needed to make inclusion successful are taught.
Life Skills curriculum is based on each student's individual needs. We work to provide a functional curriculum that is appropriate for each student's developmental and ability levels. Life Skills curriculum occurs in many different areas. Functional skills can include shoe tying, buttoning, toileting, washing hands, and transitioning. Some social/emotional skills taught are taking turns, interacting with peers and making appropriate choices. Academic skills can include matching, sorting, numbers, letters, clors, phonics, time and money. Fine and Gross motor skills are also worked on. Communication skills, such as speech articulation and language usage are also a part of the Life Skills curriculum. A variety of communication strategies including sign language, pictures/ photographs, and augmentative communication systems may be used in addition to verbal language.
Service Delivery Model
Each student in the Life Skills program has a mainstream grade level teacher. A wide range of services are provided in the regular classroom as well as in the Life Skills classroom. Many students receive paraprofessional support to assist with transitions, toileting, feeding, behavioral management, inclusion, safety, and health concerns.
Students may receive additional support and related services based on evaluation results and IEP team decisions. Related service providers include Speech/Language Therapy, Occupational therapy(OT), Developmental Adaptive Physical Education (DAPE), Physical Therapy (PT), Physical Impairment (PI), Assistive Technology (AT), Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH), and Vision.
American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (formerly American Association on Mental Retardation)
Phone: 1-800-424-3688 Web: www.aaidd.org
The Arc of the United States Phone: 1-800-433-5255 Web: www.thearc.org
Disability Linkage Line: Toll Free 1-866-333-2466
PACER Center http://www.pacer.org/
Special Services Director