Life Skills Support (LSS)

IDEA defines life skills support as a functional program for students who have  intellectual disabilities ( formerly known as mental retardation) and who need to learn functional life skills. Life Skills Support is not a program for students who have  only significant academic deficits, although students in life skills support programs are usually substantially below grade level in academic areas. This is not to imply that students in LSS programs are not taught academics. In additional to functional academics, students are instructed in reading and math using researched-based direct instruction programs.

Low Incidence Special Education Programs are designated educational programs for students who are determined to require Life Skills Support or Multiple Disabilities Support. These programs are named Low Incidence because there is a lower prevalence of their occurrence in general education population. Students in the Low Incidence Special Education Programs are included in the regular school buildings, to the extent determined by the Individual Education Program (IEP) of each child, students may participate in general education programs. Students in Low Incidence Special Education Programs participate in alternative curriculum developed to address educational and functional needs. This curriculum is named the Life Skills Curriculum and includes the following goal sets:

  • Functional Academics:Skills, which represent an application of an academic skill  (e.g., reading, writing, math) to a real life situation at home, on the job, or in the community. This includes skills such as handling money, telling time, reading sight words, etc.
  • Personal Maintenance:Skills that are necessary to care for oneself, including eating, grooming, dressing, toileting and health care.
  • Domestic Maintenance:Skills that are necessary to participate in home life in the community.  This includes skill areas associated with food preparation, shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc.
  • Interpersonal Communication and Social Skills:Skills that are necessary to communicate and interact with others.  This includes skills required to respond to others, follow directions, indicate preferences, communicate, etc.
  • PreVocational/Vocational:Skills that are necessary to secure and maintain a job. This includes skills involved in specific jobs (e.g., office and clerical skills, restaurant and kitchen skills, etc.) as well as work habits and job related behavior.
  • Recreation and Leisure:Skills that are used to engage in free time activities for pleasure.