My class is called an ILS class. What does that mean?
Independent Living Skills are the skills that people need to live as successful adults. My goal is to help your child become as independent as possible. When our students are young adults they will be focusing on vocational skills and the home skills that will allow them the most independence, like personal hygiene, cooking, laundry. In my class, my kindergarten, first, second, and third graders are learning foundational skills. My focus every day is on school behavior, functional language, and independence, as well as academic learning.
I believe that every child can learn to behave appropriately. When a student “misbehaves,” it is because he/she is trying to communicate a want or need. Behaviors happen because the student does not know a better way to get what he/she wants. I will be working with my students on using words, pictures, coping strategies, and appropriate behaviors instead of inappropriate actions. A student’s behavior can impede learning and participation, but with consistent and high expectations and good support, all of my students can be successful learners.
We use a variety of methods to promote students’ language and communication. Students use words, sign language, icons, and some higher tech devices to communicate their needs. We always encourage to “use their words,” even when those words are in sign or picture. Having a reliable way to communicate is important for everyone. Communication is an integral part of our world, and all of our students deserve to be active participants in that world.
In my program students work on bathroom and toileting skills, including washing hands and dressing. We work on our eating skills and table manners everyday as well.
We have iPads here at Cameron Ranch. We use iPads in class daily as academic tools, communication devices, and as wonderful toys. The iPad is an amazing piece of technology that all learners can access. We love them.
My students stay in my class for academic times, where they have access to our curriculum and work in small groups with adult support. All students in the ILS program are mainstreamed with the school for meals, recess, assemblies, and whole school events.