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The apartment is made available to students while they are still in high school. The students then take turns living in this apartment with a transition coach, who oversees their stay and aids in the teaching of various life skills. Students begin by residing in the apartment for short periods of time and lengthen their stays as they adjust to independent living. In this way, they learn transition skills in an environment that is the real world, not a simulation of it. The curriculum at school reflects the needs of the students as determined by their experiences in the apartment. Lessons at school are based on students' outcomes from experiences at the apartment and from dialogue with the students, parents, and their transition coaches. In this way, the school environment provides an enhanced program that helps the students resolve real world problems that confront them in daily independent living situations. This apartment is a place where they can explore the most effective ways to cope with life's problems, learn about techniques for living, and experiment with new ideas.
The concept behind LifeLink is that it functions as a science or computer lab. A student can go to the lab to learn life skills in an atmosphere that is effective for learning those skills. Any group of students needing transition education could work to determine their needs, set goals, and schedule the lab for their living classroom.
Through this program, the students and their families have time to adjust to the realities of independent living while still having the support of the school system and family units. LifeLink also provides everyone with an opportunity to discover what his/her individual needs are while participating in and benefiting from an educational environment. It allows students the time and ability to explore life while minimizing their risks.