Long Island school teaching students with disabilities important life skills

A new facility on Long Island is working to help students with disabilities learn some basic skills to help them live independently one day. 

The new daily living skills center at Franklin Square’s John Street Elementary School has a kitchen, bedroom, living room, and a sensory space where students as young as 5 will learn life skills and socialization.

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"In the bedroom, they can make up the bed, learn how to put their clothing away," said Pamela Taylor who is the Director of People Personnel Services. "We have folding tables where they fold towels, socks that they can sort, they learn how to have a family meal with friends."

Parents told FOX 5 NY that the facility is a game-changer.

Long Island life skills for special needs students

Teachers help show special-needs students important life skills at a school on Long Island. 

"With the teacher’s help it gives them a chance to succeed," said Debra Distasio.

The first-of-its-kind space in an elementary school setting was funded through a grant. 

"We start teaching reading, and we start teaching math in kindergarten, and we need to start teaching life skills to kids who need help, so they have it by the time they start middle school," said Dr. Mike Marroquin, a Behavioral Analyst.

Educators believe these tools will boost students’ confidence and help build a stronger foundation for learning.

"Now it can be how to fix the pillows and comforter on the bed, and later it could be had a change out of bed," Marroquin said. "That can be a life skill or job skill for someone living on their own or a job skill for someone who works in a hotel."

Students will also learn how to open, sort, and file mail as well as pay bills both with a checkbook and electronically.

Officials hope other districts in the area will follow suit.