Students Get Unique Learning Experience

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Students with special needs at William Chrisman High School got a brand new learning area this week.

"I like it," said Alec Balk, a fifteen-year-old with learning disabilities.  "The paintings. I like the bed and dresser."

Equipped with everything, including the kitchen sink, it's more like an apartment than a classroom.  But teacher Liz Reeder says, that's the point.

"We can learn to do the laundry 100 times if that's necessary," said Reeder. "We can learn to make the bed.  We can learn how to clean the bathroom, how to do the dishes and not leave soap on the dishes.  It's all the little things people take for granted and they sometimes need practice on."

Disabled students 18 to 21 will use the space to learn and practice what it's like to run a household.

"They need to be as independent as possible in their futures and this is their last chance to learn those skills before they hit the world." said Reeder.

Reeder said once students graduate, most are ready to live mostly independently with some moving into assisted living facilities and even on their own.

"What i hope comes from this is they learn the skills to be as independent as possible in their futures," said Reeder.  "They have so many special skills to give to the world."

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