LifeScape Specialty School

LifesScape’s Specialty School offers the greatest expertise in the region for helping children and young adults with disabilities learn to their greatest potential. Our certified special education teachers with teaching assistants staff each classroom at LifeScape. LifeScape Specialty School provides year-round education for residential and day students from ages three through 21. Our second specialty school, Pathways to Life, serves students from ages 18 to 21.

Interdisciplinary Team of Experts

Our staff—administrators, teachers, behavior analysts, psychologists, nurses, and therapists—are all certified/licensed in their disciplines. Many are certified/licensed in more than one discipline. Every student has their own interdisciplinary team. This team works together to create and implement a learning plan for his or her specific social, behavioral, and academic needs.

Each student’s team may include:

  • Certified special education teachers
  • School psychologist
  • Music therapist
  • Adapted physical education teacher
  • Computer/technology teacher
  • Speech therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Behavior therapist/analyst
  • Social worker
  • Registered Dietician
  • Registered Nurse

Additional onsite resources:

  • Heated pool
  • Physician Clinics & Consultation
  • Orthotics & Prosthetics
  • Adaptive Equipment Specialists

Learn Life Skills

Our curriculum prepares your child for the real world. We give them the tools needed to navigate everyday life with confidence. Our small staff-to-student ratios ensure personal attention.

Applied Behavior Analysis

We use the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in our daily instruction and support. ABA is a scientific approach to understanding behavior. It is the only established method of teaching approved for people with autism. It is effective for teaching children, adolescents, and adults of all abilities.

Essential for Living Curriculum

Our curriculum measures and tracks students’ progress in communication, behavior, and functional skills. The Essential for Living Curriculum teaches students the skills they need to live as independently as possible as an adult.

The curriculum emphasizes:

  • Speaking skills
  • Listener responding
  • Daily living skills
  • Tolerating specific situations
  • Social skills
  • Vocational skills
  • Leisure skills
  • Reducing problem behavior

Community-Based Experiences

Learning goes beyond the classroom at LifeScape’s Specialty School. Through our community learning experiences, students gain functional and social skills that prepare them to be more independent as adults. We encourage children to step outside their comfort zones and try new things. Many of the children participate in community plays, camps, and art shows through LifeScape’s Center for the Arts. Through these experiences, children gain confidence and learn how to communicate effectively with others.


Vocational Training PAES Lab

LifeScape’s PAES (Practical Assessment Exploration System) Lab is a hands-on, simulated work environment providing training in work readiness skills for older students. This research-based curriculum helps prepare our students for transition into adulthood and meaningful employment.

PAES helps students find their interests in five broad areas:

  1. Business/Marketing
  2. Construction/Industrial
  3. Consumer/Service
  4. Processing/Production
  5. Computer Technology

Extended School Year Program

Each summer, LifeScape has the privilege of serving many additional students from around South Dakota and surrounding states in our Extended School Year (ESY) program. These are students who benefit from year-round instruction but whose school districts do not offer a more comprehensive summer school. Click HERE for more information about our Extended School Year (ESY) program. Our application materials are available HERE. For parents, we offer the LifeScape Specialty School handbook.

Interested in Learning More?

Learn more about how LifeScape Speciality School can benefit you and your family. Contact admissions at 605-444-9550 or fill out a short form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.

Contact Us