The LifeScape program offers specialized training for adulthood

SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) — For five years, LifeScape has had a program called “Pathways to Life.” What he does is provide guidance and training to teens wondering what their next step will be after high school. We met a wonderful young man who says the program has been a success for him.

What 20-year-old Jamie Fox has accomplished in two decades is more than doctors told his mother Jessica when he was born.

“We were told not to expect much from him. He wouldn’t talk, probably wouldn’t live on his own,” Jessica Fox said.

Jamie was born with autism and ADHD and although doctors said he wouldn’t speak, he said his first words at age 5 and has been speaking ever since.

“The tricky part is that no matter how many times you clean it always manages to get dirty again. Sometimes I just want it to stay clean,” Jamie said.

When Jamie was preparing to graduate from high school, he didn’t know what he would do. He was lucky enough to find the “Pathways to life” program at LifeScape. Tammi Haverly, director of special education, tells us the program fills what may be a significant gap for some.

“To help them understand where they’re going in life and develop those skills to really succeed in whatever path they choose,” Haverly said.

Jamie learned child care skills through Pathways. He says the job gives him time to reflect while working on something he can be proud of: making his corner of the world cleaner for others. When you ask him where he wants to work, he has an answer.

“Usually I start at gas stations…now I just want to work in a movie theater and for a little hobby/work…planning to do YouTube.” Jamie said.

But this program also offers peace of mind on a subject that is difficult to think about. But when you have a child who needs a little help…it’s something you always think about.

“When you have a child who is diagnosed with a disability, you become very aware of your own mortality and the fact that you won’t always be there for them. and it was nice to watch him grow up independently so i know if he has to be alone without me or without my husband that he will be fine,” Jessica said.

Although Jamie learned a lot from Pathways, program officials say they learned a lot about how to teach these skills from Jamie’s example.

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