New facility for children with special needs opens in Livingston

A new facility to help children with special needs has just opened in Livingston.
LifeTown is a 53,000-square foot facility that looks like a real city, but it is indoors. It is designed to help the children adjust to life in the real world. Officials say that it is supposed to be educational and therapeutic.
There is a Main Street with crosswalks and trees. There are shops, a bank, medical center, a grocery store and laundromat. The idea is that if the children can do well at LifeTown, they will have an easier time out in the real world.
"This is the perfect place for my students to come to work on their life skills, their sensory skills, their therapeutic needs,” says Garfield special education teacher Rosanna Phelan.
“It’s as real life as you get. And particularly with my older students, they have a lot of trouble navigating the social world and communicating with others and they don’t know how to go to the store and ask for something or they have trouble following multi-step directions when they're asked to do something,” says speech language pathologist Mara Friedman.
The children can learn how to handle money, time management and communication skills.
LifeTown is located at 10 Microlab Road in Livingston.