Life Development Institute (LDI) has spent the last 35 years assisting teens and young adults who have learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, and other similar learning and social differences with their successful transition into independent living.

The success of students’ education and learning can be found in each of LDI’s three programs, which are its day high school, summer academy, and residential program.  In order to facilitate a better understanding of each of these programs, LDI will release upcoming blogs that identify elements specific to each one.

To begin, LDI has a fully accredited and Arizona state approved day high school program called The Academy of Lifelong Learning or ALL for short.  ALL is a 4-year high school program that focuses upon practical life preparation instruction and guidance to improve social thinking and overall Executive Functioning (EF).  Executive functioning describes the many different cognitive processes individuals use to control their behavior and to get ready to respond to different situations.  Social thinking is what occurs during the interaction with persons.  Problems with EF can create daily impacts at school, work, and in life.  Usually, these differences have nothing to do with conventional measures of intelligence.  In fact, many ALL students score high on IQ and standardized tests, yet do not intuitively learn the nuances of social communication and interaction.

Upon this premise, LDI focuses the education of ALL students through accredited courses that help students succeed in modern day society with people from all walks of life.  The challenging experiential instruction teaches personal, career, and life skills needed for adult daily living.  In fact, ALL staff advises and models how to become more responsive and responsible for the day-to-day events of lie.  Some typical examples are when a student does not see or know alternatives or options for a problem (black and white thinking), helping students deal with how to do certain things that are not taught explicitly (how to shake hands, start/end conversations), and how to prioritize, organize, and complete tasks according to other’s expectations.  Furthermore, ALL courses enable students to build awareness and practical social skills in self-advocacy, disclosure, resiliency, conflict resolution, employability, self-organization, financial management, making healthy decisions, and developing an understanding of unspoken rules and cues that govern social interactions.

ALL students receive the opportunity to further increase their mastery of skills through the following programs:

  • ACT’S National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC): NCRC provides foundational workplace skills critical for employability, which are Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information,
  • APEX Learning: For ALL students that are looking to attend a traditional 4-year college or 4-year university, traditional academics are offered through APEX learning with staff support.
  • Career Ready 101: Career Ready 101 develops and improves work readiness skills for career awareness, job searching abilities, and financial ability.
  • Cisco Networking Academy: NEW!!  Beginning in the Fall of 2017, ALL has received approval to be a Cisco Networking Academy, which offers IT skills and career building programs.
  • College Course: Through a linkage with Phoenix College, ALL students are able to take courses for college credit in both Business and Continuing Professional Development disciplines.
  • Diversity Certification: ALL students obtain a diversity certificate by completing 4 courses focused on diversity (Conflict Resolution, Cultural Awareness, Disability 101, and Resiliency) and by attending Phoenix’s Diversity Leadership Alliance (DLA) workshops and annual conference.
  • LDI’s Core Curriculum: ALL students engage in a blended learning model filled with courses that fit personal learning needs, learning style, and life goals.  These courses offer practical life preparation, competency in self-management, and social communication skills.  Additionally, LDI’s core courses provide students with a fully approved high school diploma and opportunity to enter community college, trade school, or the workforce.
  • Work Experience: ALL students develop career skills and then are provided opportunity to develop a resume, search for jobs related to career interest, schedule and complete interviews, and secure employment.  Once employed, LDI staff and advisors work with students to maintain employment and successfully save $1,000.

Additionally, it is important to note that LDI strives to offer ALL to as many students as possible with as little financial impact on families as possible.  LDI provides a tuition schedule that seeks to work with the following funding sources:

  • Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA)
  • Arizona School Tuition Organization (STO) Scholarships
  • District Funding
  • Private Pay
  • Finally, LDI’s residential program provides ALL students with another opportunity to increase independent life skills by becoming part of LDI’s residential community.  The transition to this opportunity is based upon program performance as well as reaching adult age.

For more information, please visit, call 623-773-1545, or email