Elves Special Needs Society has a renowned reputation as being a well-established non-profit organization that serves the needs of the severely, multiply disabled, and medically fragile community since 1973. We serve persons ages 2 ½ into late adulthood. Elves was formed through the vision of our parents and first Executive Director, Sheila Perry, who saw the need for educational programs for children with complex needs. This vision was made a reality when Mr. Milton Elves willed his estate toward programs for children with disabilities. Our name, “Elves Special Needs Society” is in honour of his generosity, and humanitarian efforts.
Our mission is to provide individuals with an educational or day program to promote their maximum development, and to enhance their quality of life as well as their families within a supportive and caring environment.
Elves is a unique entity within Edmonton and surrounding areas as it is the only service provider that offers programming to individuals from early childhood into the senior years. While the operations of our programs are fully funded by the Alberta Government, all capital expenditures and specialized equipment must be fundraised for by our organization. The Elves society owns and operates programs out of three facilities: Elves Child Development Centre, Elves Early Education Centre, and the Elves Adult and Youth Centre.
Comprehensive multidisciplinary supports include Certified Teachers, Occupational and Physical Therapists, Nurses, Social Workers, Speech and Language Pathologists and paraprofessionals. Onsite clinics run by community physicians and rehabilitative professionals, promote the physical, mental, and social emotional wellbeing of individuals of all ages. Elves’ wraparound services meet the needs of our families while enabling aging parents to continue to reside with, or care for, their children.
The scope of abilities served ranges throughout our three facilities from speech and language impairments to complex physical, cognitive or social emotional impairments. Individuals may have diagnoses of a speech and language impairment, developmental delay, cognitive impairment or incurred brain injury, Cerebral Palsy, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), Down Syndrome, or Autism.
The Elves School is classified as a Designated Special Education Program and Private School, accredited by Alberta Education. Although we are serving individuals with complex needs who require augmentative and specialized interventions, families are not charged tuitions.
Early Childhood Services: for children with special needs aged 2 ½ to 3 ½ - Focuses on play-based learning, small groups and focus-time based on the Alberta Education Kindergarten Curriculum. Early Childhood Services: for students aged 2 ½ to 6 with severe delays in speech and language, severe emotional or behavioural diagnosis, or severe multiple physical or medical disabilities
Grades 1-12: For individuals ages 6 to 20- supports also include focus on communication skills, fine and gross motor skills, daily living skills, community access, and modified academics based on the Alberta Education Curriculum.
The Elves Adult Day Program is an activity based day-program funded by Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) for adults over the age of 20 with severe, multiple disabilities include focus on community access, daily living skills, recreation and leisure, communication, fine and gross motor skills and social-emotional development.
FASD Respite Program services are offered in Partnership with KidsKottage and Edmonton Fetal Alcohol Network: For children ages 3 – 8. The Saturday Respite Program that incorporates structured recreation alongside family support and professional development.
Summer Program offers respite to families during the month of July. This program supports those children with complex needs that other community based recreation programs cannot meet.
The Society fundraises toward facility expansion as community demands outweigh our available space. In addition, we require devices and tools to support communication and mobility needs of children, youth, and adults. We also offer food and clothing bank support or sponsorship of a child to attend Elves Summer Program. Elves teams also focus on enhancing parental capacity through family education and support groups.
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