Author Archives: edmontonfetalalcoholnetwork

60 Life Skills to Teach Your Child with Special Needs

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What life skills are you teaching your child and how are you making it successful?

When my son turned 9 years old I came to a startling wake-up call.  I realized that because he has autism, sensory processing disorder, and global delays we would need to really focus on life skills or he would continue to fall further and further behind.  These skills, which are taught more loosely to his developmentally-typical peers … the same skills that some kids just observe and soak in naturally in their environment … these would need to be taught explicitly to my oldest son for him to learn them and to accept them as part of his routine.  For those of you who don’t know, A is almost 13 years old and this is a list of life skills that he has accomplished in the last few years.  Many of these are still on his “practice” list and others he has down pat – but I’m sharing this with you today just in case you are in a place where I was just a few years ago.  You need to start somewhere – so whatever stage your child is in, I’m hoping this list will give you a launching off point to help you narrow down just a few skills they could be learning right now.  The key is to be intentional in whatever you teach.  


Life Skills

  1. Potty train
  2. Wash hands
  3. Brush hair
  4. Pick out clothes
  5. Dress self
  6. Button clothes
  7. Shower self
  8. Brush teeth
  9. Wash face
  10. Choose healthy food/snacks
  11. Prepare snacks for self
  12. Prepare lunch for self
  13. Prepare breakfast for self
  14. Prepare food for others and self
  15. Heat up food in microwave
  16. Put food away in proper place
  17. Clean off table after meal
  18. Put dishes in sink
  19. Load dishwasher
  20. Unload dishwasher
  21. Put on shoes
  22. Tie shoes
  23. Take trash out of their bathroom
  24. Wipe down bathroom sink
  25. Wipe down toilet
  26. Wipe down mirror
  27. Clean up toys and put in toy bin
  28. Put away pencils and notebooks after school
  29. Ride a bike
  30. Bike and Scooter Safety (Where Helmet)
  31. Take a walk – learn street safety
  32. Mail a letter
  33. Retrieve mail out of mailbox
  34. Vacuum
  35. Sweep
  36. Spray mop
  37. Dry mop
  38. Answer the phone
  39. Dial the phone
  40. Memorize phone number
  41. Memorize address
  42. Learn how to count money
  43. Purchase items at a store
  44. Shop for groceries
  45. Order food at restaurant
  46. Use a computer
  47. Type an e-mail
  48. Use a TV (remote)
  49. Pour liquid into a glass
  50. Learning to read an indoor/outdoor thermometer
  51. Dressing appropriately to the temperature
  52. Water Safety
  53. Learn to swim
  54. Make Bed
  55. Change Sheets
  56. Learn to Use Washer & Dryer
  57. Dust furniture
  58. Wipe Walls & Railings in Home
  59. Read Street Signs
  60. Read a Map

To begin just pick one of the skills.  Work on this skill for the next 10 days or 2 weeks.  If the life skill is especially difficult for your child you might choose to break it down into smaller steps and work on these until your child masters it.  The goal is to get these to eventually become incorporated into their typical day to day routine.  


Elves, Possibility to Ability: Golf Tournament

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Click to download the brochureELVES GOLF TOURNAMENT BROCHURE

What is Elves?

Elves is a non-profit organization providing a community of learning and growth for children, youth, and adults with developmental disabilities and special needs.

To learn more visit for more details, or contact Elves at 780.454.5310 ext 207 /

Our Goal

Our goal is to raise $45,000 during Elves’ 2018 Fundraiser Golf Tournament. Board President and Golf Tournament Chairperson: Vivienne Bartee

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June 5th, 2018 EFAN Meeting Agendas



Wondering what we are discussing at our next Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society meetings? Just click to download the agenda!

The meetings will be held Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 at 10320 – 146 Street, Edmonton. Hope to see you there!


FASD Life: To Share or Not to Share

our sacred breath

That is the dilemma in my head lately after reading a post from someone about why we should not share our children’s struggles in this age of social media without their permission. I understand the premise, however can a young child, especially one with a developmental disability, offer consent? Another post I read awhile back from someone else said they’d never share anything they didn’t want their child to read – however isn’t that putting our values onto our children? We may be open to sharing much more about ourselves than our children.

Without sharing personal stories however, will we see change? Will those in positions of power to make legislative changes truly understand if we don’t share our struggles? Will teachers, neighbours, family members or other people who work or interact with our children truly understand if we do not disclose the real and raw struggles we face each…

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Tuesday’s Tips: What We See, What We Think, What’s Really Going On!

tuesdays tips 2

What We See: Noncompliance (Not obeying rules).

What We Think: Doing it purposely, attention seeking, stubborn.

What’s REALLY Going On: Difficulty translating verbal directions into action, does not understand.

What We See: Not sitting still.

What We Think: Seeking attention, bothering others, doing it on purpose.

What’s REALLY Going On: Neurologically based need to move while learning, sensory overload.

What We See: Poor social judgement.

What We Think: Poor parenting, deviancy, doing it on purpose.

What’s REALLY Going On: Not able to interpret social cues from peers, does not know what to do in social settings.

What We See: Repeatedly making the same mistakes.

What We Think: Doing it on purpose, manipulative.

What’s REALLY Going On: Cannot link cause and effect, cannot see similarities, difficulty generalizing from one event to another.

Remember, it’s about trying differently not harder. If something does not work, try something else!


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If you’ve taken a physical first aid course; you’ve learned the skills needed to help someone experiencing a sudden illness or injury.

People can also have mental health crisis, and it is important that more Canadians know how to provide help in these situations too.

Register now to become a Mental Health First Aider!

Click to download registration poster: MHFA Registration Poster – May 2018 (1)



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