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Recreation for Children With Disabilities in Sonoma County

Have you ever wanted to try out a whole selection of adapted trikes?  Try a new swimming experience? Enroll in a summer camp?

Participation is defined as anything that involves friends, family, future, fitness, fun, or function.  There are many local activities that promote play,  new friends, and new interests for children and young adults with disabilities.  However,  these opportunities are not always easy to find.  Most suggestions on this list are based in Sonoma County, California.  Some are further away, but could be a fun destination or a special side trip if you are in the mood for adventure!  Additional suggestions are welcome.

Continue reading “Recreation for Children With Disabilities in Sonoma County”

Tests & Measures for Participation

Yasmin is a sixteen-year-old girl with athetoid cerebral palsy, GMFM IV.  She is passionate about her studies and has already gone to check out a few colleges.  She is thinking about living in a dorm.   As her PT, are there measures that will help you learn about her current level of participation?  You know about her activity capacity, but not as much about her current level of performance – and that is what will matter as she transitions to more independent living. After some thought, you decide to update the TRANSITION-Q for health management skills and the ACTIVLIM-CP for daily activities.  Additionally, you are going to update Yasmin’s COPM to prioritize her individual goals.

Here is a list of performance and participation measures.  They can begin to bridge the space between physical therapy appointments and higher participation and performance in daily life.  Also, some are specific to assessing global performance change after PT intensives, Botox or surgery.  Many of these are new to me, aside from the CHAQ,PEM-CY, COPM and GAS.  It is exciting to think of the potential and I look forward to trying them out in the months to come. Continue reading “Tests & Measures for Participation”

Tests, Measures, & Classification Systems for Activity

Luca is a 7-year-old boy with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  As his physical therapist, you are wondering about tests and measures that fit into the activity section of the ICF. Thinking of how to quantify his activity, you decide to use the North Star Ambulatory Assessment (NSAA) to measure transitions and mobility, the Timed Floor to Stand-Natural (TFTS-N) to time his rise from the floor, and the Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT) to measure distance walking.

Continue reading “Tests, Measures, & Classification Systems for Activity”

Tests & Measures of Body Structures and Body Functions

JoLee is a four-year-old girl with mixed spastic/dystonic cerebral palsy, GMFCS III.  Her physical therapy progress report is due and you would like to use objective tests and measures that are appropriate for her age.  After looking through this list, you decide on the ECAB for balance, the SATCo for trunk control, and the HAT for hypertonia/dystonia.   Of course you will also do traditional range of motion testing and an Adam’s forward bend test.  What’s unfamiliar on the list?  The MPST for anaerobic performance looks interesting, and you make a note to do a search to find out more about it. 

Continue reading “Tests & Measures of Body Structures and Body Functions”

Combining the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) with Standardized Testing: An In-Depth Look at Squatting

Devin likes to go fishing; it’s his favorite hobby.  He is a five-year old boy with a diagnosis of bilateral cerebral palsy, GMFCS level 1.  Devin perches at the river’s edge in a deep squat in order to catch a glimpse of the trout beneath him.

Deep squatting is useful for a variety of reasons, like getting close to the floor to see something clearly, or to rest without getting on knees or bottom.  It requires adequate hip flexion range, ankle range, and postural control.  It is a developmental milestone.

When I look at the drawing of Devin, I wonder why:

  • Devin has an inverted foot position on right.
  • His low back position shows excessive lumbar flexion during a deep squat.
  • His pelvis is posteriorly tilted.
  • He is stabilizing, or limiting his degrees of freedom, by bracing his right elbow on his right knee and resting his chin firmly on his left knee.

Continue reading “Combining the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) with Standardized Testing: An In-Depth Look at Squatting”

Using Core Sets With the International Classification of Functioning-Children & Youth (ICF-CY)

Emil is a seven-year-old  boy with cerebral palsy and medical complexity.  He has lived in a rural region overseas until coming to see you for a physical therapy evaluation.  Thinking of Emil functioning, in the context of his life, what areas should you focus on?  When thinking about the whole child, physical therapy decision-making can become a bit overwhelming.  Is there a list that can help you concentrate on the most relevant areas of body structures/function, activity, and participation for a seven-year-old boy with CP?

I am reading an interesting book that discusses the power of checklists.  It’s called the Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right and it is written by Atul Gawande.  In this he discusses how checklists are most effectively used to assist people as they deal with complex situations.  After reading this, I began to view the ICF core-sets as essential checklists to reduce error and foster team communication. Continue reading “Using Core Sets With the International Classification of Functioning-Children & Youth (ICF-CY)”

Newborn: Beginning Tummy Time

 

“My daughter, Malia, is 5 days old.  Is it too early to start tummy time with her?  She doesn’t seem to like it.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends putting babies on their backs to sleep and their tummies to play.   However, it’s not always the easiest thing to put your newborn in the prone (or tummy time) position in the first few days and weeks.  It seems they either sleep or fuss when placed in that position!  The hips are high in the air, elbows are off the ground and the weight is on the face.  It does not look so comfortable and it can be a bit of a tricky start! Continue reading “Newborn: Beginning Tummy Time”

Using the Gross Motor Function Classification System- Expanded & Revised Version (GMFCS-E&R)

Michaela is a five-year-old girl who loves ballet.  She has a diagnosis of diplegic cerebral palsy,  GMFCS level III.  What does this mean?

GMFCS Level III (Between 4th & 6th Birthday)

Children walk using a hand-held mobility device in most indoor settings. They may climb stairs holding onto a railing with supervision or assistance. Children use wheeled mobility when traveling long distances and may self-propel for shorter distances.

From the GMFCS E&R instruction guide

 

GMFCS-E&R Quick facts:

  • Five-level classification system
  • Based on the child’s self-initiated, regular movement
  • For use with children with cerebral palsy only
  • Used to classify children with CP from 1-18 years
  • Not for use to classify infants under 1 year of age
  • Not for use as an outcome measure

The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels I-V are gross motor function categories for children with cerebral palsy.    This post describes what GMFCS levels I through V mean, how they are used, and some of the controversy around them. Continue reading “Using the Gross Motor Function Classification System- Expanded & Revised Version (GMFCS-E&R)”