Recreation Opportunities for Children With Special Needs 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?

A few years ago I started compiling a list.  Every time a parent or child came in beaming from a new activity, I wrote it down.    In the ICF, Participation is defined as anything that involves friends, family, future, fitness, fun, or function.  The activities below promote play, meeting new friends and exploring new interests.  So here is the list with links included… let me know if you have any other additions.  I hope you find something here that provides an enriching experience!

Continue reading “Recreation Opportunities for Children With Special Needs in Sonoma County”

One Child’s Response to “What is Your Favorite Thing to Do?”


Exciting changes are happening in the field of pediatric physical therapy.  While participation was once off the list of important things, it is now at the very top of the list.  Also, while therapists were once the consultants, we are now the collaborators with parents and the children themselves.  I find this is so refreshing! Continue reading “One Child’s Response to “What is Your Favorite Thing to Do?””

Exploring the ICF-CY: What is Participation?

Screen shot 2016-08-26 at 9.56.26 PMThe International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health-Children & Youth (ICF-CY) is a framework for describing and organizing information on functioning and disability.  The ICF is a useful tool in the field of pediatric physical therapy, where the child defines how they want to use their function within the context of their own life.

In my opinion, the Participation category is the most fun part of the ICF!  This is really where we begin to see the whole child, their likes and their interests and well as what they want to do with their skills.   Participation is using an activity to interact with others or with the environment.  When the activity is walking, participation is walking on the beach with friends, or walking in the grocery store to help with the shopping.  Participation is one of the most motivating and satisfying levels of functioning.  New activities should be put into participation as soon as possible to build motor control.  These happen in many different environments:  Home, friends’ homes, schools, libraries and parks.  Continue reading “Exploring the ICF-CY: What is Participation?”