Case Study- Supporting one Boy’s Love for Fishing


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 “Case Study- Supporting one Boy’s Love for Fishing”

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?”