5. ICF-Functioning & Disability

In a recent Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association Network article, Danielle Heider, CRC, MRC wrote:

As a certified rehabilitation counselor specializing in working with transitioning youth, it is my job to help young adults begin to think about what they want to do for a job, consider if there are any accommodations needed, and help them understand how to ask an employer for accommodations.  This can seem like a daunting task for some young people, especially if they are accustomed to hearing others talk about everything they can’t do.

Continue reading “5. ICF-Functioning & Disability”


4. ICF- The Domains

Let’s take a moment to look at the overall representation of the ICF.  As you can see from the above diagram, all of the domains interact with one another.  The International Classification of Functioning is composed of these domains:

  1.  IMPAIRMENTS: (At the level of the body)
    1. Body functions are physiological and psychological functions of the body.
    2. Body structures are the anatomic parts of the body.
  2. ACTIVITIES: (At the level of the individual) This refers to the execution of tasks or actions by individual.
  3. PARTICIPATION: (At the level of family and society) This is involvement in a life situation.
  4. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: (Facilitators and inhibitors) These are the physical, social and attitudinal situations in which people live.
  5. PERSONAL FACTORS: (Facilitators and inhibitors) These are the particular background of individuals’ life and living situation and comprise features that are not part of a health condition.

Continue reading “4. ICF- The Domains”

3. ICF- A Conceptual Framework


A conceptual framework is defined as an analytical tool used to organize ideas. 

In Isaiah Berlin’s essay on The Hedgehog and the FoxThe fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.  It’s hard to be an organized fox, and being a hedgehog may limit innovation.  The conceptual framework of the ICF organizes all the details of one person’s function and edits that information down to the (few) big things which are vital and specific. Continue reading “3. ICF- A Conceptual Framework”

2. ICF- What is a Biopsychosocial Model?

This second post on the ICF takes a moment to reflect on the Biopsychosocial model. It is the current trending concept in treating the whole person.  The ICF is described as a biopsychosocial model of disability.  Most simply and obviously, this means that it simultaneously considers biological factors, psychological factors and societal factors. By incorporating these three factors,  this model is able to create a unique picture of an individual as they manage a health condition.  In contrast, the biomedical model is limited to the biological aspects only.  The biomedical model often overlooks important individual details, increasing chances that the clinician and child’s family have lack of alignment in their goals. Continue reading “2. ICF- What is a Biopsychosocial Model?”

1. What is the International Classification of Functioning?


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.      Aristotle

Question: Why would you want to use the ICF as a tool in pediatric PT?

Answer:  The ICF will help you access and organize your knowledge on a whole new level.

I was first introduced to the ICF during a section at the 2001 NDTA  conference.  I came away from that conference and immediately restructured the way I was approaching my more complicated clients.  I was a fairly new PT at that time and goodness knows I needed some help prioritizing.  Continue reading “1. What is the International Classification of Functioning?”

The Sprites

The sprites were the inspiration for this blog.   I wanted to make a home program of sprites doing typical childhood activities.  These activities also have tremendous therapeutic value in building strength, agility, and balance.    My hope is that kids can see themselves or their friends in the drawings and find inspiration.   The sprites can be found doing regular kid-like movement in the Activities and Exercise category.  Moving and enjoying movement are the first steps to increased fitness.  I hope this makes it a little more fun.