The functional assessment is a complete assessment of how your child is functioning in relation to the school and home environment. It will assess fine motor skills (dressing, writing, manipulating objects) gross motor skills (running, balancing, jumping, gymnastic movements) and visual perception skills (hand eye co-ordination, figure ground discrimination. The therapist will then use the information gathered through this assessment to design a suitable treatment plan to overcome any identified difficulties.
Find out more...
- Where and how is the Functional Assessment completed?
- What problems may be suitable for a Functional Assessment?
- What will the Functional Assessment assess?
- What information will I receive following a Functional Assessment?
The Functional assessment is an assessment that can take place in clinic, at home or in school, during this assessment your child will participate in a variety of play based assessment games with the therapist. During this time the therapist will be observing, analysing and determining what difficulties your child may be experiencing. For example, catching an object may be something that your child struggles with. The therapist would consider why this may be through analytical reasoning. Some of the reasons could be due to poor hand eye coordination, visual perception skills, judging the flight and speed of the ball (temporal skills) or poor motor control over the arms and hands.
An occupational therapist would be suitable for your child, if they have any of the following problems:
- Difficulty catching/throwing a ball
- Finds physical education difficult
- Running looks uncoordinated
- Poor handwriting
- Trouble getting dressed
- Difficulty doing up zips/buttons
- Finds it hard to stay balanced
- Difficulty manipulating objects in hand or using both hands
Conditions the Functional assesses
An occupational therapist would use the functional assessment to asses children that have:
- Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Acquired brain injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Rett syndrome
- Spina Bifida
The occupational therapist will use the Functional assessment to gain a better insight into how any functional difficulties are affecting your child during day to day life, both at school and at home. This would include a practical assessment and detailed discussion, to aid in both understanding for yourself and deciding on the right treatment plan for your child.
Impact on the school environment
The Functional assessment would not only identify any functional difficulties but determine how these are impacting on your Childs ability to perform both in school and at home. For example, poor fine motor difficulties identified during assessment could relate to your child being last at getting changed for P.E or struggling to join in construction based play with other children.
Impact on the home
The impact on the home would also be considered, for example, any difficulties your child may be experiencing at school could mean they are not coming home happy, or appear frustrated at what are seemingly relatively easy tasks to complete for someone of their age. This could have a detrimental effect on the home dynamics and relationships between siblings/parents.
Following an assessment, the occupational therapist will discuss the outcome of the assessment with you and explain in further detail the reasons why your child may be experiencing some difficulties. If desired you can request to receive a Functional report based on the findings of this assessment. This will contain a detailed analysis of the impact the condition is having on your life, a treatment plan and recommendations that will improve your daily living.
Following a functional assessment the occupational therapist can provide help and interventions. Some of these are:
- Gross motor groups
- Movement based activities
- 1:1 Sessions
- Fine motor games (Jenga, building blocks etc)
- Handwriting improvement programmes
- Dressing practice
- Play therapy
In summary the Functional assessment would firstly identify any physical or cognitive difficulties that are having a detrimental effect on function and then apply these to the environment, incorporating how they are impacting upon both school and at home. This assessment would then form the basis for your treatment plan.
If you would like a Functional assessment or want to talk about any of the problems above then please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 223 0888