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The F word in childhood Disability

The F word in childhood Disability


January 08, 2022
09:00 AM Eastern time (US and Canada)
  • Dr. Peter Rosenbaum
CPD/CME Credits


In 2001, WHO published a revision of its 1980 International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps – the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, colloquially known as the ICF. This set of ideas brings together biomedical, psychological and social concepts into an integrated, transactional biopsychosocial framework for health.

In 2012, our research group, CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster University, brought the ICF concepts to life with a series of ‘F-words’ meant to illustrate and animate the ICF concepts in a way that would be accessible to families as well as service providers. What began as a fun idea – “The 'F-words' in childhood disability: I swear this is how we should think!” – has evolved into ‘The F-words for Child Development’ program that has spawned an international uptake (>48,000 downloads of the paper, >400 citations, >30 translations of the concepts) and is now the focus of considerable funded research activity.

In this talk I will share the F-words ideas and illustrate the ways that these concepts are being used by, and are impacting, families, clinicians, clinical programs, and ministries responsible for programs and services for children with developmental challenges and their families.

The paper is free to download at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01338.x

Learning Objectives : By the end of this presentation, participants will:

  • Be familiar with both the ICF framework and F-words concepts…
  • Recognize opportunities to bring these ideas into all clinical encounters
  • Identify how these ideas can be shared with colleagues, and applied in their clinical services
  • Be able to access an ever-expanding array of free F-words resources for families and colleagues, including videos and tools that can be used to both promote and capture children’s and families’ F-words stories



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