Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA)

A pediatric Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA) is a comprehensive evaluation conducted by an occupational therapist to assess a child's physical and functional abilities related to various activities and tasks. The primary goal of the assessment is to understand the child's strengths, limitations, and specific needs to help them participate in daily activities and achieve age-appropriate milestones.

A pediatric Functional Capacity Assessment may encompass some or all of the following components, though it's not mandatory for all cases:

  • Child and Family Interview

    The therapist will gather information from the child's parents or caregivers about the child's medical history, developmental milestones, and any concerns or challenges they may be experiencing.

  • Observations

    The therapist will observe the child's physical movements, gross and fine motor skills, balance, coordination, posture, and overall functional abilities.

  • Standardised Assessments:

    Various standardised assessment tools may be used to evaluate specific aspects of the child's functional capacity, such as motor skills, sensory processing, visual perception, and self-care abilities.

  • Play-Based Assessments

    For younger children or those with developmental delays, play-based assessments may be used to observe the child's interactions, problem-solving abilities, and social skills.

  • Sensory Integration Assessment

    If the child is experiencing sensory processing challenges, the therapist may conduct a sensory integration assessment to understand how the child processes and responds to sensory information from their environment.

  • Functional Activities

    The child may be asked to perform age-appropriate functional activities or tasks, such as dressing, feeding, writing, or playing, to assess their abilities and identify any difficulties they may have.

  • Endurance and Tolerance Assessment

    The therapist may evaluate the child's endurance and tolerance for physical activities and identify any fatigue or limitations.

  • Parent/Caregiver and Teacher Input

    Input from parents, caregivers, and teachers is essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of the child's functional abilities in various settings.

  • School-Based or Educational Assessment

    If relevant, the therapist may collaborate with teachers or school personnel to understand the child's functional capacity in an educational setting and identify any accommodations or modifications needed.

  • Comprehensive Report

    After completing the assessment, the therapist will compile the findings and recommendations into a comprehensive report. This report may include a summary of the child's strengths, challenges, specific needs, and recommendations for therapy, interventions, or educational support.

Sensory Profile Assessment

The Sensory Profile is a standardised assessment tool used to evaluate a child's sensory processing patterns and how they affect the child's functional performance in daily activities. It is designed for children aged birth to 15 years.

The Sensory Profile helps identify a child's sensory processing strengths and challenges in various sensory domains, including:

  • Auditory Processing

    How the child responds to sounds and auditory stimuli.

  • Visual Processing

    How the child responds to visual input and visual stimuli.

  • Tactile Processing

    How the child responds to touch, textures, and tactile stimuli.

  • Vestibular Processing

    How the child processes movement and balance-related sensory input.

  • Proprioceptive Processing

    How the child senses the position and movements of their body and limbs.

The assessment also evaluates the child's behavioural responses to sensory input, including seeking, avoiding, or sensitivity to specific sensations. It provides a profile of the child's sensory processing preferences and helps identify potential sensory modulation challenges. The Pediatric Sensory Profile is often used by occupational therapists to:

  • Understand a child's sensory processing patterns.

  • Determine how sensory processing affects the child's functional performance.

  • Develop individualised interventions and sensory strategies to support the child's development and participation in daily activities.

The assessment consists of a caregiver questionnaire with items related to the child's sensory behaviors and responses in various situations. The caregiver provides information about the child's responses to sensory experiences in daily routines and activities, allowing a comprehensive understanding of the child's sensory processing patterns.