The Communication Function Classification System, or CFCS, is a classification tool used to describe the everyday communication performance of an individual with cerebral palsy (CP). It utilizes the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) (1). It is not a test to see how well a person with CP can communicate at their maximum skill level, but rather a way of describing how they generally do communicate in daily interactions.
How it works
The classification is made by either:
- A parent, caregiver, or professional who is familiar with the child, or
- The person with CP, if they are of an appropriate age.
The CFCS places the communication skills of an individual with CP into one of the following categories (1):
- Effective “sender” and “receiver” with unfamiliar and familiar partners. The person is able to transition between sending and receiving information in a conversation with most people. They communicate comfortably and easily, and solve communication issues quickly.
- Effective but slower paced “sender” and/or “receiver” with unfamiliar and/or familiar partners. The person is able to transition between sending and receiving information in a conversation with most people, but the pace of the conversation is slow. They require extra time to communicate messages and solve communication issues. These communication issues are usually fixed, and do not interfere with effectiveness of communication.
- Effective “sender” and “receiver” with familiar partners. The person is able to transition between sending and receiving information in a conversation with only familiar people. Communication is not consistently effective when the person is talking to unfamiliar people.
- Inconsistent “sender” and/or “receiver” with familiar partners. The person struggles with transitioning between sending and receiving information. They sometimes communicate effectively with familiar people.
- Seldom effective “sender” and “receiver” even with familiar partners. The person struggles with both sending and receiving information in conversation. Most people have difficulty understanding the person, and the person has difficulty understanding most people. Communication is seldom effective, even with familiar people.
Uses of CFCS
CFCS was developed to classify people with cerebral palsy in terms of their communication skills, but today it is commonly used to classify the communication abilities of people with all types of disabilities. It has been used to assist with clinical diagnosis, as well as research on disabilities.
About ABC Law Centers
ABC Law Centers was established to focus exclusively on birth injury cases. A “birth injury” is any type of harm to a baby that occurs just before, during, or after birth. This includes issues such as oxygen deprivation, infection, and trauma. While some children with birth injuries make a complete recovery, others develop disabilities such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
If a birth injury/subsequent disability could have been prevented with proper care, then it constitutes medical malpractice. Settlements from birth injury cases can cover the costs of lifelong treatment, care, and other crucial resources.
If you believe you may have a birth injury case for your child, please contact us today to learn more. We are happy to talk to you free of any obligation or charge. In fact, clients pay nothing throughout the entire legal process unless we win.
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- Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) for Cerebral Palsy
- Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) for Cerebral Palsy
- Cognitive Impairments Associated with Cerebral Palsy
- C. (n.d.). Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) for Individuals with Cerebral Palsy[Pamphlet].
- What is the CFCS. (n.d.). Retrieved July 24, 2019, from http://cfcs.us/