Development of an Assessment of Functioning Measure based on the ICF Core Sets for Autism

Published May 2022

The last two decades have heralded a paradigm shift in disability models and disability service provision, from a singular focus on deficits to a more holistic and strengths-based approach to functioning. This has been demonstrated on a global level, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) shifting from their three-level taxonomy of impairments, disabilities and handicaps to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).

The ICF recognises the interplay between body functions, activities and participation, and environmental factors. Whilst the ICF was designed as a common language for all key stakeholders to work together, the vast number of items in the ICF framework taxonomy and the absence of user-friendly assessment measures has restricted the integration of the ICF into clinical practice and research. This terminology is also not well suited to the self-report of functioning by individuals on the autism spectrum or their caregivers and requires significant interpretation from a clinician to translate professional jargon into layperson language. This research project subsequently aimed to co-produce assessment of functioning measures based on the ICF Core Sets for Autism.

The findings from this project are presented in a series of appendices in their original format. An executive summary of the project is currently available, however these appendices are embargoed whilst they undergo peer review and/or assessment. They will be made available in the project Final Report on the Autism CRC website once the embargo lifts.