Functional capacity description and learning support

Functional capacity refers to a pupil’s physical, psychological and social capacity for coping with everyday activities at home, at school and in their leisure time and hobbies. The pupils’ functional capacity is affected by their state of health as well as the positive and negative impacts of the environment. Functional capacity assessments are based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).

How does the functional capacity assessment work?

The pupil, guardians and school’s guidance counsellor/teacher jointly assess the pupil’s functional capacity using an online assessment tool based on the current situation. The functional capacity assessment describes the matters of functional capacity related to learning, school attendance, interaction, well-being and planning for the future. In addition, there is a possibility of choosing extending sections to broaden the functional capacity description. The assessment of the functional capacity increases the dialogue between the school and guardians, and it generates a common view of the pupil’s functional capacity.

The implementer of the functional capacity assessment (e.g. guidance counsellor or teacher) begins by printing the “Consent for a functional capacity assessment” form at to be signed by the pupil and his or her guardian. When the consent form has been duly signed, the implementer logs in to the service, creates a new functional capacity assessment and chooses the sub-areas that are meaningful to the pupil. Next, the implementer sends the functional capacity assessments to the respondents, meaning those who are best aware of the pupil’s functional capacity. The functional capacity assessment tool automatically assembles different views of the functional capacity based on the responses. The assessments provided by the pupil and people close to him or her are used to form a wide-ranging and diverse view of the pupil’s functional capacity and the related strengths and challenges. The pupil, their guardians and professionals assess the pupil’s functional capacity together, based on the pupil's current situation and using an online assessment tool. Depending on the scope of the functional capacity assessment, responding to the questionnaire takes 15 to 60 minutes. Among other things, the functional capacity assessment describes aspects related to learning, school attendance, interaction and well-being.

The functional capacity assessment tool automatically generates different views of the pupil’s functional capacity based on the responses. This way, the assessments of the pupil and persons close to them provide a comprehensive and diverse view of the pupil's functional capacity, including its strengths and challenges. The tool generates a summary of the issues that emerge in the assessment. The summary can be used as a basis for a joint discussion and for assessing the pupil’s support needs. The views of adults involved in the pupil’s daily life help the pupil recognise the strengths of their functional capacity and their needs for support more clearly. Observations made in different operating environments broaden the description.

The functional capacity assessment and joint discussion will help make plans for the future. The information obtained in the functional capacity assessment can be used to organise learning and support related to it, to provide guidance counselling and, for example, to support the preparation of pedagogical documents. Once the information provided by the functional assessment has been collected, setting goals and planning study paths will be easier.

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