F Words for Child Development

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CTN supports families and clients by focusing on the "F Words" throughout our programming.

The 6 F-words for Child Development are words that reflect some of the most important aspects of child development. They were first published in 2012 by CanChild’s Dr. Rosenbaum and Dr. Gorter and are now used internationally when working with children with disabilities and their families. Inspired by over two decades of CanChild research and continual discussion amongst members of the CanChild family, the paper features six F-words that the authors state should be the focus in childhood disability - Functioning, Family, Fitness, Fun, Friends, and Future.

Functioning: refers to what people do - how things are done is not what is important; synonyms include ‘role’, ‘job’, ‘task’, etc. (for children, ‘play’ is their ‘work’)

Family: represents the essential ‘environment’ of all children

Fitness: refers to how children stay physically active, including exercise and other recreational opportunities

Fun: includes particular activities children are involved in or enjoy participating in

Friends: refers to the friendships established with peers; social development is an essential aspect of personhood

Future: is what child development is all about; it refers to parents and children's expectations and dreams for their future

Rosenbaum, P., & Gorter, J. W. (2012). The ‘F‐words’ in childhood disability: I swear this is how we should think!. Child: care, health and development, 38(4), 457-463.
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