When a child requires rehabilitation due to a new neurological injury or illness, professionals rely on certain standardized tests of functional independence to assess the patient’s recovery progress.
Standard measures like the Functional Independence Measure for Children (WeeFIM) are frequently used by pediatric rehabilitation centers to track a child’s recovery.
The problem with those tests is that they don’t measure subtle, clinically important changes in children with very severe impairments. They also aren’t sensitive to meaningful signs of recovery when a child is very young (under 2 years old) or developmentally delayed.
Kennedy Krieger clinicians and staff members began developing ways to measure very low levels of physical and cognitive functioning in pediatric patients in the late 1990s. They started out by identifying the most important signs of recovery in these children, and then, in the early 2000s, used those signs to create a set of four scales—now called the Kennedy Krieger Scales—to measure recovery. Today, the scales are available to rehabilitation centers free of charge and used around the world.
The four scales are:
- Cognitive and Linguistic Scale (CALS), which measures cognitive and language skills
- Physical Abilities and Mobility Scale (PAMS), which measures positioning and mobility
- Upper Extremity Measurement Scale (UEMS), which measures upper extremity movement and function
- Oral Motor Measurement Scale (OMMS), which measures oral motor skills
When patients are totally dependent on others for care, these scales measure changes that the WeeFIM can’t, by design, detect. That gives healthcare providers, family members and insurance companies clues to a patient’s otherwise unmeasurable progress toward recovery, even if the cause of the patient’s impairment is unknown.
To request more information about any of the Kennedy Krieger Scales, please complete the form below: