"The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) is a 5 level classification system that describes the gross motor function of children and youth with cerebral palsy on the basis of their self-initiated movement with particular emphasis on sitting, walking, and wheeled mobility. Distinctions between levels are based on functional abilities, the need for assistive technology, including hand-held mobility devices (walkers, crutches, or canes) or wheeled mobility, and to a much lesser extent, quality of movement.
The focus of the GMFCS is on determining which level best represents the child's or youth's present abilities and limitations in gross motor function. Emphasis is on usual performance in home, school, and community settings (i.e., what they do), rather than what they are known to be able to do at their best (capability). It is therefore important to classify current performance in gross motor function and not to include judgments about the quality of movement or prognosis for improvement.
The GMFCS - E&R includes an age band for youth 12 to 18 years of age and emphasizes the concepts inherent in the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). We encourage users to be aware of the impact that environmental and personal factors may have on what children and youth are observed or reported to do. The descriptions for the 6 to 12 year and 12 to 18 year age bands reflect the potential impact of environment factors (e.g., distances in school and community) and personal factors (e.g., energy demands and social preferences) on methods of mobility."