ACSF:SC Tool - Autism Classification System of Functioning:  Social Communication

Last modified by Doug Maynard on 2014/01/13 16:24


Peter Rosenbaum, MD, Briano Di Rezze, OT, PhD and Martha Cousins, MEd, will present information about their research team’s development of a new strengths-based tool designed to classify (categorize) preschool aged children with ASD according to their social communication abilities. The Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication (ACSF:SC) is a 5-level classification tool that will complement current ASD diagnostic assessments or measures. What it is intended to do is to describe what children CAN do, in way that is standardized in ASD and universally understood by parents and professionals (clinicians, educators).

This webinar will provide:

  • an introduction to classification tools and their importance in paediatric practice and research;
  • an overview of the 3-year project that CIHR is funding to support the ACSF:SC Tool’s development; 
  • and an update of the project’s current status.


Powerpoint Slides:  ASCF:  SC - Autism Classification System of Function: Social Communication - Rosenbaum, DiRezze, Cousins

Presenter Bios

Dr. Peter Rosenbaum
905-525-9140 ext. 27834

Peter is the lead investigator for ‘Development of an Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication’ project. (CIHR funded September 2011- August 2014). He has a long history of developing classification systems focused on children’s functional abilities, rather than impairments. This work began with the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) for children with Cerebral Palsy (CP)], now used all over the world (see GMFCS/resources/ GMFCS-ER.pdf), and continued with related systems that have looked at ‘manual abilities’ (MACS []) and ‘communication’ (CFCS []). These CP systems have enabled health care providers to understand to what extent a child is affected by their condition and explain better to parents what this will mean for the future. His aspiration is to do the same for the field of Autism. If you would like to know more about Peter please visit the CanChild website at

Dr. Briano Di Rezze

Briano is a co-investigator for the ‘Development of an Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication’ project. Currently, Briano is a Post-doctoral fellow in the area of ASD at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University. Throughout his 10 year career as an OT, Briano has worked closely with children with ASD and their families. Briano’s research program focuses on measurement development to increase the rigour of intervention research for children with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. In other work, Briano has lead the team that developed the first generic fidelity measure in paediatrics, the Paediatric Rehabilitation Observational measure of Fidelity (PROF). If you would like to more about Briano please visit the CanChild website at

Martha Cousins
905-525-9140 ext. 27849

Martha is the Project Coordinator and Knowledge Broker for the Development of the Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication project funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (September 2011 to August 2014). In addition to the ACSF:SC project Martha coordinates a pilot study called ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’, which is being led by Dr. Jan Willem Gorter at CDRP / McMaster Children’s Hospital and his colleagues through CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research  The purpose of this pilot study is to translate and evaluate the use of a Dutch board game called “SeCZ TaLK”. The game was originally developed in the Netherlands and is designed to help facilitate discussions about relationships, sexuality and health issues with youth with disabilities. Martha has a Master's of Education in Counselling Psychology from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and over 10 years of experience coordinating research in the field of childhood disability. If you would like to know more about Martha please visit the CanChild website

Created by Doug Maynard on 2013/05/06 21:48