The Traffic Light Communication Tool


Audience: healthcare professionals, parents, children and young people

The Health, Functioning and Wellbeing Summary, known as the ‘Traffic Light Tool’, was designed to help families to get their concerns across the doctors when they to go a clinic with their disabled child. The family can complete this in the waiting room.

The tool begins by celebrating the things that are going well.

Next, there is space for the family to say what might help the child or young person to engage with the things they want to do, and what might improve their quality of life. There is also space for concerns or questions.

On the other side, there is a list of medical conditions, areas of function, and other things that families have told us to be important. The family chooses the traffic lights’ colour: green if no concerns; amber if some concerns; and red if serious concerns.

The tool was developed with disabled young people, parents, and other experts. It was written by Dr Karen Horridge, Paediatrician and published by disability charity SCOPE (

Download Traffic Light Tool PDF

Submit Resource