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Shriners Children's pediatric rehabilitation program supports your child physically, developmentally and emotionally.

After a comprehensive evaluation with our intake care team at your child's initial appointment, the doctor may refer your child to the rehabilitation department where our skilled, caring team will create a custom plan for your child's specific rehabilitation and therapy goals. The goal of the plan will be to ease the physical, developmental and cognitive (like thinking, knowing, remembering, judging, and problem-solving) effects of their condition and allow them to reach their full potential.

Depending on your child's needs, rehabilitation could be in an outpatient setting or inpatient setting. Treatments typically occur in one of our state-of-the-art gyms or in a child's private room.

The team will work closely with you, providing practical advice and training along the way that can improve your child's progress during and after their time with us. Parents/caregivers are often incorporated into therapy sessions. Your presence can help tremendously; in addition to the trust they place in you, you're a member of your child's rehabilitation team and may need guidance to understand how to keep the plan in action at home.

The Shriners Children's pediatric rehabilitation services vary by location and can include the following. Talk to your physician or nurse about the therapies and programs that could be the right fit for your child's specific condition, needs and goals.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can improve the care and outcomes of many pediatric conditions. Our physical therapists work one-on-one with you and your child, teaching you safe methods of transporting/transferring your child after surgery and showing you exercises to increase your child's strength and mobility.

Physical therapy can also help improve your child's confidence by showing them the proper techniques for using an assistive device, brace or prosthesis. Whether your goal for your child is to learn to sit, stand or walk, improve their wheelchair skills or use new prostheses, our caring physical therapists can help them get there.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy can help your child better participate in routine childhood activities, such as improving their hand skills or ability to get dressed, play, eat or attend school. Our occupational therapists may also provide your child with specialized equipment, like customized splints or braces, to help increase their independence as they learn to do more on their own.

Recreational Therapy

Art therapy, aquatic therapy, pet therapy and gardening are a few of the ways we use recreation to enhance your child's treatment plan and make the time they spend with us a little more fun. Our recreational therapists can also plan specific events and leisure activities that improve your child's health, functional abilities, independence and overall quality of life.

Child Life

Child life programs can reduce the stress created by a child's fears and misconceptions of hospitalization and medical procedures. Our therapists will teach your child coping skills through opportunities to play, learn and interact with others in a safe environment.

Music Therapy

Music can help heal the mind, body and soul. Focused music therapy can decrease pain and anxiety and even reduce the symptoms of trauma. In some cases, improvements are also seen in areas like body image, motor skills and many quality of life issues.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapists can work with you and your child to create child-specific therapy plans that improve areas of speech, language and/or feeding where there are challenges.

Outpatient, Intensive Day Treatment Programs

Some children require extensive rehabilitation but they don't need to stay with us. We've created these programs just for them. Even if your child isn't staying at one of our facilities, they can still participate in half-day or full-day goal-directed therapies in shortened versions of many of the programs mentioned here.

Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Care

If your child has functional difficulties that have disrupted their development and ability to perform certain tasks, our acute inpatient rehabilitation program may be a good fit. To qualify, your child must be able to participate in at least three hours of intensive therapy per day and require other support services to meet their defined goals.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information

Understanding Your Child's First Pediatric Rehabilitation Appointment

Your child may meet with multiple people at their first visit, which is why our staff typically schedules your appointment with your doctor on the same day as your therapy appointment.

To help us better coordinate your child’s care, let us know if your child is currently receiving physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy services in any of the following settings:

  • Early intervention
  • School
  • Home
  • Outpatient facility

If so, please bring your child’s most recent therapy progress notes and their therapist’s contact information to the appointment. We value the input of your child’s therapist and consider them part of our care team, as well.

Since our therapists will most likely need to assess your child's ability and mobility, they should wear comfortable clothing, such as a t-shirt, shorts or tennis shoes and bring any assistive device they may currently use, or are no longer using due to growth or discomfort.

After your child's evaluation, your Shriners Children's therapist will develop a care plan for your child and share it with you. They'll also work closely with you to apply the necessary skills to help your child's progress at home.

physical therapist and female patient with leg prosthesis

Physical therapists at Shriners Children's go above and beyond to increase your child's strength and mobility.

The virtual reality headset was really helpful! If I was going into surgery or therapy, I would definitely want to use something like this to help me relax or help me get through anything that is physically or emotionally draining.
Urianna, Philadelphia
patient and staff member during motion analysis test

Measuring a Body in Motion

Using data recorded by a motion capture camera system – similar to the ones used for digital animation – we can measure the severity of a number of orthopedic conditions and develop a plan for treatment.

Cerebral Palsy

At Shriners Children's, our team of specialists provides individualized care for your child with cerebral palsy.

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury occurs when nerves in the spinal column in the center of the back are damaged. Shriners Children’s offers advanced surgery options and therapy options to help restore your child’s function and mobility.

Erb's Palsy

Erb’s palsy, the most common type of brachial plexus palsy, is most often the result of a difficult delivery when the infant's neck is stretched during the birthing process. Shriners Children's can help.


Shriners Children's physicians have vast experience treating arthrogryposis, a rare muscle disorders that causes stiff joints and abnormal muscle development.

Limb Deficiencies

Shriners Children's specializes in treating limb deficiencies, which occur when part or all of a child's limb does not completely form during pregnancy or as a result of a major injury.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.