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Shriners Children's pediatric rehabilitation and therapy services support your child physically, developmentally and emotionally.

Shriners Children’s provides comprehensive pediatric inpatient and outpatient therapies to improve your child’s function and quality of life, restore independence and promote physical healing. Depending on your child’s needs, your doctor may refer them to our rehabilitation department where our caring team will evaluate their skills based on their current function, age, and your concerns and goals. Based on the evaluation, your child’s therapist will make recommendations and develop a custom plan 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 and therapy could be in an outpatient setting or inpatient setting. Treatments typically occur in one of our state-of-the-art gyms or in a 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 may 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 and showing you exercises to increase your child's strength and mobility, and enhance their independence.

Physical therapy can also help improve your child's confidence by providing them with adaptive equipment, braces or prostheses and showing them the proper techniques for use. 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.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy can help your child improve communication and feeding/swallowing. Our speech therapists target all aspects of childhood and adolescent communication, including sound production, understanding language (reception), use of language (expression), alternate means of communication, memory and cognition, as well as the oral-motor control necessary for safe eating.

Recreational Therapy

Art therapy, aquatic therapy, pet therapy, music 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.

Outpatient and Intensive Day Treatment Programs

Some children require extensive rehabilitation but they don't need to stay with us. We've created outpatient programs just for them. Even if your child is not staying at one of our facilities, they can still participate in therapy with regularly scheduled outpatient visits, or half-day or full-day goal-directed therapy programs.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Care

Shriners Children’s inpatient rehabilitation units serve children and adolescents who require intensive rehabilitation and medical management due to neurological, musculoskeletal, orthopedic or other medical conditions following stabilization of their acute medical issues. Physiatrist-led interdisciplinary teams help your child recover from injury or loss of function. Physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nurses, social workers and many other healthcare team members work with your child and family on personalized functional goals. All care is provided through a comprehensive, interdisplinary rehabilitation approach.

If your child has functional difficulties that have disrupted their development and ability to perform certain tasks, our inpatient rehabilitation units may be a good fit. To qualify, your child must be able to participate in intensive therapy and require physical or occupational therapy, as well as at least one other therapy service such as speech and language pathology. Our IRUs (inpatient rehabilitation units) are located at our Chicago, Philadelphia and Sacramento, California hospitals. For children and adolescents who, due to the complexity of their nursing, medical management and rehabilitation needs, require and can be expected to benefit from an inpatient stay, our IRUs provide invaluable care. Our interdisciplinary approach to the delivery of rehabilitation care fosters frequent, structured, and documented communication among all disciplines to establish, prioritize and achieve your child’s treatment 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.

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(s) 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.

patient and staff member during motion analysis test

Caring for Each Child's Overall Health and Well-being

We understand that every child is unique and needs a customized approach to healing and recovery. Our pediatric rehabilitation services are designed to meet the physical, emotional, social, developmental and educational needs of our patients.

REhabilitation and Therapy Services

View All Related Services

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy at Shriners Children's helps children build confidence and strength, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists at Shriners Children's help kids be as independent as possible, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Recreational Therapy

At Shriners Children’s, we believe in the power of play! Recreational therapy may just seem like fun, but each interaction has a defined purpose. Activities are adapted to meet the need of each child, encouraging active, healthy lifestyles.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Following Burn Injury

Shriners Children's inpatient rehabilitation advances healing and mobility following a burn injury

Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic therapy helps children improve mobility, strength, stamina and balance in a safe, supportive environment.

Music Therapy

At Shriners Children's, we use a holistic approach to treatment. Providing music therapy is just one of the ways that we care for the overall well-being of children.

Pet Therapy

Shriners Children’s pet therapy program provides another component to our wrap-around care that our doctors cannot prescribe. Dogs, cats, bunnies and other outgoing animals spread joy to our patients daily.

Speech Therapy

The speech therapy services available to patients at Shriners Children’s benefit children from birth through adolescence who have difficulties with communication and swallowing.

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.