Center for Rehabilitation

Our Rehabilitation Services and Specialty Programs

Whether your child needs inpatient or outpatient treatment, he or she will be treated by the same group of highly skilled and experienced rehabilitation specialists at CHOP's Center for Rehabilitation. In addition to physicians, advance practice nurses and physician assistants, your child will have access to dozens of masters-prepared therapists who have been specialty trained to work with pediatric patients. 

While your child may not need every therapy available at CHOP, it is comforting to know all of these specialists are part of the multidisciplinary team at CHOP. If your child needs a specialized therapy or treatment, we can offer it — many times at a location near you. 

Physical therapy

CHOP’s physical therapy team specializes in developing activities for children and young adults using exercise and therapeutic play to address movement, coordination, balance, strength and endurance issues.

Physical therapists (PTs) work with your child to develop his or her gross motor skills, which are important for major body movement such as walking, maintaining balance, coordination, jumping, and reaching.

PTs work with your child’s medical team, caregivers, school and community to encourage children to function as independently as possible in their own environment.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy at CHOP provides services to children and young adults facing social, emotional and physiological effects of illness and injury. 

Occupational therapists (OTs) are trained in interventions to help your child participate in everyday activities, play and sports, and return to home, school or work.

OTs help your child improve his or her fine motor skills, which involve the small muscles of the body, and involved strength, fine motor control and dexterity. Your child's fine motor skills enable him or her to write, feed themselves, grasp small objects, use a computer, and perform tasks such as fastening clothing or brushing hair.

If assistive technology or adaptive techniques are needed, OTs will work with your child to master the skills needed to use their equipment.

Speech-language pathology

The Department of Speech-Language Pathology evaluates and treats children who have language impairments, speech disorders, and feeding and swallowing difficulties.

Speech services begin with initial screening and continue with assessment and diagnosis. Speech-language pathologists, in consultation with other members of your child's medical and therapeutic team, develop a plan of care for your child which may include:

Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Center

The Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Center brings together an interdisciplinary team of specialists to offer a comprehensive approach to treating feeding and swallowing problems. You and your child will move through the continuum of care based on your child's individual needs.

Center staff members coordinate all aspects of your child's ongoing care with your family. They place special emphasis on educating family members so you can participate fully in your child's treatment.

Assessment and treatment for your child's pediatric feeding and swallowing disorder are available for inpatients at the Hospital and outpatients at our Day Treatment Program and outpatient clinics at locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  

Cerebral Palsy Program

The Cerebral Palsy Program is a multidisciplinary, weekly outpatient program that provides comprehensive care for children with cerebral palsy and related conditions. Our cerebral palsy team includes orthopedists and physiatrists who work with physical and occupational therapists to design a program of physical therapy and bracing to avoid or postpone surgery when possible.

At CHOP, orthopedic physicians work closely with orthotics and prosthetics companies to fit patients with custom-designed braces. It is important that your child uses the brace as directed, which includes details about how many hours per day the child should wear it and what activities your child is permitted to do without the brace.

For some children with cerebral palsy, surgical interventions are needed to treat specific issues. Common surgical treatments for pediatric patients with cerebral palsy include: selective dorsal rhizotomy, Botox® injection or motor point block, and inserting a baclofen pump to deliver medication at timed intervals to treat spasticity.

Adaptive Equipment Clinic

The Adaptive Equipment Clinic, also known as the Seating Clinic, provides evaluation, prescription and delivery of wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment for children with physical and developmental disabilities.

Contact us

We recommend all children that need rehabilitation services at CHOP to make an appointment with the Center for Rehabilitation. We will coordinate your child's care and ensure he or she has access to the specific rehabilitation services needed. Please call us at 215-590-7469.

Reviewed by: Center for Rehabilitation team
Date: April 2013

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