Pediatric Rehabilitation Services - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Services

Pet Therapy

Pet Therapy

Can your child benefit from treatment?

RIC pediatric experts treat children from birth through full development across all levels of complexity. Commonly treated conditions include mild to severe cases of the following:


Pediatric Lokomat®

Specialized services

  • Aquatic therapy
  • Augmentative and alternative communication
  • Botox injections
  • Cerebral palsy clinic
  • Constraint-induced movement therapy
  • Feeding and swallowing therapy
  • Intrathecal baclofen pumps
  • Pediatric Lokomat®
  • Prosthetics and orthotics
  • Serial casting
  • Wheelchair seating and positioning
  • Young Adult Transition Program

Normalizing life in the hospital - School and play

Our team focuses on making the program as relevant to a child's life as possible. Birthdays are celebrated, movies are attended and homework is done. A professional designated to help children cope with hospitalization, called a child life specialist, helps calm fears and brings fun, leisure and play into the hospital and on outings.

School and PlayA certified teacher gets information from the home school and implements an individualized school program in the hospital for each school-age child and adolescent so that they continue to earn school credit. The integration of therapy, school and play is provided by an interdisciplinary team offering a truly collaborative and enriching approach that tends to the needs of the whole child.

An essential part of the treatment team is each child's family. At RIC, family involvement is indispensable. Parents' participation provides the treatment team with necessary information and insights vital in developing an effective treatment plan. As key decision makers, parents participate in every aspect of their child's care, learning every part of care, step by step, along with the child. One parent may even stay overnight with the child throughout the child's stay. Siblings, too, are encouraged to be a part of the process. When a child is ready, parents may take their children out of the hospital to have fun and test new skills to see what is working well and what they still need to learn.

In addition to parents, members of the care team work closely with siblings, teachers and others in the child's life. Our treatment team operates on the basis that all people who are active in a child's world should be closely listened to and updated on the child's progress.

School re-entry and discharge planning

A cornerstone of RIC's Pediatric and Adolescent Program is returning children to their school and home environments as quickly and safely as possible to ensure the greatest degree of ease and success. Preparation for discharge and, if the patient is school-age, return to school, begins when children and adolescents are inpatients.

To address school re-entry issues, a school therapist makes an evaluation and recommends services and school placement. An educational specialist and a social worker from RIC attend meetings and work as a team with both the school and family. An important aspect of our job at RIC is to educate school personnel about the effects of the injury or disability on your child and support them in helping the child's peers deal with your child's re-entry. We follow-up and closely monitor patients until no further assistance is needed, often for several years. With this approach, parents and schools can be confident that any medical issues that arise will be addressed.

Recreation and sport is an important part of a child's life as well. RIC's Caring for Kids is a dynamic program for any youth ages 7–17 who has a physical disability and is independent in his or her daily living skills. The Caring for Kids program offers year-round adaptive sports, recreation, special events and social activities. The programs are designed to foster a positive quality of life for participants through promoting physical fitness, independence, socialization, activity and adaptive programming resources.