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Rehabilitation Medicine

Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine helps children with conditions affecting their motor development—function, adapt and get back to living their lives. The "rehab" team are specialists, each trained to address different needs. Rehabilitation Medicine at Children’s Hospital Oakland includes doctors who are board certified in rehabilitation medicine for children, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, therapeutic recreation specialists, social workers, and psychologists. We work with thousands of Bay Area children every year. Our goal is to help every child reach the highest level of physical, cognitive, and social functioning possible—letting kids be kids and enjoy their childhood.

Find Us

Why Families Choose Us

When your child has a disability or injury, it is important to find specialists who understand how these conditions affect a child who is still growing physically and developing neurologically. When treating children with more complex disorders or illnesses, our specialists in physical medicine can coordinate treatment with pediatric professionals in more than 30 sub-specialties at Children’s Hospital Oakland.

We are the most comprehensive inpatient pediatric rehabilitation center in Northern California. We are dedicated to caring for children who have specialized medical and physical needs. We offer a full spectrum of advanced inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. Our team cares for patients with challenging rehabilitation cases, including those who are dependent on a ventilator, tracheostomy tube, gastrostomy tube, or parenteral feeding. Many of our patients continue to receive IV therapies, plasmapheresis, or respiratory care while undergoing rehabilitation. We place special emphasis on parent/caretaker training to help our patients more easily reintegrate into their homes and school environments.

Comprehensive Rehabilitation Specialty Programs

Rehabilitation Specialists

  • Board Certified Pediatric Physiatrists
  • Cardiologists
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Clinical Social Workers
  • Endocrinologists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Neurologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Physical Therapists
  • Plastic Surgeons
  • Prosthetists
  • Pulmonologists
  • Psychologists
  • Recreational Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologist

Conditions & Diagnoses

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Multiple traumas
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke
  • Encephalopathy
  • Brain tumor
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Orthopedic injury
  • Orthopedic postoperative care
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Encephalitis
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Transverse myelitis
  • Congenital and traumatic amputation
  • Feeding and swallowing disorders
  • Hand/upper extremity injury
  • Hypertonicity/spasticity
  • Movement disorders
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Spina bifida
  • Neurogenic bladder/bowel
  • Torticollis
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Brachial plexopathy
  • Genetic and developmental disorder
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

Rehabilitation Therapy


Physical Therapy

Our physical therapists work with children to enhance flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, endurance, gross motor skills, and mobility through play and exercise. They may fabricate and use orthoses, casting, and/or splinting techniques to aid in their treatments.

View video: How to Use Crutches

Occupational Therapy Program

Occupational therapy helps children, teens and young adults develop skills to do the ordinary, familiar and meaningful activities that kids do every day—from eating and getting dressed, to going to school or play.

We evaluate and treat a variety of patients, from those with disabilities (to help them participate fully in school and social situations) to those recovering from illness or injury. Our occupational therapists specialize in pediatric conditions treating children with difficulty in areas such as fine motor, developmental, self-care, and oral motor skills. Occupational therapists aim to maximize functional independence through a number of techniques such as splinting, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, biofeedback, a teaching of adaptive techniques, and use of adaptive equipment. They also treat feeding and swallowing problems and offer a VitalStim® program for dysphagia. Occupational therapists that are certified hand therapists treat those with severe hand impairments.

Speech Therapy

Our speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat children who experience problems with expressive and receptive language, cognition, voice, memory, and feeding and swallowing (dysphagia). They also assess and treat children who may need alternative modes of communication and/or augmentative communication devices.

Specialized Rehabilitation Programs and Treatment Options

Children's Pediatric Rehabilitation Center is recognized for expertise caring for many of the region’s most medically complex patients. Our specialized rehabilitation programs and treatment options help us meet the unique needs of each child that comes to us for care.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury Program
  • Hypertonicity Management Program
  • Spina Bifida Program
  • Specialized Treatments and Diagnostics
    • Botox Therapy
    • Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy
    • Electromyography
    • Vitalstim® For Dysphagia

Find out more about: Specialized Rehabilitation Programs and Treatment Options

Art Therapy

Art therapists encourage children to express their feelings and develop self-esteem using enjoyable, creative activities during individual or group sessions.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is a clinical, evidence-based intervention that supports a patient’s physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. It is prescribed for children who may be unable to verbalize their feelings, fears, or concerns, and it helps patients cope with their illness, hospitalization, and treatment. Music therapists are an integrated part of the patient care team at Children’s Hospital Oakland, working closely with doctors, nurses, and other therapists.

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