Pediatric Rehabilitation's outpatient specialty practice works with you and your child to set functional goals. Goals are individualized and established in partnership with you. Our overall goal is to help your child have the best quality of life possible and achieve optimal functional ability.
We work to improve specific problems such as spasticity, weakness and pain. Because we treat so many different types of injuries, illnesses and disabilities, goals look very different from person to person. Here are some examples:
- One baby and her mom might work with an occupational therapist to improve oral eating skills. Another might work with a physical therapist to improve neck range of motion.
- A toddler with cerebral palsy may get botulinum toxin injections and a prescription for braces from the Pediatric Rehabilitation doctor while the physical therapist works on the skill of walking and the occupational therapist works on self-dressing.
- A school-age child with a lower extremity fracture who's had a cast removed by orthopedics might receive additional therapy to start standing on the foot again and learn to walk correctly, with or without crutches.
- A middle schooler with a concussion might receive recommendations about how to successfully manage symptoms and return to school and sport.
- A teenager with chronic pain might receive recommendations for medication and therapy to improve symptoms.
Mayo Clinic Pediatric Rehabilitation uses a team approach to care, which includes the experts below and others, depending on your child's needs.
- Pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors (physiatrists) provide evaluation, testing, diagnosis and treatment planning. They also provide prescriptions for medications, equipment and therapy. A physiatrist is a physician trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). Pediatric physiatrists have additional training and knowledge about children and teenagers with disabilities. With expertise in the brain, spinal cord, nerves, muscles and bones, the physiatrist treats injuries and illnesses to reduce pain and restore function.
- Occupational therapists (OTs) evaluate and treat children and teens who have problems that limit the ability to perform functional activities in their daily lives, such as dressing, bathing and participating in school. OTs develop a personalized treatment plan to improve cognitive, physical, sensory and motor skills and to enhance self-esteem and a sense of achievement. OTs focus on skills such as fine motor, sensory motor, feeding and swallowing, and vision to maximize the abilities to be as independent as possible at home, at school and in the community.
- Physical therapists (PTs) evaluate and treat children and teens who have medical problems or other conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques that promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.