Outpatient services

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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, pain and incontinence. 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 her ability to eat orally. Another might work with a physical therapist to improve his neck range of motion.
  • A toddler with cerebral palsy may get botulinum injections and a prescription for braces from the Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine physician 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 for starting to stand on his or her foot again and learn to walk correctly, with or without crutches.
  • A middle schooler with a concussion or brain injury might receive recommendations about how to successfully re-enter school.
  • A teenager with chronic pain might receive recommendations for medication and therapy to improve symptoms.

Treatment team

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, as well as 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 nerves, muscles, bones and the brain, the physiatrist treats injuries and illnesses nonsurgically to reduce pain and restore function — looking at the whole person.
  • 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/swallowing and visual motor to maximize the abilities to be as independent as possible at home, 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.

Our Pediatric Rehabilitation outpatient team also partners with numerous medical specialists, both inside and outside of Mayo Clinic. We work with schools and other community organizations to help maximize recovery, wellness, independence and quality of life.