The Pediatric Inpatient Rehabilitation Program helps children with conditions affecting their function, independence and overall potential while they're in the hospital. Our goal is to maximize each child's abilities and minimize the effects of their impairments.

On our team are many types of specialists, including doctors specializing in pediatric rehabilitation medicine, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, child life specialists, music and art therapists, social workers, neuropsychologists, nutritionists, special education teachers and case managers. Using a team approach, we create individualized therapy plans for each patient and coordinate medical, therapeutic and support services at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco.

Comprehensive hospital program

The children's hospital has a variety of facilities that can be used for rehabilitation therapy, such as a pediatric rehabilitation gym, an outdoor therapy space, a family resource room, a playroom, a schoolroom and a rehabilitation family lounge with video gaming systems. We may also use community outings and activities during therapy.

Our patients receive a minimum of three hours of comprehensive rehabilitation therapy a day, six days a week. We provide:

  • Evaluation and planning meetings when your child is admitted
  • Weekly rehab team meetings to evaluate progress and refine your child's therapy plan and needs
  • Regular family meetings with the rehab team to discuss treatment, progress and discharge planning
  • Community re-entry planning
  • A school program with a special education teacher
  • Neuropsychological assessment when needed
  • 24-hour medical coverage by in-hospital pediatricians

Consultation services

In addition to providing comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation, our pediatric rehabilitation doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists offer consultative services. We conduct assessments and make recommendations for individualized treatment plans and ongoing care for children with complex rehabilitative needs.

Types of therapies

Our program provides the following types of therapies to patients in the hospital and in our outpatient clinic:

Physical therapy

Our physical therapists work with kids to improve movement and mobility, gross motor skills, balance, coordination, strength and overall function using various exercise and therapeutic play regimens.

Occupational therapy

Our occupational therapists help children develop and improve their skills for completing daily living activities such as grooming, getting dressed and eating, as well as the fine motor skills used for hands-on activities during play and at school.

Speech therapy

Our speech–language pathologists evaluate and treat children who have problems with expressive and receptive language (the ability to express themselves verbally and understand what others say), cognition, voice, memory and swallowing. They also assess and treat those who may need alternative modes of communication or augmentative communication devices.

Orthotics and prosthetics

The rehabilitation team often works with our Orthothics and Prosthetics Department to make custom braces and work on other adaptive equipment to improve our patients' function.