At the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, our therapists are an integral part of your child's care team. Our therapists are all specifically trained in pediatric therapy. This level of expertise gives our therapists the skills they need to provide excellent care directly to children, in an age-appropriate, kid-friendly way.

We take an individualized, family-centered approach to care. We know the importance of family and encourage families to take an active role in the care of their children. Each plan we create is unique to the child and family. Our therapists will collaborate with your family to develop realistic goals that address your needs — whether it is teaching your child to walk, drink from a cup or recover from an accident or injury. 

We treat children from birth to age 18 in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Our therapists give children the confidence to interact with peers and play with their friends. The result is confident children and adolescents who are motivated and determined to lead promising lives.

How Our Therapists Help

Our physical and occupational therapists evaluate children and adolescents with the following impairments and functional limitations:

  • Any impairments affecting functional activities such as dressing, bathing, sitting, walking or playing with friends or family
  • Decreased ability to move due to pain, weakness, joint stiffness or decreased sensation
  • Decreased ability to move or use arms or legs effectively for function
  • Decreased balance
  • Decreased endurance, arousal or attention
  • Decreased muscle strength or unusual muscle tone (hypotonia or spasticity)
  • Difficulties processing sensory information like sound, light, touch or movement
  • Difficulties processing visual and movement activities
  • Impaired motor function
  • Pain

Interdisciplinary Approach to Care

Our team of expert occupational and physical therapists works with doctors, nurses, speech therapists, child life specialists, case managers, nutritionists and other members of your child's healthcare team in almost all areas of the hospital. We regularly meet with other direct caregivers to discuss each child's progress. In addition, our therapists work with social workers and case managers to assure that each child completes our care with the appropriate discharge recommendations and equipment they need. Our goal is for children to be successful at home, in school and in the community.

Transition of Care

When your child completes his or her therapy, we provide a plan for the future — including education on how to prevent further problems or injuries. We also suggest community programs to maintain his or her current abilities. Our therapists collaborate with school therapists and teachers to successfully carryover therapy programs to your child's everyday life.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

We provide therapy services in a stimulating environment, which encourages children to have fun while working on activities to further their development and functional abilities. Our pediatric physical and occupational therapy area has a dedicated space for inpatients, allowing children to have physical or occupational therapy in an area away from their hospital beds and giving them a chance to socialize with other children.

Our therapists also work with child life specialists at your child's bedside and in the Family Central Playroom. By offering therapy in a variety of settings — with other staff your child trusts—we can provide better, all-encompassing therapy services.

Outpatient physical and occupational therapy takes place in the therapy services department located near the adult hospital.

Educating Parents & Caregivers

Parent and caregiver education and training are essential components in all of our programs. Our therapists work with nurses, parents and other caregivers to ensure that therapy continues from the hospital to the home environment. In some cases and with the parent's consent, therapists will provide digital photographs of your child working in therapy. Parents and caretakers can use these visual reminders to carry over the therapy plans throughout the day maximizing your child's benefit from our services.

Our Therapy Services