Doernbecher Children's Hospital

Pediatric Therapy at CDRC

A child places a plastic peg on a board with the help of an occupational therapist pointing out where it goes.

We offer evaluation and diagnosis for children with developmental needs or chronic conditions who need physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech-language pathology.

Our team has expertise in therapy services for a wide range of complex medical conditions, including but not limited to:

When you see us, you’ll find:

  • Team-based care.
  • Services not widely available in the community.
  • Access to the latest research on your child’s condition.
  • Help connecting with resources and support near you.

Your child’s therapist will work with you and your family to create a treatment plan that includes goals and number of visits.

To help you support your child, we may provide:

  • Test results, notes and other information to share with your child’s doctor and other providers. 
  • A custom treatment plan. 
  • Referrals to other providers at OHSU or in your community.
  • Resources in your community, such as support groups.


Our team takes part in these clinics:

Physical therapy

We care for children who need help with moving because of physical disabilities, chronic conditions or developmental differences.


We may assess your child’s:

  • Motor skills
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Posture

We use our evaluation to develop goals for:

  • Mobility
  • Access to your child’s environment
  • Participation in play


Our specialized services include:


Our team’s research interests include:

  • Pediatric chronic pain. 
  • Power mobility and assistive technology for children younger than 3.
  • Hemophilia.

Occupational therapy

We help your child learn or rebuild skills for daily life at home and school and in the community.


We assess your child’s:

  • Motor (muscle) skills.
  • Sensory processing (reaction to what they see, hear, smell, touch and taste).
  • Visual perception, or understanding what the child sees.
  • Visual-motor integration, or combining visual perception and motor skills.

We use our evaluation to develop goals for:

  • Self-care
  • Play and leisure
  • School-related tasks
  • Work


Our specialized services include:

  • Modified pediatric constraint-induced movement therapy (mP-CIMT): This helps children with weakness on one side. It helps them improve use of their weaker limb in daily activities.
  • Feeding therapy: This makes eating and swallowing easier and safer.
  • Project Impact: This is a parent coaching program to help children with autism improve communication and play.
  • Upper extremity splinting: This helps keep joints in healthy positions.
  • Tools: Assistive technology to help children reach their full potential.
  • Lifespan Transition Clinic: This program supports your child’s move to adult health care.


Our team’s research interests include:

  • Family-friendly approaches to constraint-induced movement therapy.
  • Fine motor and early feeding skills in children with Down syndrome.
  • Feeding options for children with Down syndrome.

Speech-language pathology

We help your child build communication skills to take part in life more fully.

We see children with:

  • Speech disorders: These make it tough to produce sounds for talking.
  • Language disorders: These involve other communication problems, such as understanding others, expressing thoughts or both.
  • Feeding challenges: Any difficulties with eating safely or eating a good variety of foods.


We work in your family’s main language to assess your child’s abilities and needs. We provide interpreters for free.

We assess how children communicate, follow instructions and speak. We also:

  • Test vocabulary, sentence structure and understanding.
  • Watch your child in settings that mimic home or school.
  • Talk with you and your child about challenges.


Our specialized services include:

  • Ways to communicate without talking (augmentative and alternative communication).
  • Activities that use books, pictures and other objects to develop language.
  • Drills to practice speech skills.
  • Group therapy to build conversation skills.
  • Exercises to strengthen muscles for chewing, drinking and swallowing.
  • Parent and caregiver training to use tools and devices.


Our team’s research interests include:

  • Effects of low birth weight on speech and language in children who were in intensive care as newborns.
  • Therapies for children with cleft palate.
  • Memory problems in children.
  • Equity in services for Latino children with communication disabilities.

For patients


OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, seventh floor

700 S.W. Campus Drive
Portland, OR 97239

Free parking for patients and visitors

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