Pediatric Rehabilitation Services

Will Van Dyke (right) with physical therapist Sarah Staropoli (left) and physician assistant Alissa Lyman (center) with workout equipment in the background.
OHSU therapists work with a pediatric patient during a heart rehabilitation session.

Our therapists work with your family to promote your child’s independence and quality of life. We help children from birth through high school move, function and communicate better. We offer specialty clinics and programs, some unique in Oregon.

We see children who need:

  • Physical and occupational therapy.
  • Speech-language pathology.
  • Care for:
    • Illnesses or injuries.
    • Short-term disabilities.
  • Help with handling sights, sounds and other sensations (sensory processing).

If your child has developmental needs or a chronic condition, ask your provider about a referral to the rehabilitation specialists at OHSU’s Child Development and Rehabilitation Center.

Our expertise

Training and certification: Our therapists have advanced training in pediatrics, or experience with kids and families. Most see only children and teens. We have physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists who are certified neonatal therapists.

Team care: Our therapists work with other providers to meet every need. Your child’s team might include:

  • Cancer and orthopedic specialists
  • Heart or brain doctors
  • Nurses
  • Dietitians

Child-size equipment: We offer the latest in exercise equipment, walkers, wheelchairs and other mobility aids. We also use toys.

Our services

We care for babies, children and teens. Usually, younger children receive care at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and older teens go to OHSU’s Center for Health and Healing, Building 1.

Physical therapy

Our physical therapists can help your child move and function better after illness, injury or short-term disability. They also suggest mobility and adaptive devices, if needed.

Our physical therapists work with children to:

  • Improve coordination, strength, endurance and range of motion.
  • Lessen pain.
  • Help them walk or run better.
  • Improve balance and/or decrease dizziness.

Occupational therapy

Our occupational therapists help your child develop play, self-care and learning skills for school and daily life. These include:

  • Bathing, dressing and eating.
  • Fine-motor abilities.
  • Hand-eye coordination.
  • Focus and social skills.

They can also recommend mobility and adaptive devices.

Speech-language pathology

Our speech-language pathologists focus on helping children communicate better. They work with children who:

  • Need help feeding and swallowing.
  • Have memory and concentration problems.

Care includes:

  • Strengthening a child’s mouth muscles.
  • Helping babies and children suck from a bottle or drink from a cup.
  • Helping children feed themselves or try new foods.

Therapy for sports injuries

Our therapists help your child recover from sports injuries and get back to the playing field safely. We:

  • Work with sports medicine doctors, orthopedic surgeons, concussion specialists and coaches.
  • Use the latest equipment and therapies to help rebuild strength, stability and balance.
  • Focus on preventing more injuries.

We also offer:

High school athlete program: OHSU works with local high schools to treat sports injuries and educate students on prevention.

Sports and recreation safety tips: Doernbecher’s Tom Sargent Safety Center offers tips to keep children safe in organized sports or playing with friends.

Other services

  • Schroth Method for scoliosis: This can be used to treat children ages 10 and older. In teens, it is used with bracing.
  • Pediatric heart rehabilitation: Our program encourages children and teens with heart conditions to stay active in a safe, supervised and fun way.
  • Neonatal Transition Clinic: Babies born early or with complex conditions often spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Our team includes:
    • A speech pathologist to help with feeding.
    • An occupational or physical therapist to support your baby’s development.
    • A dietitian to support your baby’s nutrition.
  • Neurologic rehabilitation: We can help your child manage symptoms and improve function after a stroke or brain or spine injury.  OHSU has the only Pediatric Stroke Program in Oregon.
  • OHSU’s Child Development and Rehabilitation Center: Our CDRC team works with children who have developmental needs or chronic conditions.

For patients

We require a provider’s referral to see our specialists.

Call 503-494-3151 to:

  • Make an appointment.
  • Seek a second opinion.
  • Ask questions.


See OHSU Health rehabilitation locations across the Portland area.

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