Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta provides pediatric rehabilitation services to children with impairments due to accidents, illnesses, injuries, congenital (present at birth) defects, syndromes and other conditions. Depending on their needs and the recommendations of our rehabilitation specialists, kids from birth to age 21 can begin rehabilitation during any of the four treatment phases: acute, inpatient, day rehabilitation or outpatient.

In addition, we measure and track how are patients are doing.

We provide pediatric rehabilitative care for conditions that include:

We also offer specialized services for teenagers because they confront challenges involving maturity, physical changes, and intellectual and sexual awareness.

Our pediatric rehabilitation programs deliver a wide range of services to assist patients and their families throughout recovery, including:

Our Center for Advanced Technology and Robotic Rehabilitation offers a wide range of advanced technologies as part of the overall treatment strategy for children and teens with motor-skills impairment. Technology-assisted therapies:

  • Help children perform more repetitions and practice skills they may not be able to perform otherwise.
  • Allow our therapists to use computers and sensor controls to direct and pace a child’s movement.
  • Promote communication between the brain and muscles.
  • Promote motor learning by tracking a child’s response and providing biofeedback.

Children’s is often among the first hospitals to offer our patients emerging technologies. We were the first pediatric hospital in the county to offer the Ekso Robotic Exoskeleton, an exoskeletal-assisted walking device that uses electronic motors and sensors to help children stand and walk more easily.

The Day Rehabilitation Program is a full-day therapy program for patients recovering from traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, cancer, neurological diseases, debility or other conditions. It’s designed to help children and teens regain skills to perform everyday activities. Structured like a regular school day, the Day Rehabilitation Program is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

The rehabilitation team—which includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, recreational therapist, psychologists, neuropsychologist, nurses, and teachers—places a special focus on:

  • Physical therapy: mobility, walking or wheelchair skills, coordination, and balance
  • Occupational therapy: activities of daily living, self-care, bathing, grooming, dressing and cooking
  • Speech-language pathology: communication, speaking, reading, writing and swallowing
  • School reentry: advocacy and assistance as children and families navigate through the process of returning to school
  • Community reintegration: play, leisure skills, driving and work

Our program also has a designated facility dog, Stella, who helps motivate and encourage patients as they participate in therapy.

Day Rehabilitation Scope of Services

Our Inpatient Rehabilitation Program addresses the needs of children and young adults after they’ve had a traumatic and life-changing injury or illness. Our doctors, nurses, therapists and other clinicians use their expertise to help patients build skills to function independently as they recover from brain dysfunctions and injuries, spinal cord injuries, cancer, cardiac complications, or burns.

We use everyday activities as the basis for therapy, which motivates our patients to work hard and allows them to regain as much independence and function as possible.

Learn more about inpatient rehabilitation at Children’s.

CIRU Scope of Services

Our Outpatient Rehabilitation Program is offered at three neighborhood locations across metro Atlanta. We provide audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology services. Our team helps patients regain skills so they can be more successful at home and in the community. By training families in therapy techniques to use at home with their children, the Children’s outpatient rehabilitation staff helps patients become more functional and independent.

Learn more about outpatient rehabilitation at Children’s.

Physiatrists are doctors who specialize in treating nerve, muscle and bone injuries, and illnesses that affect function. They evaluate and diagnose patients and develop treatment plans that include therapeutic exercise, orthotics, prosthetics and adaptive devices.

Physiatrists lead the child’s or teen’s pediatric rehabilitation team and treat the whole child, as well as the area causing the pain or limited function.

Learn more about our physiatry services.

Our Sports Medicine Program is one of only a few in the country dedicated exclusively to the care of growing athletes. We offer sports physical therapy at multiple neighborhood locations and provide athletic training coverage to nearly 40 schools and club sports in metro Atlanta. Our pediatric-trained team provides comprehensive assessment, treatment and expert advice for athletes with injuries and conditions that affect sports performance.

Learn more about sports medicine at Children’s.

Our Day Rehabilitation Outcomes

We are proud of the quality care we provide for children and teen in need of rehabilitation, and monitor and publicly report our Day Rehabilitation outcomes so families can be confident in the care we provide. The results from recent years confirm that we’ve delivered superior rehabilitative care and assistance with recovery.

Our outcomes were compiled from UDSMR data and patient satisfaction surveys.

  • Number of patients: 20
  • Average length of stay (days):
    • Our program: 24.1
    • National average: 23.7
  • Average WeeFIM change:
    • Our program: 12.0
    • National average: 11.7
  • Patient Satisfaction: 100%
  • Caregiver Satisfaction: 90.9%

  • Number of patients: 73
  • Average length of stay (days):
    • Traumatic:
      • Our program: 39.6
      • National: 37.9
    • Non-Traumatic
      • Our program: 30.1
      • National average: 30.5
  • Average WeeFIM change (points):
    • Traumatic:
      • Our program: 22.9
      • National: 21.5
    • Non-Traumatic
      • Our program: 14.0
      • National average: 12.2
  • Patient Satisfaction: 97.6%
  • Caregiver Satisfaction: 100%

  • Number of patients: 13
  • Average length of stay (days): 26.9
  • Average WeeFIM change (points): 9.14
  • Patient Satisfaction: 100%
  • Caregiver Satisfaction: 66.7%

  • Number of patients: 140
  • Average length of stay (days):
    • Our Program: 30.6
    • National average: 28.9
  • Average WeeFIM change (points):
    • Our program: 16.3
    • National average: 10.8
  • Patient Satisfaction: 95.2%
  • Caregiver Satisfaction: 95.5%

Director, Rehabilitation Services

  • Susannah Kidwell, MS, CCC-SLP

Manager, Rehab Referral Management and Patient Access

  • Jason L. Amos, M.Ed CCC-SLP, CBIS

Pediatric physiatrists

Pediatric nurse practitioners

  • Fawn Hastay, CPNP
  • Celeste Rhodes, CPNP
  • Stefanie Starcic CPNP
  • Anna-Lisa M. Tarabicos, CPNP

At Children’s, we want to make sure patients and families are informed about the patient’s rehabilitation. Therefore, we offer a number of helpful resources to help guide parents through care.