In this section
Tests and treatments
At Children’s, we work with you and your family – as well as your child's primary physician and therapists – to develop a personalized treatment program based on your child's needs. The treatment options we provide include:
When children suffer from illness or injury that affects their functional abilities, rehabilitation can help improve outcomes and quality of life. Many conditions require some kind of physical rehabilitation. Children’s rehabilitation team treats a large number of children with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries/spina bifida, stroke, fibromyalgia, central nervous system tumors, neuromuscular conditions, developmental delay, toe walking, cerebral palsy and other conditions that affect function.
Rehabilitation care at Children’s
Our team’s approach to rehabilitation depends on your child’s needs, abilities and goals. We may focus on things such as comfort and quality of life, regaining everyday skills, and improved walking. We work with you and your family to help your child achieve set goals.
Tone management and spasticity
About tone management and spasticity
Children with spasticity and other movement disorders have unique and complex needs. Our goal is to help these children have best possible quality of life and independent function.
Tone management and spasticity at Children’s
Children’s tone management and spasticity program gives your child access to the full range of current medical, surgical, and rehabilitative treatments.
Read more about our tone management and spasticity program.
About occupational therapy
Children with physical, psychological, sensory or perceptual dysfunctions may benefit from occupational therapy. This therapy focuses on upper limb use and practicing activities your child needs to perform in daily life. The children we work with may suffer from problems related to social/psychological difficulties, developmental disorders, neurologic or muscular problems, rheumatic diseases, cancer, burns, head injury, or neonatal complications.
Occupational therapy care at Children’s
We tailor your child's treatment based on his or her age, level of ability, and personal needs. We help your child develop and maintain the skills he or she needs to increase independence in everyday living.
About gait lab
Children’s gait lab uses the same techniques and cameras used in movies for special effects. A computer creates a 3D model that shows us how your child moves. This allows us to identify movements that need attention and correction. The information we collect helps us improve your child’s individual care. Gait analysis is also used for cutting edge research.
Your child's hearing is essential for proper speech and overall development. If your child is experiencing delayed development or trouble with school, it is important to have his or her hearing tested.
Audiology care at Children’s
If we suspect your child's hearing issue may affect his or her development and school performance, we will request an evaluation by audiology and possibly our ear, nose and throat doctors. Sometimes hearing aides or other devices may be helpful, other times speech therapy can be a great help.
About speech-language pathology
Speech-language pathologists are experts in communication and feeding. They know a great deal about the movements made by the tongue and mouth. To speak or to swallow food, your child’s mouth and tongue must perform a complex series of tiny movements. If your child has trouble making one or more of these movements in the correct order, it can disrupt speech and swallowing. A child who has trouble swallowing is at risk of choking or inhaling liquid or food, leading to pneumonia and other respiratory problems.
Speech and language pathology care at Children’s
If your child has trouble with speech or swallowing, his or her treatment team may include a speech-language pathologist. By looking into your child's medical history and running tests, we can arrive at an individualized treatment plan. This may include different therapies and exercises. We also help you and your family understand how to help make digestion and/or communication easier for your child so he or she can continue to make progress.
Proper nutrition is important for body development and helps kids stay strong. If part of your child's body has been weakened by an injury or a disorder, it may be especially important to focus on his or her nutrition and replace nutrients that may be low or lacking. Dietitians and nutritionists help children and families learn which foods and supplements have the vitamins and nutrients they need to be healthy and strong.
Nutrition at Children’s
If indicated, your child’s treatment team may include a dietician. Our dieticians work with your family to determine the foods that best meet your child’s dietary needs. Our goal is to make sure your child gets the nutrition he or she needs to gain strength and aid in healing.
Psychology and neuropsychology
About psychology and neuropsychology
Certain psychological or neuropsychological issues – such as sensory and perception disorders – can cause problems at school and home as well as developmental delay. A disconnect between your cognitive abilities and school performance can lead to frustration and feelings of sadness or anger. Psychologists or neuropsychologist can help solve these problems and help your child achieve his or her fullest potential.
Psychology and neuropsychology care at Children’s
At Children’s and the Medical College of Wisconsin, our rehabilitation medicine team includes outstanding psychologists and neuropsychologists. We work with your family to learn how to best support your child on his or her journey to independence. We also help you deal with emotional obstacles that you, your family, and your child may face.
Additional education and support
Children with disabilities benefit from group support or adaptive sports and activities. Children’s is committed to getting involved with community events whenever we can. We welcome you and your family to join us! You can find out about support groups from our rehabilitation team and upcoming events on our Facebook page.
Tone management and mobility
Children with spasticity and other movement disorders have unique and complex needs. We take a team-based approach to work with you and your family to meet these needs. With our tone management and spasticity program, your child has access to the full range of current medical, surgical, and rehabilitative treatments.