Pediatric Rehabilitation

Child in Pool Therapy

The Pediatric Rehabilitation Program serves children, from infants to young adults, on an inpatient basis as they recover from illness or injury. As the largest dedicated pediatric rehabilitation center in New England, the Medical Rehabilitation Program embraces the child as a whole, and addresses their full spectrum medical, therapeutic, social, and emotional needs. Our program promotes social development and emotional well-being by incorporating frequent opportunities for age-appropriate play and leisure activities throughout the child’s stay and rehabilitation process.

For more information about our Pediatric Rehabilitation Program, please visit our Plan for Rehabilitation Visit page here. You can also check our Transition Book, a unique visual resource created by our Child Life team designed to walk you and your child through what a stay in our inpatient rehabilitation programs will look like.

About Our Program

Our patients

Franciscan Children’s staff are child-centric in their approach to rehabilitation. We serve children of all abilities from the New England region, the nation, and around the world.

Franciscan Children’s is the only pediatric post-acute care hospital in New England serves children from around the region, nationally and internationally. Our patients range in age from infants to teens, and are transferred here from acute care hospitals when it is appropriate for the focus to
shift from medical management to more intensive rehabilitative efforts. We work closely with area hospitals to ensure a comprehensive information exchange and seamless transition of care.

Commonly seen diagnoses include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Brain tumors
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Myelodysplasia
  • Neuromuscular conditions
  • Seizure disorders
  • Spina Bifida

The conditions we treat

The Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at Franciscan Children’s cares for children and teens who have complex injuries or significant disabilities or who are recovering from major surgery.

We provide intensive inpatient rehabilitation most often for the following conditions and after the following procedures:

  • Brain injury and related neurotrauma
  • Spinal cord injury and related neurotrauma
  • Cerebro-vascular accidents (stroke, arterio-vascular malformations (AVMs), aneurysms of the brain and spinal cord)
  • Multi-trauma
  • Major orthopedic surgery
  • Meningitis, Encephalitis, Guillain-Barre, Transverse Myelitis, and related infectious and autoimmune diseases of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system.
  • Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery

The pediatric rehabilitation team

Our patients and their families are integral members of our interdisciplinary team which works together to address each child’s medical, therapeutic, social and emotional needs. Led by a board-certified specialist in Pediatric Rehabilitation, a core team of experts includes a Pediatrician and Nurses, as well as an Audiologist, Case Manager/Discharge Planner, Child Life Specialist, Education Coordinator, Nutritionist, Occupational Therapist, Physiatrist, Physical Therapist, Psychologist, Social Worker, and Speech and Language Pathologist. All of our experts specialize in caring for children.

Our staff is committed to excellence, and dedicated to fostering a compassionate and positive environment for our patients and families. Our Family Liaison meets with parents when they tour our campus, and upon admission to help ease the transition to a new environment. Our Patient Advocate is available for parents who want to
discuss any areas of concern regarding their child’s care. The same staff members follow each child from admission through discharge, fostering strong and personal relationships with each patient and family. This continuity of care helps promote optimal communication, which in turn contributes to treatment effectiveness.

You can explore what a comprehensive team of experts for a patient undergoing intensive inpatient care often looks like by visiting our Caregiver Guide here.

The treatment experience

Upon admission, each child and family will be welcomed and oriented to the Inpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation unit. Each patient room has a private bathroom for the child’s comfort and convenience. Parents are always welcome, and one parent can sleep at the child’s bedside.

Individual treatment plans are developed for each patient,  and re-evaluated regularly to ensure that it meets the changing needs of the child. A customized schedule  includes times for therapy, play, and tutoring (if  applicable). Members of the care team communicate on a regular basis with primary care and referring physicians, ensuring a seamless treatment experience.

A child first and a patient second

At Franciscan Children’s, we understand the invaluable roles of play and social opportunities in the rehabilitation process. Children have the opportunity to interact with their peers daily in our playrooms, where they can browse the Internet, play video games, or participate in a playgroup under the guidance of our certified Child Life Specialists.

Located in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, our  campus uniquely features extensive outdoor space for leisure and play, including a basketball court and several playground areas, including age-appropriate and accessible equipment for children of all areas.

Our Wake Field is a four-season, artificial turf field for baseball, kickball or other recreation. In addition, there are plenty of areas for sitting, strolling, or just enjoying being outside.

Going home

At Franciscan Children’s, discharge planning begins the day of admission. Our Case Managers work to ensure that community services and supports are available to ease you child and family’s transition back to your home, school and community. Our outpatient departments remain available for follow up post-discharge to address any ongoing needs, if necessary.

Why choose us?

  • Franciscan Children’s is one of the top providers of pediatric inpatient rehabilitation care in the Northeast.
  • We are certified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO), and in 2012 were recognized as a top performer in key quality measures.
  • Our inpatient rehabilitation program is directed by a board-certified pediatric rehabilitation medicine specialist, and all medical and therapeutic care is provided by pediatric-specialized practitioners, with a board-certified pediatrician in-house 24/7.
  • Nursing plays an integral role in providing around the clock care and medical management for children who need varying levels of support.
  • Whenever possible, the same staff members follow each child from admission through discharge, so that the child, family, and care team have an opportunity to build rapport. This approach also helps promote optimal communication; contributing to more effective treatment.
  • Family-centered, individualized care.
  • Our patients and their families are integral members of our interdisciplinary team, working together to address all areas of the child’s medical, physical, cognitive, and social functioning.
  • Our program promotes social development and emotional well-being by incorporating frequent opportunities for age-appropriate play and leisure activities throughout the child’s stay and rehabilitation process.
  • Our facility is designed specifically for technologically advanced care of children and teens that have disabilities and complex injuries, all in a kid-friendly environment.
  • We offer extensive family services such as family lounges with refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers.
  • We are located in a tree-lined neighborhood that offers all the amenities of the city, such as local restaurants, banks and other services, without the stress of traffic and parking hassles. Parking is free and unlimited – come and go as often as you need to!

Event calendar

Children and families benefit from scheduled events that encourage interaction, participation, and socialization. Check out our monthly event calendar, hosted on our Child Life page.

Interpreter services

For details about this program, please contact Jeffrey L. Forman, M.D., Director of Rehabilitation Medicine at (617) 254-3800, ext. 4446.

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