Located in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood in Pittsburgh, PA, The Hospital at The Children’s Institute has 62 inpatient beds located in three units. Two units are designated for pediatric rehabilitation and the third unit is a specialty unit for our Prader-Willi Syndrome Program. Patient rooms are semi-private and isolation rooms exist on each unit for those patients whose needs call for such precautions. Bright, fun-filled activity space on each unit is designed to meet our patients’ unique needs.
Outpatient medical and therapy services also are provided by The Hospital at the Squirrel Hill location and at three satellite sites in the South/Bridgeville, East/Norwin Hills and North/Wexford suburbs of Pittsburgh.
The Hospital at The Children’s Institute provides pediatric rehabilitation to children, adolescents and young adults who have experienced an illness or injury that has impacted their daily functioning at home, school or in their recreational life. Specialty programs include:
Aquatic Therapy – The Hospital has both a therapeutic and full-sized swimming pool at the Squirrel Hill location. Aquatic therapy is available for muscle tone and positioning management, improving strength and motor control, increasing exercise tolerance and endurance. Therapists from several disciplines use the pool for both inpatient and outpatient treatment. Additionally, inpatients are scheduled for recreational swimming with family members several evenings each week.
Assistive Technology – Assistive Technology is any assistive, adaptive and rehabilitative device and the process used in selecting, locating and using it in order to promote greater independence for people with disabilities. These types of devices enable patients at The Children’s Institute to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish. Assistive Technology can even be adapted to meet a child’s particular need, whether it’s a cane or walker or even computerized systems to use at home. Our team of physical, occupational and speech therapists, rehabilitation engineers and adaptive equipment specialist work with patients to identify the assistive and adaptive technology that best matches their abilities and needs. And our team is dedicated to finding the most cost-effective solutions.
Augmentative Communication – The Hospital offers practical solutions for improving everyday communication skills in children who are functionally nonverbal. Children and family members can learn about the many alternative forms of communication available to them. Parents have reported more effective communication between the child, family and peers following their participation in augmentative communication treatment. Speech/language pathologists take an integrated treatment approach to meet the child's daily living and communication needs. The philosophy behind augmentative communication sessions is that participation and independence enhance communication and give it meaning.
Autism Treatment – The developmental pediatrician, speech/language pathologist and occupational and physical therapist at The Hospital provide evaluation and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Programming focuses on medical management — providing traditional and alternative treatment options for the patient and her family. Outpatient therapy services address functional capacity related to communication, social skill, gross and fine motor control, sensory processing and activities of daily living.
Brain Injury Rehabilitation – The goal of The Hospital’s Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program is to help each child regain functional skills while minimizing the effect of the injury on the child’s normal growth and development. Comprehensive treatment is initiated on an inpatient basis. We focus on physical functioning and the activities of daily living — including speaking and eating. We also focus on comprehension, cognitive functioning, and academic and social skills. Treatment frequently continues with outpatient therapies that focus on key areas that require further strengthening, as well as abilities needed for the return to daily life at home, school and play.
Diabetes Management – Children with diabetes face new challenges with the need for total lifestyle changes. Understanding and accepting these new lifestyle changes requires medical management, nutritional training, exercise and adjustment counseling. The Hospital at The Children’s Institute has an inpatient Diabetes Management Program. A one- to two-week stay with intense treatment from nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists and psychological counselors helps to establish a consistent routine for successful management.
Functional Feeding — When infants and children are unable to eat due to physical or behavioral conditions, serious health problems can result. Our Functional Feeding Program at The Children’s Institute provides evaluation and treatment, on an inpatient and outpatient basis, for children with feeding difficulties. The Functional Feeding team also provides specialized services for infants with feeding concerns through the Functional Feeding Clinic. Click here to learn more about the program.
Obesity Management — Childhood obesity is one of the fastest growing health concerns in the United States. The Children’s Institute’s outpatient therapy services provide nutritional evaluation and counseling and physical therapy evaluation and treament to assist children /adolescents with weight loss. Teaching parents how to make family lifestyle changes is a key factor in the success of this program.
Orthopedic Rehabilitation — At The Hospital at The Children’s Institute, we understand that children and young adults are different from adults and that the rehabilitation process must be adapted to accommodate their musculo-skeletal system. For children facing sports/orthopedic injuries or requiring services after orthopedic surgery, orthopedic rehabilitation can offer an opportunity to minimize lost playing time and optimize a return to their regular activities. Our Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Program is designed around the specific needs of the injured child or young adult — whether it is an athletic injury, an overuse injury, an accident, or recovery from surgery related to a long-term disability.
Our Orthopedic Rehabilitation Program focuses on helping each child regain range of motion, motor control and muscle strength through a team approach that includes the child’s family, school and sports and recreation community.
Palliative and End of Life Care – The Palliative and End of Life Care Program at The Hospital at The Children’s Institute provides comprehensive patient and family-centered care and treatment for children suffering from incurable diseases and disorders. Our philosophy and mission of palliative care is to ensure the well being of the child and her family as they journey through the stages of the child’s diagnosis. While the goal of the program is to comfort children and their families as they face a terminal illness or disease, it does not preclude aggressive treatment – surgery, radiation, chemotherapy – to fight a life-threatening diagnosis. View a PDF with more information on Palliative and End of Life Care.
Respite Care— For many families of children with special needs, the demands are seemingly endless. No appointment, project or undertaking can be carried out without planning for the medically specialized care of their child. Respite – an interval of rest – is essential for families to care for their children with special needs, their siblings and themselves. Read more about our our Respite Care Program.
RND/Pain Rehabilitation Program – When a child is suffering from chronic pain that seems to last longer than expected, the problem may be a condition known as reflex neurovascular dystrophy (RND). Other names for this condition include amplified musculoskeletal pain of childhood, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, pediatric fibromyalgia, and complex regional pain syndrome. Our RND program provides evaluation and treatment and is one of the only places in the United States to provide a comprehensive pain management program dedicated to treating RND. Click here for more information on our RND/Pain Rehabilitation Program.
Spinal Cord Rehabilitation — The Hospital’s spinal cord program serves children, adolescents and young adults with acute, complete or partial traumatic injury to the spinal cord. It also serves those with congenital or degenerative spinal cord diseases such as spina bifida, Guillian-Barre and transverse myelitis. The goal of the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program is to help patients become as independent as possible. Assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment are key components of this program. Working with therapists to identify needed equipment, environmental modifications and technological support, we can improve performance related to mobility, self care, communication and recreation. Patient/family/caregiver counseling and education support the rehabilitation process by preparing each individual for the changes in lifestyle and specialized, ongoing care that will be needed. Therapeutic recreation helps the child re-enter the community and exposes the child to adapted sports and recreational outlets.
The Children’s Institute operates the only comprehensive inpatient program for medical, behavioral and rehabilitation management of individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome.
In existence since 1981, our program treats children and adults using a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, nutritionists, occupational, physical, recreational and speech therapists, psychologists and teachers. The focus of the program is on individualized weight control.
Our team teaches behavioral control in the living environment, nutrition awareness, physical exercise and motor control, as well as social skills and self motivation. Patients learn behavioral self-control while families and caregivers receive extensive training to help maintain the structure and support of the program following discharge.
An outpatient follow-up clinic provides for long-term management of patients and ensures timely intervention when there is a change in a patient’s status or living situation.