The Hospital at The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh offers a variety of specialized programs while remaining true to our mission of promoting the well-being of children, young people and their families.
Functional Feeding Program
When infants and children have difficulty eating due to physical or behavioral conditions, serious health problems may result. Our Functional Feeding Program provides evaluation and treatment on an inpatient and outpatient basis, for children with feeding difficulties. Clinicians from speech/language pathology, occupational therapy, psychology and clinical nutrition, under the supervision of a pediatrician, provide treatment and support for families and caregivers by teaching a variety of techniques and skills to help them manage their child's feeding issues in the home. Feeding disorders result for many reasons and treatment is directed toward the issues interfering with eating such as behavior, sensory processing disorders, oral motor delays and/or medical issues.
Center for Prader-Willi Syndrome
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.
RND/Amplified Pain Mangement
When a child is suffering from chronic pain that seems to last longer or be more intense than would be expected, the problem may be 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.
Provided on an inpatient and outpatient basis, The RND/Amplified Pain Management program at The Children's Institute includes intense exercise therapy to the areas affected by the pain syndrome. This treatment breaks the cycle of pain and desensitizes the nerves. It also promotes increased strength, endurance, agility and function and reduces hypersensitivity.
Caring for a disabled or severely ill child is all-consuming. Time away from round-the-clock care is often needed for the caregivers' own health and well being, enabling them to better care for their loved one. Our Respite Care Program provides medical and support services to ensure that families can have confidence that their child's needs are being met during their stay away from the family. Program components include:
- 24/7 nursing care that is tailored to each child's medical needs
- support services, which include structured recreation and social activities provided by our recreation staff and volunteers
- educational services directed by our inpatient teacher through the Cognitive and Behavioral Learning Environment (CABLE) program on an as needed basis
Respite services at The Hospital at The Children's Institute are targeted to meet the needs of children who cannot be left to the care of "untrained" caregivers or non-professional staff when alternate care is needed. These include children with:
- nursing or medical management needs related to self care, mobility, nutrition or pulmonary function who have been managed in a community setting with home-based medical supports
- no significant medical or behavioral issues that would require individualized staffing (1:1) or need for a secured unit
- no active infectious process that would require an isolation room