Mary Irwin Laughlin establishes the Memorial Home for Cripple(d) Children.
75% of our patients were recovering from polio.
Polio Vaccine Testing
Staff and children take part in final testing of Dr. Jonas Salk's new polio vaccine.
Surviving & Thriving after Polio
Evolved to create a range of high-level medical, educational, social, psychological, and prevocational programs.
We became the nation's first comprehensive rehabilitation center for children to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
Adapting to Community Needs
In response to an aging population, we developed adult inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services.
Becoming The Rehabilitation Institute of Pittsburgh
We changed our name to The Rehabilitation Institute of Pittsburgh to reflect both the emphasis on comprehensive rehabilitation and the inclusion of adult patients.
Creating Solutions for Patients
Designed and published Custom Trunk Support; long-term impact is still seen today in the design of wheelchairs, long sitters, and standers.
Growing our Geographic Reach
In response to migration to the suburbs, we open satellite locations throughout Western Pennsylvania.
The original DynaVox, an augmentative communication device, was launched with assistance of our staff, who worked collaboratively with the engineer to develop the first dynamic display.
Becoming The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh
Our adult services transferred to UPMC, allowing us to reaffirm our original mission - to promote the wellbeing of children, young people, and their families. We changed our name to The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh.
Amazing Kids. Amazing Place.
The Children's Institute celebrates its 100th anniversary and launches the Amazing Kids campaign with the "I am amazing" tagline.
Developed GymBop®, a conceptual model integrating the educational specialties of music and adapted physical education, along with occupational, physical and speech/language therapies.
The Day School Accreditation
The Day School at The Children's Institute became the first school in Pa. to earn accreditation by the National Commission on Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES).
Pain Rehabilitation and Adoption Excellence
Introduced the Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy (RND) program, only the second of its kind in the eastern half of the United States to address chronic pain disorders. Project STAR – currently known as Family Support Services – received the Adoption Excellence Award for support for adoptive families from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Angels in Adoption Award
Project STAR earned the Angels in Adoption Award from The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Angels in Adoption Award
Women for a Healthy Environment
We were selected to partner with The Heinz Endowments and community volunteers to oversee the "Women for a Healthy Environment" initiative.
Nimick Family Therapeutic Garden
We dedicated the 10,000 square foot Nimick Family Therapeutic Garden, which is enjoyed by patients, families, students, and the community.
A New Space for Kids and Families
We dedicated the Family Visitation Center located on the Squirrel Hill campus.
Remembering Amazing Kids
Amazing Kids television campaign ad honored as "Most Memorable in Pittsburgh's History."
National Recognition for Services
The Day School is named one of 30 International MOVE™ Model Sites for work to help children gain independence and dignity. The New York Times magazine featured an in-depth article on our Center for Prader-Willi Syndrome.
Surviving & Thriving Through Programmatic Changes
The Children's Institute closes its inpatient rehabilitation and inpatient behavioral health services.
Adapting Through COVID-19
Like our early history with polio, our team meets the needs of those we serve through challenging times. We continue to evolve to meet the community needs through tele-health and tele-education models during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Partnership for Early Intervention Services
The Children's Institute forms an affiliation with The Early Learning Institute (teli) to provide expert early intervention services for the littlest of amazing kids from birth to age three.
Applied Behavioral Analysis Program
The Children's Institute launches new clinic-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program to provide children between the ages of 18 months to 21 years old on the autism spectrum with comprehensive and holistic services.
Amazing Things Happen Here
The Children's Institute celebrates its 120th anniversary of providing the highest quality care and services to amazing kids and families in the community.
For the past 120 years, The Children’s Institute has worked to fulfill our mission: To Heal. To Teach. To Empower. To Amaze.
Now we want to hear from YOU! Please share your memories below.
Read Stories from Others
Working at The Children's Institute has always been a dream job of mine. My brother was actually a student here. I think being part of a family that has someone with special needs can be very isolating at times and just seeing the way that this place provided an opportunity for my parents to learn what was best for him and to see such positive change in him in this journey was so inspiring to me; and I knew that I wanted to work here; and I wanted to do the same thing every single day for my students and for their families.
I love the culture of innovation here. In my 8+ years with The Children's Institute, I have always been encouraged to pursue my professional interests and hone my skills. It's rewarding to grow as a clinician - and to to encourage growth in special kids - by having fun with a purpose every day.
We were just one little family with a child who was different, climbing this huge mountain of medical complexity and feeling lost, scared, and alone. And then, thank goodness, we discovered The Children's Institute.
The Day School provides a warm and caring environment structured around high standards and accountability that is customized to meet the needs of each student. They also include the needs of our whole family in Harry's educational care.
The Children's Institute has done so much for us. I had a feeling they might be our lifeline and they have been...they really have.
The Children's Institute has been a part of our lives for so long now, and they keep coming up with innovative ideas using new technologies to help Gabby...The support we've received has been phenomenal.
Not sure what the next step is? You can always call our Information Center at 412.420.2400 to speak to a team member who can direct you to the support and answers you need.