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Caring for Children With Disabilities & Chronic Complex Conditions

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The Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services are comprised of an integrated group of specialists and generalists who care for children with disabilities and chronic complex conditions across the continuum. We promote the health, well-being and quality of life for children with functional limitations related to congenital or acquired conditions, in a team-based model of value-driven healthcare.

We have outpatient clinics in Salt Lake City and Layton, as well as regional outreach clinics. Depending on the complexity of each child's and family needs, we provide the following services:

  • Rehabilitation Program for general rehabilitation needs.
  • Comprehensive Care Program for children with chronic, complex medical conditions.

Our team of providers can help determine which program is best for you.

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Rehabilitation Program

The Pediatric Rehabilitation Program delivers state-of-the-art, inpatient and outpatient care for children with disabilities and functional limitations, with an emphasis on promoting strength, mobility, self-care, communication, and socialization with an emphasis on fostering family integration, quality of life and community participation. From diagnosis to management, our team of pediatric rehabilitation providers deliver integrated and individualized care that is goal-directed and outcomes driven.

We care for children with:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spasticity
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Congenital and acquired disorders of the spinal cord
  • Chronic pain syndromes
  • Genetic syndromes
  • Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Functional impairments related to a variety of conditions


  • Outpatient assessment, medical management, and care coordination services, at the request of and in collaboration with primary care providers
  • Inpatient consultations for children with complex medical and psychosocial needs, in collaboration with primary care providers, subspecialists, hospitalists and care coordinators
  • Inpatient consultations with care conferences to generate interdisciplinary care plans and transition between levels of care across the continuum (care in hospitals, congregate care settings, home, and communities)
  • Education for parents and providers, including links to community and web-based resources
  • Coordination of referrals and medical appointments
  • Advocacy with insurers, schools and community services
  • Support for advanced care planning, particularly for children with life-limiting conditions
  • Guidance with transition and guardianship issues as children approach adulthood

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation and rehabilitation therapy?

A: A physiatrist is a medical doctor (MD or DO) who has completed specialized training in pediatrics and in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR). A physiatrist can diagnose and treat conditions associated with functional limitations and disabilities, and prescribes medications and rehabilitation services such as physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Pediatric physiatrists work with children and their families to create care goal-directed care plans.

Rehabilitation therapies typically include the services of physical therapy (PT) to promote strength, coordination and mobility; occupational therapy (OT) to address fine motor skills and self-care activities, and speech-language therapy (SLP) to address language, communication and cognition. These therapists deliver treatments under the direction of medical doctors. There are, however, areas of overlap; for example, OT and SLP partner to provide feeding therapies, and PT and OT collaborate in choosing adaptive devices such as wheelchairs to promote function and mobility.

Q: I think my child needs Botulinum Toxin injections, how do I schedule with a physiatrist?

A: Your child's primary care or other healthcare provider can make a referral to a physiatrist for an assessment of his/her spasticity and to design an overall plan of care, which may include rehabilitation therapies, botulinum or other injections, systemic medications, surgeries or a combination of approaches.  

Q: Will my insurance pay for my visit/treatment?

A: Our prior authorization team works to obtain authorization before your scheduled appointment. Some medications may not be covered, however, we will notify you if authorization is not available. 

Meet Our Patients

From Pediatric Patient to Resident Physician

During training as a Ski Racer, Hank Shipman and his team were hit by a passing driver in a car collision. Hank would spend the next three months receiving physical, occupational, and speech therapy at Primary Children's Hospital.