Children's Hospital Rehabilitation Center

Children's Hospital Rehabilitation Center

1025 Childrens Way
Knoxville, TN 37922
Hours 8am-5pm (M-F)



The East Tennessee Children's Hospital Rehabilitation Center provides local children access to comprehensive pediatric physical medicine, sleep studies and physiatry outside of the hospital walls. As part of the Children's West campus, the Rehabilitation Center sits on a sprawling property in West Knoxville that is also home to Children's West Surgery Center. For more information, please call the Rehab Center at 865-690-8961.

Rehab Center Designed for Kids
Because children are constantly growing intellectually, physically and emotionally, each child's rehabilitation plan is created for his specific developmental needs. The Rehabilitation Center features child-size equipment and exercises that incorporate play and games specifically designed for children. Our gyms, sensory and private treatment rooms, therapy pool, therapeutic playground and walking track are all built for children's specific rehabilitation needs.

Pediatric rehabilitation is very different from adult rehabilitation because a child is constantly growing intellectually, physically and emotionally. A child's progress in one area affects the other aspects of development and well-being. Children from birth to age 21 benefit from our services tailored to their growth and changes.

Pediatric Physical Medicine and Therapy Services
Our highly-trained Children's Hospital staff of physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers, nutritionists, psychologists and physiatrists work together to motivate each child, involve families and set attainable goals. In order to increase each child's confidence and independence, the staff teaches families how to incorporate rehabilitation exercises into life at home. Inpatient physical and occupational therapy services are a part of a child’s physician-directed inpatient stay at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. Our therapists provide assessment, treatment and discharge planning for all ages of children in intensive care, surgical and medical units.

Pediatric Physical Therapy
Physical therapy focuses on developing, maintaining or restoring functional gross motor abilities. Pediatric physical therapists help develop the strength, balance and motion children need to move through their environment most effectively.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy focuses on developing, maintaining or restoring functional fine motor abilities. Pediatric occupational therapists help develop the strength, coordination and movement children need for self-care, play, and fine and sensory motor skills.

Pediatric Speech Therapy
Speech therapy focuses on developing or restoring communication, feeding and/or swallowing skills. Pediatric speech therapists help children develop skills to interact with their environment.

Inpatient speech therapy services are a part of a child's doctor-directed inpatient stay at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. Our speech therapists provide assessment, treatment and discharge planning for all ages of children in intensive care, surgical and medical units. They perform modified barium swallow procedures and participate in specialty clinics, including cleft palate.

Therapists use games, toys, songs and play to involve each child in therapy. They build relationships that motivate children to gain communication and interaction skills. We provide outpatient speech services at our Rehabilitation Center. Our child-friendly setting, family-centered focus and team approach provide a welcoming environment for your child to build and practice many different skills.

Pediatric Physiatry
Physiatry is the medical specialty also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation. A pediatric physiatrist is a physician who specializes in treating children with physical, cognitive and/or language impairments and helps patients reach their functional potential. Physiatrists collaborate with other pediatric physicians, rehabilitation therapists and family members to develop a unique treatment plan for each child. A physiatrist prescribes therapy, medication, orthotics, prosthetics, adaptive and assistive equipment and other services that help improve quality of life.

Physiatry focuses on treating all aspects of a child's development and establishing a treatment plan that incorporates physical, occupational and speech therapy goals. Patients often have a developmental disability, problems with fine or oral motor skills, or complaints of muscular pain or discomfort. Children today increasingly survive chronic and acute illnesses, leading to a growing population of children who need the unique elements of physiatry care.

Sleep Medicine Center
The Rehabilitation Center is also home to the Children's Sleep Medicine Center, where children can complete a sleep study to diagnose sleep disorders, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and other conditions. The process is painless and includes an overnight stay at the Sleep Medicine Center. While sleep disorders can seem bothersome to parents, they are often an underlying reason for a serious health issue and can affect a wide spectrum of a child's life. Sleep studies can be scheduled by a primary care physician or pediatrician. Learn more about pediatric sleep medicine at Children's Hospital.

Motivating Mealtimes
Motivating Mealtimes is an interdisciplinary evaluation of children with feeding difficulties that aims to identify any areas of concern that may be impacting each child’s ability to learn to eat. Our program was created to serve children with feeding difficulties and their families by offering a comprehensive approach to identify and treat the specific areas of difficulty that impact each child’s ability to eat. Our feeding team uses a play-based and child-led approach that is focused on the child’s development of the skills required for eating. We want children to learn how to eat and to have fun while doing it.

Who Can Benefit from an Evaluation?

Children who exhibit one or more of the following:

  • Difficulty eating a variety of food textures or foods from each food group
  • Refusal of entire categories of nutrition groups or food textures
  • Dropping foods out of diet that were previously preferred
  • Often eating different foods at a meal than the rest of the family
  • Difficulty drinking from a cup and/or bottle
  • Limited ability to self-feed
  • Difficulty chewing foods
  • Difficulty swallowing foods (dysphagia)
  • Sensory processing difficulties relating to feeding
  • Dependence on supplemental tube feedings for nutrition
  • Failure to thrive, slow weight gain, or weight loss
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Fear or anxiety related to foods/eating
  • Frequent mealtime tantrums

Who is on the evaluating team?

  • Speech-language pathologist (SLP)
  • Occupational therapist (OT)
  • Registered dietitian (RD)
  • Pediatric psychologist
  • Social worker (as needed)

What does the evaluation involve?

  • Completion of paperwork
  • In-person interview with members of the feeding team
  • Screening of your child’s developmental skills
  • Observation of your child during a mealtime to assess multiple areas
  • Expect the evaluation to last approximately 2 hours

Contact Us

  • East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Center
  • 1025 Children’s Way Knoxville, TN 37922
  • Phone: (865) 690-8961 extension 2228
  • Fax: (865) 693-3941