Paving the road to recovery. Our inpatient pediatric Rehab Care Unit (RCU) is a family-centered unit where children, teens and young adults receive treatment for acquired neurological injuries or illnesses.
Sometimes life throws us a curve and the road gets bumpy, especially when a sudden illness or injury changes the whole course of your life and that of your child. Our inpatient pediatric rehabilitation team is here to help your child and family navigate the changes that might result after an acute neurological injury or illness.
Choosing Cook Children's RCU
Our inpatient pediatric rehabilitation program uses a special approach that combines medical and nursing care with individualized therapies, including education, support and discharge planning. This enables us to focus on providing the best care for each child we treat based on their particular diagnosis and needs. We work together with you to create a plan of care that fits your child and your family, and gets you on the road to returning home.
Our goal is to help children reach their highest level of functionality after an injury or illness and return them to their lives safely and with as much functionality as possible. Cook Children's RCU cares for children with a variety of acquired neurological problems, including, but not limited to:
- Acquired brain injury
- Brain tumor
- Spinal cord injury
- Neuromuscular disease
- Other acquired neurological diagnoses
Your child's therapy goals will be based on his or her individual needs to encourage ongoing recovery. As a transitional pediatric rehabilitation unit, your child will be admitted from the inpatient phase. After admittance, we will develop an individualized treatment plan (ITP) with goals focused on home, school and community re-entry. An onsite Fort Worth Independent School District teacher assists with daily school activities and school re-entry. As part of a child's care team, parents and caregivers are included in and actively participate in setting goals for the child's return to home and to learn how to care for their child each step of the way.
For more information on how to refer your child or a patient to our neurorehabilitation program, please call: 682-885-6443 or 682-885-7422.
What to expect
Because every case is different, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to helping a child recover. At Cook Children's RCU, skilled clinicians with expertise in pediatric rehabilitative care come together as a team and work with your family based on your child's diagnosis and needs. With our expert care team, a wide variety of state-of-the-art equipment and proven programs we offer a safe environment for individualized recovery. And you can trust that each member of our care team is specifically educated in neurological deficits and trained to care for all related medical needs.
When your child enters our RCU program he or she will be assigned a primary therapist and a primary nurse who will meet with you weekly to discuss your child's progress in therapy, plan of care, resources, discharge needs and the recovery process.
As the primary caregivers to your child, you and your family may feel nervous about going home. To help make the transition from the RCU to home as safe and comfortable as possible, we also provide education to ensure you have the necessary skills to help the transition go smoothly. When you do make the transition home, you will leave the RCU with all available resources and follow-up care arranged so you can focus on helping your child return to school, social activities and a life that is as normal as possible.
Special features and programs
The special features and programs developed for inpatient pediatric rehabilitation at Cook Children's combine a family oriented program with advanced technology that's not only proven to work, but is engaging enough that patients and families enjoy participating in the activities we offer. The special features and programs developed for the RCU at Cook Children's combine a family oriented program with advanced technology that's not only proven to work, but is engaging enough that patients and families enjoy participating in the activities we offer. We feature:
- 16 private rooms including availability for tracheostomy and ventilator dependent patients
- Parent bed space in each room
- 2 state-of-the-art gyms for therapy
- Overhead lift track for activities of daily living (ADL) and therapies
- MOTOmed Bike to improve muscle strength and motion in the arms and legs
- Access to the new gait lab
- Wii, Xbox Kinect, iPad's for advanced technology during therapies
- Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation
- In-house orthotics and prosthesis
- Interactive Metronome for attention, memory and coordination
- Platform and glider swing for sensory stimulation
- Medical capability and specialized staff for tracheostomy and ventilator dependent patients
- FWISD classroom for daily school
- Family-centered play area and kitchenette
- Wireless Internet so you can stay connected with your family, school or work
- Parent support groups at the medical center
Cook Children's inpatient pediatric rehabilitation offers several programs to meet the needs of each child on the unit including:
- A community reintegration program to assist with the transition from hospital to home. This program includes a daily school routine and testing to assist with school re-entry after a neurological change, neuropsychological testing with detailed recommendations for home/school, community outings to work on safety and assess readiness for community transition, family outings for families to practice re-integrating their child into their new environment, and home evaluations to assess the home environment and make recommendations for modifications based on each child's needs.
- A protocol for children with complex regional pain syndrome which includes an interdisciplinary approach to treatment during a two week stay with intense therapy, school, and counseling.
- Daily child and family counseling as well as access to biofeedback for mental health and processing.
- Camp Strong is a weekend family camp at Camp John Marc in Meridian, Texas that allows previous patients, ages 5-12, from the RCU to bond and support one another as they have a great weekend of "unplugged" activities.
- Camp STAR (Stepping Towards an Amazing Recovery) is a weekend teen camp at Camp John Marc in Meridian, Texas that allows previous patients, ages 13-18, from the RCU to bond and support one another as they have a great weekend of "unplugged" activities.
Therapy goals are developed based on the individual needs of each child to encourage ongoing recovery. As a transitional rehabilitation unit, children are admitted from the acute inpatient phase and develop an individualized treatment plan (ITP) with goals focused on home, school and community re-entry. An on-site FWISD school teacher assists with daily school activities and school re-entry. Parents and caregivers actively participate in setting goals for the child's return home and learn how to care for their children each step of the way.
Our rehabilitation team
Marsha Gabriel Ph.D.
Our highly skilled, advanced care team is led by a pediatric neurologist and includes:
- Board-certified physicians
- Certified pediatric nurse practitioners
- Pediatric nurses
- Respiratory therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Speech/language pathologists
- Child Life specialists
- RN case managers
- Social workers
- Pediatric neuropsychologists
- Teachers from Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD)
Outcomes in Cook Children's RCU
Admission Frequency by Dx FY18-FY20
Avg LOS by Dx FY18-FY20
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR)
Spinal Cord Injury & Transverse Myelitis
Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Functional Neurological Disorder
Referral Process for Cook Children's Neuro-Rehab Unit
Patient & family resources
- All about the brain – A great place to start. Learn all about the brain's anatomy and the entire nervous system with sections for parents, teens, and kids
- Anatomy of the Brain – American Association of Neurological Surgeons
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association – Download the traumatic brain injury infographic now.
- Brainline kids – Helpful information for parents of kids with TBI
- Brain map – Center for NeuroSkills TBI Resource Guide
- Brain Basics – National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke
- Traumatic Brain Injury – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides lots of information and additional resources covering everything from mild to severe TBI
- Brain basics – A quick and easy overview of the brain parts and what they control in the body
- Traumatic Brain Injury Basics – An excellent site with resources and information for people with TBI, family members, friends, and caregivers
- Understanding brain injury rehabilitation – Site explains what it is and why it's important
- Rancho Los Amigos Cognitive Recovery Scale A printable, downloadable PDF that identifies the different levels or stages of recovery from brain injury
- Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth – Located just a few steps from our Medical Center, Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for families of children receiving medical treatment at Cook Children's
- Bicycle safety
- Car seat safety
- Cook Children's outpatient rehab program
We're here to help.
If your child has been diagnosed, you probably have lots of questions. We can help. If you would like to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our staff, please call our offices at 682-885-2500.