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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry)

What is a Physiatrist?

Pediatric physiatrists, also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, are medical doctors who specialize in the rehabilitation care and medical management of children with conditions that impact their neurologic, muscular and/or skeletal systems such as cerebral palsy, brain injury, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, neuromuscular disorders, musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain. They understand how cognitive and physical disabilities affect growth and development and they work with patients and families by leading a comprehensive rehabilitation team to develop and direct individualized treatment. Their main objectives are to restore or improve function (e.g. walking) and maximize quality of life (e.g. decrease pain).

About the Children's Specialized Physiatry Team

Children's Specialized Hospital employs seven board certified physiatrists and with about only 250 in the country, this makes us one of the largest programs in the country. Not only are we improving your access to care but under the coordination of our physiatrists, your child will receive the comprehensive care they need all in one place. These services include:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Feeding therapy
  • Neurology
  • Developmental pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Orthopedics

We also work closely with our team of social workers to help you get the access to medical care, therapies, transportation and equipment that you and your child may need.

Conditions Treated

Our physiatrists diagnose, develop treatment plans, prescribe medication, and perform procedures for conditions including:

  • Brain or spinal cord injuries or problems
  • Bracing, wheelchair, or other equipment needs
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Difficulty with walking (e.g. toe walking, intoeing) or other functional tasks such as putting clothes on
  • Excessive drooling, jaw clenching, or open mouth posture
  • Hypotonia/floppy muscles
  • Muscle, bone, joint or nerve pain (e.g. knee pain, elbow pain)
  • Spasticity/tight muscles

They also provide evaluations for therapy, bracing, wheelchair, and equipment needs. In addition, they are able to perform botulinum toxin and alcohol nerve block injections, intrathecal baclofen pump management, and Electromyogrpahy and Nerve Conduction Studies (EMG-NCS).


Our physicians participate in cutting edge research in treatments for children with a variety of neurological and developmental disorders in collaboration with the renown scientists at the Kessler Foundation. This gives our patients access to new and upcoming treatments such as visual feedback for movement, robotics, simulated equine (horse) therapy, and rock climbing therapy.


Residency and Fellowships
Our department houses one of the few accredited fellowships in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, training future physiatrists and teaching rehabilitation residents and pediatric residents from Kessler. We also serve as mentors for residents in research.

Community Outreach

Volunteer Work
Our physiatrists organize and participate in a number of volunteer projects throughout the year to help with fundraising for kids that do not have the necessary means to receive the care and equipment they need.

Dr. JenFu Cheng founded Peak Potential, a rock climbing program that provides opportunity for children with disabilities, free of charge, to enjoy the recreation and therapeutic benefits of rock climbing safely via a variety of adaptations and expert volunteers. Click here and here for more information.

Dr. Hannah Shoval has been involved with a dance program for children with special needs, a collaboration between Columbia Medical Center and the NYC Ballet. Click here for more information.

Unique Programs

Inpatient Chronic Pain Management Program
The Chronic Pain Management Program at Children's Specialized Hospital promotes the wellness of adolescents and young adults ages 11-21 years old, with chronic pain who continue to have significant pain and difficulties with daily function despite a period of consistent outpatient therapies. If you or your child is interested in this program, please contact Laura Valentino to schedule and evaluation: or 732-258-7150.

Consult Services

At Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, NJ, we offer onsite pediatric physiatry care to support the needs of acute care providers.

Services include: on-site consultations, medical management of spasticity and sialosis, evaluation to determine post-acute level of care and equipment needs, assistance with discharge planning, and provision of support to patient and families who are in the midst of transition from acute care to inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation.

Consult services are staffed from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Please call 201-549-9709 and include:

  • Name of caller and direct call back number
  • Hospital location
  • Patient name
  • Patient date of birth
  • Patient room number
  • Diagnosis
  • Reason for Consult
  • Attending physician
  • Referring physician

Click here for a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (Physiatry) Referral Form

Children's Specialized Hospital Outpatient Center at Clifton
1135 Broad Street
Clifton, NJ 07013
(973) 365-3071
Children's Specialized Hospital Outpatient Center at Egg Harbor Township
6106 Black Horse Pike
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
(609) 645-7779
Children's Specialized Hospital Outpatient Center at Hamilton
3575 Quakerbridge Road
Hamilton Township, NJ 08619
(609) 631-2800
Children's Specialized Hospital Outpatient Center at Newark
182 Lyons Avenue
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 391-2960
Children's Specialized Hospital Outpatient Center at New Brunswick
10 Plum Street
6th Floor
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 258-7100
Children's Specialized Hospital
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 258-7000
Children's Specialized Hospital Outpatient Center at Warren
266 King George Road
Warren, NJ 07059
(973) 391-2960
Children's Specialized Outpatient Center at Toms River Stevens Road
94 Stevens Road
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 914-1100

Pediatric Physiatry Treatment & Care

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