In the Grainger Pediatric Lab, therapy is often cleverly disguised as play. For example, a tool for stretching, strengthening and developing coordination might take the form a high-tech, neon-green jungle gym. A device to build strength and endurance might feel like riding a bike. Software games designed to improve thinking and speaking might be adapted for toddlers or teens - some of whom have already taught us more than a thing or two about how to make therapeutic video game computer software work and "rock."  And we don't forget the classic forms of  therapy: aquatic, cognitive, and speech & language.


The Pediatric Lab is equipped with kid-sized version of our state-of-the-art devices, technology and equipment, including many inventions created by our scientists. Robotics for upper and lower extremity motor impairment, innovative treadmills and devices for walking, "intelligent" muscle stretchers, and 3-D gait analysis, as well as virtual reality setups all are employed to help our youngest patients achieve their best outcomes.

This Lab also includes high-tech augmentative communication devices to help recover various functions of young brains. For example, some show promise in advancing brain healing ("plasticity"). 

Pediatric Lab


In this state of the art environment, we treat children from across the United States and around the world. To see the patient rooms, and read more about our nursing and levels of care for our younger patients, visit our Pediatric Innovation Center. Or, check our Locations to find the nearest pediatric inpatient or outpatient site of care.

Recent Research Projects

In our custom Pediatric Lab, the world’s leading researchers and therapists work with children and adolescents leveraging technology and science targeted to their special needs and growing bodies.


Muscle Impairment in Children with Cerebral Palsy: a Role for Muscle Stem Cell Dysfunction and Drug Repurposing

We investigate the role of specific muscle resident stem cells, called satellite cells, in the development of muscle contractures in cerebral palsy.

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Defining trajectories of linguistic, cognitive-communicative and quality of life outcomes in aphasia

Using certain characteristics as predictors, This study describes trajectories of linguistic, cognitive-communicative, and health-related QoL outcomes.

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Making tea with wheelchair

Manual Standing Wheelchair

Researchers at the AbilityLab have designed the first-ever manual standing wheelchair that allows users to be mobile in both sitting and standing modes.

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By The Numbers

This kid-customized Pediatric Lab is scaled for smaller bodies, developing brains and appealing to young imaginations. 

  • 2.5X

    The amount of additional pediatric rehabilitation space that we have in the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (vs. our previous location), that serves pediatric patients from across the world.

  • 2

    "Serious-Free" zones for children and teens to play and have fun. Playrooms are designed with bright colors, toys, books and technology, with one even specially scaled for toddlers.

  • 14.7K

    The square footage of the Pediatric Lab. Located on the 18th floor, this space houses some of the best minds and and technology you'll find in the pediatric rehabilitation world.