At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston, our approach to care centers around treating the whole child – body, mind and spirit. We believe that keeping a patient active both inside and outside the hospital directly contributes to long-term improvement of their quality of life plus, it’s just plain fun.
Through our child life department, patients will experience regular creative expression activities; see therapy dogs, musicians, dancers, area sports teams or clowns; or have picnics and holiday-themed parties. In addition to special events offered throughout the week, the child life team provides engaging activities every day.
This event is held in conjunction with the University of Houston Family Education Project – a program of speakers and exhibitors that provides information on a range of services to empower and support families who are caring for children with chronic illnesses and/or physical disabilities. The series takes place in the hospital auditorium.
In our rehabilitation department, patients take therapeutic “leaves of absence” with the goal of “real world” integration, as they leave their physical therapy treatment. Rehabilitation parties are regularly held in the physical therapy gym to celebrate patients’ rehabilitation graduations.
In partnership with Families CAN, service providers and vendors who specialize in helping children with different abilities come to the hospital for an all-day fair for patients and their families to learn about the community opportunities available to them.
Available for current patients ages 16–18, this program provides temporary employment positions for patients to gain practical work experience and earn supplemental income. Eligible participants must commit to attending an orientation process and end-of-summer program at the hospital.
Representatives from various colleges present information about the admissions process, college environment and accommodations for students with physical disabilities.
Athletes with physical challenges, and vendors and community organizations that provide programs and modified equipment for sports related opportunities, participate in the sports fair to provide information. Many interactive, hands-on demonstrations take place with patients.
Professional athletes with prosthetic legs host a camp for patients with prostheses, to teach them how to run.
This camp provides an opportunity for patients ages 8–18 with unique physical and cognitive challenges, to experience the outdoors at Camp For All, a barrier-free camping facility in Burton, Texas. Campers stay overnight in wheelchair-accessible cabins with their peers and participate in a wide variety of activities throughout the weekend while being supervised by trained volunteers affiliated with the hospital.