Fun, therapy combined in new park at Driscoll

CORPUS CHRISTI - The new Rehab Therapy Park at Driscoll Children's Hospital is a ton of fun for the children who use it. It's a colorful, outdoor playground with a wooden bridge, a merry-go-round, garden planters, an activity board and benches. There are even misting fans and shade canvases above. For Driscoll's physical, occupational and speech therapists, it's the perfect place to let their patients have fun while providing them individualized therapy.

"A team of therapists came together and thought about what we would need to complement what we already had in our Rehab Department," said Anna Cerda, P.T., outpatient rehabilitation manager. "The park was one idea. It simulates the community environment and gives the therapists additional tools to provide the best therapy possible."

The Rehab Therapy Park was constructed this year with $140,000 from community support. It's one of several new features that have greatly enhanced the rehabilitation therapy program at Driscoll, which currently serves about 2,500 children.

Almost everything in the park has a therapeutic purpose, Cerda said. The bridge is designed to be wobbly, which challenges children to use muscles in a way they may not be used to. The merry-go-round is used to help children who have movement disorders, decreased strength or difficulty with head control and range of motion.

Some of the features aren't obviously therapeutic. The surface is covered by playground-type rubber with cobblestone and flagstone paths. For children who use a wheelchair or special assistive device like a walker, the surfaces simulate what they may encounter in the community, Cerda said.

Herb garden planters built at three different heights allow children to kneel, stand or sit while gardening or watering the plants. What seem like easy activities can actually help them develop balance and coordination and improve body movement, Cerda said.

The speech activity board has rotating parts on which speech therapists place magnetic pictures, symbols and numbers. Therapists can help improve a child's vocabulary by playing match games, tic-tac-toe or simply creating a game with them.

"It's nice to do things with the speech activity board instead of sitting at a table with the child," said Leah Groves, speech language pathologist at Driscoll. "That's how children learn, by moving and doing things with their hands. It's just more interesting to them."

The park is often used as a reward for children when they need a little motivation to complete certain activities, Cerda said. It's available to any child in the community who is referred by their physician, she added.

Driscoll's rehab equipment and specialized, up-to-date technology allows its therapists to address any pediatric rehabilitation need.

"We're not an adult facility that sees children," said Susan Fields, director of the Rehabilitation Department. "We are specifically designed and equipped to work with children and adolescents of any age."

Contact Information


Driscoll Children's Hospital
Rehabilitation Services

3533 S. Alameda Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

Phone: (361) 694-5678
Fax: (361) 694-4821


To determine if a child qualifies for financial assistance or for support with insurance pre-authorization, contact Driscoll Children's Hospital's Billing at (361) 694-5111.

Making an Appointment / Referral
A physician prescription or referral is required prior to making an appointment. A referral form can be obtained by calling (361) 694-5678.

Referrals can be faxed to (361) 694-4821

How to reach us:
Rehabilitation Services Direct Line
361-694-5678



For TTY Deaf Messaging Connect to TTY Interpretation by dialing
(800) 735-2989
Zane, 2, who is in speech therapy due to a hearing loss, uses a touch-sensitive TAP-IT Smartboard (Touch Accessible Platform - Interactive Technology) during his therapy session.
A 17-year-old patient works on core trunk control and overall body coordination with a therapy ball. Supervising him is Driscoll physical therapist Frank Moreida.
Nolan, 6, climbs a rock climbing wall to help improve his coordination, strength and muscular imbalances.
The right touch
Having a ball
New heights