Physical Therapy

Improving Daily Life

ChildServe helps children learn and improve their ability to move and function. Our Physical Therapists focus on important motor skills of the developing child or young adult such as walking, balance, coordination, and strength. We also identify any special adaptive equipment needed to help a child or young adult move about their world.

Why choose ChildServe?

Multi-disciplinary Team
ChildServe’s talented, multi-disciplinary team of therapists specializes in pediatric rehab and works together to create plans specific to each child’s need.
We hold CARF accreditationsBeing CARF-Accredited means that the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities recognizes ChildServe as an organization that meets rigorous guidelines for service and quality and conforms to nationally and internationally recognized standards.
in pediatrics, brain injury, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.
Specialized Technology

Our program makes use of specialized technology like the Functional Electrical Stimulation bikeThe Functional Electrical Stimulation bike and stepper, which was made possible by funds from the ChildServe Foundation, stimulates muscles with electric currents to help build them up after a long period of little use.
, DynavisionDynavision is a leading technology used in rehabilitation to stimulate the brain. By exercising cognitive processing, balance, and functional mobility, Dynavision improves decision-making and concentrating skills under stress.
, and the Universal Exercise UnitThe Universal Exercise Unit (UEU) is a favorite with many kids, who sometimes refer to it as “The Octopus.” The UEU provides a unique and effective physical therapy option in which children are comfortably suspended just off the ground or therapy table. Therapists are able to work specific muscles and coordination skills through this therapy.
within our state-of-the-art, kid-friendly facilities.

Child laying in ball pit in Physical Therapy

Who We Serve

ChildServe’s Physical Therapy program serves children and young adults (infant-21 years) who have the following conditions:

Physical disabilities or impairments

Delay in achieving age-appropriate developmental milestones

Functional limitations related to balance, walking or gross motor coordination

Changes in physical function and health status resulting from injury, disease or surgery


Problems with basic movement (absent or limited)

Concussions and/or sports related injuries

Orthopedic conditions or injuries

Neurological conditions

Processing disorders that affect coordination, motor or functional skills

Our Approach

Purple child icon with a boy and girl

We Know Kids

Our entire organization is designed around kids! ChildServe knows that children and teens have needs that are different from adults with similar conditions. All of our equipment is designed specifically for children. Every member of our staff has specialized training to understand how therapy can affect children’s growth and development.
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Pediatric Therapy

ChildServe’s Physical Therapy program includes restorative exercise, treatment strategies, assistive technology, and play/movement activities to treat and improve motor and physical dysfunction. Children commonly work toward goals like improving balance, strength, or coordination; developing gross motor skills; and increasing joint mobility. Our mobility and adaptive equipment specialists also helps children find safe, comfortable wheelchair positioning and other mobility devices to help them access their world.
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Special Programs

ChildServe offers a variety of specialty areas and clinics to help children reach specific goals faster. Our physical therapy specialty programs include Spasticity Management, Function Electrical Stimulation (FES), Universal Exercise Unit (UEU), seating and positioning, splinting and casting, Aquatic Therapy (Johnston only), torticollis management, and Cranial Symmetry.

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We Care about Families

When a child receives therapy at ChildServe, the family is involved in every step of the process. Our staff help children and families create and achieve goals to improve daily living skills. We help families find specialty programs that fit a child’s specific needs. In addition, training is provided for families to continue and reinforce the care at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive Physical Therapy?

Our Physical Therapy program helps children with developmental delays, range-of-motion limitations, and abnormal tone with the goal of promoting functional gross motor skills. Children must fit the following qualifications:

  • Medically stable
  • Free of actively contagious condition
  • Able to tolerate exposure to other people and children and transport to/from ChildServe
  • Able to participate during therapy sessions
How are referrals made?

To make a referral or request more information, call 515-331-4518 to speak to a Medical Social Worker who will help identify a funding source and send out an application for services.

How are services authorized and funded?

Therapy services are funded through Iowa Medicaid, private insurance, or private pay. Services are authorized by the individual’s payor source and require a physician’s order, which ChildServe can help the family find. The fees for each specific child and service will be discussed during the intake process.

Where are services provided?

ChildServe’s facilities and equipment are designed specifically for children. Therapy services take place year-round at the following locations:

  • ChildServe – Ames
  • ChildServe – Des Moines
  • ChildServe – Johnston
  • ChildServe – Iowa City
  • ChildServe – Cedar Rapids

We also offer on-site physical therapy for children enrolled in childcare at the ChildServe Development Center in Johnston or children receiving Medical Childcare services at our ChildServe – Des Moines location.

When are services offered?

Hours of operation for Johnston and Ames:

  • Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Hours of operation for Iowa City:

  • Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
What kinds of healthcare professionals work in ChildServe’s Physical Therapy program?

ChildServe employs a variety of skilled physical therapists including those certified as Pediatric Clinical Specialists (PCS) and Clinical Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS).

What specialized equipment does ChildServe’s Physical Therapy use?
  • Functional Electric Stimulation (FES) Bike
  • Functional Electric Stimulation (FES) Stepper
  • Lite Gait
  • LE Serial Casting
  • Universal Exercise Unit
  • Dynavision

View our Annual Outcomes

ChildServe regularly gathers child and family satisfaction feedback, quality reports, and census data to monitor our services and continuously improve the care and services we provide.

Contact Us!

ChildServe – Ames
1915 Philadelphia Street,
Ames, IA 50010
ChildServe  – Johnston
5406 Merle Hay Road,
Johnston, IA 50131

ChildServe – Cedar Rapids

1661 Boyson Square Dr., Suite 100
Hiawatha, IA 52233

ChildServe – Iowa City
2350 Oakdale Blvd., 
Coralville, IA 52241

ChildServe – Des Moines

644 24th St.
Des Moines, IA 50312

ChildServe - Johnston

ChildServe - Ames

ChildServe - Iowa City

ChildServe Development Center – Johnston

ChildServe - Cedar Rapids


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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