Functional Independence Restoration
What to Expect

What to Expect During Your Initial Evaluation with the Functional Independence Restoration Program

In the Functional Independence Restoration (FIRST) Program, we are dedicated to helping children whose severe, chronic pain is preventing them from enjoying a good quality of life. Our goal is to educate patients and families about their condition, and help children develop coping skills, build independence, recondition their bodies and transition back into their lives.

As a first step in helping your child improve functioning, we focus on understanding their needs. During the initial evaluation, we will get to know your child, review their medical history and learn how pain is affecting their life. We will use this information to determine if our program is appropriate for your child.

Learn more about what to expect before, during and after your initial evaluation.

Making an Appointment

You can contact us to learn more about our program, but a referral from a healthcare provider is required before we can schedule an appointment.

Once we receive the referral information, intake paperwork and medical records, we will call you to schedule an appointment.

Before Your Appointment

Prior to your child’s appointment, a pain management nurse practitioner will contact you to prepare for the visit. During this call, we will:

  • Gather information about symptoms, health history and past treatments.
  • Collect past test results and medical records—we’ll provide instructions on how to share this information with us.
  • Provide pre-visit instructions.

Preparing for Your Visit

Your child should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and gym shoes. We also recommend bringing a sweater, as our clinic tends to be cool. There will be down-time throughout the evaluation, so bringing books or a tablet is encouraged.

On the Day of Your Visit

Arriving At Your Appointment

Our clinic is located at Cincinnati Children's Burnet Campus

Please arrive about 25 minutes ahead of time. This allows 10 minutes to park and walk from the parking garage to location C2, and 15 minutes to check in at our front desk. After you check in at the C2 location, please sit down outside Suite 1 until your child’s name is called.

At Your Appointment

During the initial visit, our providers will conduct a complete evaluation of your child. Your child will see a wide variety of specialists, including a:

  • Pain Management Doctor
  • Pain Psychologist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Pain Nurse

There will also be a social worker who will meet with families.

The visit will last approximately six hours. A typical schedule includes:

  • Evaluations from 7:30 am to noon
  • Lunch from noon to 1 pm (you can bring a packed-lunch or eat in the cafeteria)
  • Follow-up Meeting from 1 to 2 pm

After Your Visit

Each patient’s possible next steps are unique and individualized. At the end of the visit, the team will share with you whether your child has been accepted into the FIRST Program.

If they have been accepted, you will receive a summary of next steps which we call “pre-hab” to prepare for the FIRST Program.

If your child is not accepted, we will provide a list of recommendations for further treatment. All of this information will be provided to you in an “After Visit Summary” at the end of the appointment. 

What to Expect During Your Inpatient Stay with the Functional Independence Restoration Program

Our inpatient program helps children increase function and independence with support, treatment and structure from a team of pain experts.

Learn more about what to expect before, during and after your child's inpatient stay.

Preparing for Your Stay

While preparing for your child's stay, there are a few items you may want to pack:

  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and gym shoes (required)
  • Sweater, sweatshirt or jacket
  • Personal care items (brush, toothbrush, deodorant, etc.)
  • Items to personalize the room and bring comfort (pillow, blanket, favorite toy, etc.)

Our care team can also provide a more detailed packing list for your child's stay.

During Your Stay

Treatment Plan

Each day of the program includes treatment from specialists in the following areas:

  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Pain Management
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Occupational and Physical Therapy
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Spiritual Support
  • Integrative Care
  • Child Life
  • School Liaison Support and Instruction

Family-Centered Care

Caregivers play a very important role throughout their child's stay. We ask caregivers to attend admission day and get involved in one additional weekday of treatment. Children independently participate in the program, but families are welcome to spend time together in the evenings and weekends in the hospital. Caregivers may also stay overnight in the child’s room if they wish.

After Your Stay

After successful completion and discharge from the inpatient program, most patients follow up with the FIRST team at 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months post-discharge to reinforce functional gains observed during their inpatient stay.